AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 48
Name of wine estate: Kir-Yianni
Wine region: Naoussa
Standout points: Some of Greece’s best expressions of the noble Xinomavro grape; the 200-year-old ‘Kula’ Ottoman watchtower.
Winemaker: Stellios Boutaris
Wine style: Modern style focusing on indigenous Greek varieties, especially Xinomavro
An earthly paradise
According to Greek tradition, paradise was thought to lie ‘on the other side’ of Mount Vermio in northwestern Greece. Perhaps Greek wine pioneer Yiannis Boutaris had this in mind when he established vineyard holdings on both sides of the mountain, in Naoussa and Amyndeon. For wine lovers, at least, his family’s Kir-Yianni estate in Naoussa could certainly serve as a version of paradise.
Greece’s noble red
Established in 1997, the 60ha estate is one of the most picturesque in Greece. The focus is on Greece’s ‘noble’ red variety, Xinomavro – which means ‘acid black’ and gives a clue to both its colour and key characteristic. Kir-Yianni has become a centre of excellence for this variety. It was around the estate that seminal clonal selection studies on the variety were completed in the 1980s and where the influence of different soil characteristics on it continue to be monitored, block by block and vintage after vintage.
This must be the place
Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Kir-Yianni vineyards nestled on the rolling slopes of Mount Vermio, stroll among Xinomavro vines, taste the estate’s celebrated Diaporo and Dyo Elies wines in the place where they are produced, and get acquainted with the Boutaris family history. The winery tour will also give you the opportunity to get a close look at Kula, the main landmark of the estate, a 200-year-old Ottoman watch tower restored by the Boutaris family and which forms part of the Kir-Yianni logo.
Beyond the estate
A visit to Ktima Kir-Yianni can be combined with a plethora of activities in and around the city of Naoussa – surely the prettiest city in the region, whose traditional architecture styles point to its rich cultural past. For those of a more sedentary disposition, there are plenty of high-quality modern and traditional restaurants, while two ski centres – Seli and Tria Pigadia – offer a more action-packed travel experience.