More on Naoussa, West Macedonia.

The KIR-YIANNI company was founded in 1997 by Yiannis Boutaris. Based in Naoussa and Amyndeon, on both sides of mount Vermion in Northwestern Greece, the winery carries on a long history of family tradition, focusing on the production of premium wines with authentic character, and appealing to the modern consumers.

Today, the Kir-Yianni team, under the direction of Stellios Boutaris, son of Yiannis, prepares with vision the next step of the Estate’s evolutionary course, building on the core pillars of the company’s philosophy: innovation, respect to tradition and specialized knowledge on wine, from the vineyard to the final consumer.

stellios

owner Stellios Boutaris

The activities of the Kir-Yianni Estate are entirely based on the principles of integrated farming. This is a management decision based on a concern to protect the environment as a valuable component of a civilization that is now under threat. Moreover, the integrated farming can, at the same time, ensure the production of high-quality products in the Estate. This practice was applied for the first time in 2004, with a certification by the Organization of certification and Supervision of Agricultural Products AGROCERT, and is still used today.

Selection is the keyword: Each part of the vineyard at Kir-Yianni estate is harvested separately, two or three times, based on phenolic ripeness. The grapes are then brought to the sorting table, for the final selection. After 2009, a second sorting table was added after the destemming, for a berry by berry selection. A similar selection process takes place during wine-making and ageing, in order to ensure that only the best is bottled. Kir-Yianni is in constant experimentation regarding the quality and type of oak (origin, capacity, burning, size of pores) used in the barrels. The main aim is always the creation of wines of a special character: Rich but refined aroma, acidity to provide body and ageing potential, perfect balance in the mouth and ease of combination with various dishes constitute the distinct style of Kir-Yianni wines, which makes them truly appealing for the modern consumer.

The strategy

“Good wines are made in the winery and great wines are made in the vineyard” says Stellios Boutaris, who believes that during the next five years, Kir-Yianni will reach its true potential, through the use of the grapes from its new vineyards, and the know-how acquired during many years of research on the vine and the wine (Naoussa is the only Greek wine area where an extensive clonal selection programme has been performed). “Our vision is to upkeep the potential of the Greek vineyard in general, and the Macedonian vineyard in particular, and to establish ourselves in the international map of wine-making. Our principle in Kir-Yianni is that innovation builds tradition! Emphasis on indigenous grape varieties, modern wine-making methods, a professional approach and consumer-friendly wines, are the foundations to build and reach our goals” says Stellios Boutaris.

Under this perspective, the new generation of Kir-Yianni wines based on Xinomavro, which is already in the process of being prepared, is expected to leverage future development and contribute to the strengthening of the winery’s position on the international level.

The vineyards

Naoussa_vineyard_lake (1)Naoussa: The Kir-Yianni Estate in Naoussa is located in the area of Yiannakohori, at the highest point of the viticultural zone. The Estate was bought by the Boutari family in the late ’60’s. The creation of this vineyard by Yiannis Boutaris gave the signal for the replanting of the Naoussa zone, just when it was at its worst point, paving the way for the creation of “terroir” wines, on the model of the French vineyard. The Estate has gone through three distinct stages of development: During the first stage, in the early ’70’s, it was planted with 50 ha of Xinomavro, trained in vertical shoot positioning, a technique used for the first time then in the Naoussa zone. During the period 1985-1990, in the second phase of the vineyard replanting, a big part was uprooted and selected parcels were planted with the Merlot and Syrah varieties, which were believed to be able to adapt well to the microclimate of the area, and to give great results when mixed with Xinomavro. All these interventions were based on rigorous technical and scientific criteria, with the aim of acquiring full knowledge of the Estate’s terroir, in order to achieve the best possible wine production. During the third stage, in the years 2004-2006, 15 ha were replanted with Xinomavro and other Greek and international varieties.

The vineyard lies on an altitude of 280-300 meters and has a total surface of 58 ha (40.3 of which are planted). It is divided into 40 parts based on the soil properties, the relief and the different varieties-clones. The vineyard’s soil is representative of the different soil types of the Naoussa zone, dominated by sandy clay to sandy clay loam soils. The climate of the region is characterized by abundant rain and snow during winter and spring, and dry conditions in summer. In summers with particularly dry conditions and long periods of high temperatures, controlled irrigation is applied. The planting density is 2900 to 4000 vines per hectare, each vine yielding 2 to 2.5 kg of fruit. The vineyard is planted with Xinomavro (50%), Syrah (15%), Merlot (20%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), while the rest of the area is planted with various experimental varieties. Moreover, there is an experimental vineyard utilizing a dense planting scheme (10000 vine per ha) having a total surface of 0.5 ha, where Xinomavro is cultivated following the model of the Burgundy vineyards. This vineyard will be exploited in the effort to develop the “new generation” of Xinomavro products, which is a basic axis of the Estate’s development strategy.

The winery is a modern unit fully equipped for making, ageing in barrels and bottling all the products of the Estate. It has inox fermentation tanks of 1-180HL, with temperature control systems and a total capacity of 350 tons. The underground cellar has 800 American and French barrels of 225 and 500 L used for ageing and fermentation. An above-ground, air-conditioned storage room is used for keeping the bottles destined for ageing and for final packaging. In the Estate, there is an old listed building called koula or konaki, which is renovated and restored to be used as a residence of the Boutari family.

ntromo 2 (2)Amyndeon: The Kir-Yianni vineyard and winery of Amyndeon are located on the shores of lake Vegoritis, defined by the mountains of Kaimakcalan and Vitsi. The winery was created in order to stimulate an underdeveloped area, which was put on the map thanks to the systematic efforts of the founder of the winery, Yiannis Boutaris. Today, Amyndeon, a traditional but, until now, neglected viticultural zone, has evolved into one of the most promising Greek winemaking regions. It has a characteristic microclimate and soil, suitable for the production of top-quality wines, due to the high altitude of the area and the four lakes surrounding it.

The privately owned vineyards are located at an altitude of 700 m, covering a total surface of 16.5 ha, in the municipality of Ag. Panteleimonas, within the Amyndeon AOC region. The soil here is sandy and poor, giving the possibility to produce wines of high finesse and rich aromatic character. The climate of the area is characterized by cold winters and hot summers, while the presence of four lakes makes the microclimate milder and suitable for the cultivation of white varieties. Moreover, the practice of contractual agriculture over a total area of 30 ha, guarantees the control of the agricultural methods applied and the use of selected raw material. The varieties cultivated here are the international white varieties Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, and the Greek varieties Roditis, Assyrtiko, Malagouzia and Malvasia aromatica.

The winery in Amyndeon is equipped with 10–200 HL stainless steel fermentation tanks, of a total capacity of 1200 tons. The winery facilities also feature temperature control systems, a sorting table, cold soak facilities, pneumatic presses and a 30-ton VINIMATIC.

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logo graperoverThe Kir-Yianni wines tasted by GrapeRover:

 

2010 Kir-Yianni Petra, PGI Macedonia, 85 points.

PETRA 2012 FRONT (1)white grapeclip80% roditis, 20% malagousia.

vmlRegional: Divine shrimp boukies.  World: crustaceans, shellfish, charcuterie, rillettes, cream cheeses.

logo graperoverVery light yellow colored. Non viscous. Crispy appetizing aroma’s of fresh lemon, lime, green apple, and soft acetic acid. Inviting flavors of lemonpeel, green apple. Succulent and mouthwatering. Playfully light body. Juicy texture. Round, medium finish.

2010 Kir-Yianni  Tesseris Limnes, PGI Florina, 87 points.

Tesseris Limnes 2010 frontwhite grapeclip60% chardonnay, 40% gewurztraminer.

wine barrelchardonnay 50% 8 months oak, gewurztraminer 5% 8 months oak.

vmlRegional: Metsovone & shrimp stuffed Calamari. World: Oriental dishes, Bakalirou (deep fried cod), spicy chicken.

logo graperoverBright yellow/gold. Promising viscosity. Exotic fragrances of lychee, passion fruit, cedar, and rose petals. Mellow clean palate of mango, lychee, creamy butter, and vanilla. Medium to fullbodied. Round and rich texture. Long lasting finish. Excellent value.

2010 Kir-Yianni Akakies rose, PDO Amyndeon, 84 points.

Akakies_2011_front_EN (1)red grape clip100% xinomavro.

vmlRegional: Fried Octopus. World: Oriental dishes, roasted octopus, baby squid, spicy fowl.

logo graperoverBright pink. Little viscosity. Crisp and fresh aroma’s of strawberry, red currant, and fine acetic acid. Rich, succulent flavors of strawberry, raspberry, red currant, and invigorating acid. Light/medium bodied. Inviting juicy texture. Relishing aftertaste. Scrumptious!

2010 Kir-Yianni Paranga, PGI Macedonia, 83 points.

parangared grape clip50% merlot, 25% syrah, 25% xinomavro.

vml

Regional: Lamb Yiouvetsi. World: lamb souvlaki, moussaka, keftedes, stuffed peppers.

logo graperoverLight ruby. Light viscosity. Jammy aroma’s of dark fruits like blueberry and plum, spicy tones of clove and black pepper. Expressive fresh flavors of blackberry, plum and black cherries. Medium bodied. Round and fresh texture. Good lingering finish.

2008 Kir-Yianni Dyo Elies, PGI Imathia, 92 points.

DYO ELIES 2008 FRONT (1)red grape clip60% syrah, 30% merlot, 10% xinomavro.

wine barrel16 months French / American oak barriques.

vmlbekri meze (spicy pork), Yiouvetsi (classic lamb), game, hearty cheeses.

logo graperoverBright deep purple. Unctuous. Elegant aroma’s of blackberry, blueberry, black currant, black pepper, soft tones of mushroom and cedar. Ample flavors of dark, ripe fruit, enough oak and some distinctive black olive. The body is medium/full. Round and supple texture. Impressive finish.

2008 Kir-Yianni Ramnista, PDO Naoussa, 91 points.

Ramnista_2008_front_ENred grape clip100% xinomavro.

wine barrel16 months in French / American oak 225 / 500 lt. barrels.

vmlRegional: Kokoretsi. World: game, hearty stews, matured cheeses.

logo graperoverRadiant dark purple. Medium viscosity. Deep, rich aroma’s of blackberry, blueberry, plum, sandalwood and black olive. Vivid acids. Complex flavors of red currant, black currant and dried tomatoes. Balanced tannins and oak. Medium/full bodied. Appealing lively texture. This wine will go a long way!

2008 Kir-Yianni Estate red, PDO Naoussa,  87 points.

Kir-Yianni_Estate_09_label_enred grape clip40% xinomavro, 60% merlot.

wine barrel14 months French / American barriques.

vmlRegional: Rabbit stifado. World: saddle of lamb & hare, game, steak & kidney pie, prime red meats, matured cheeses.

logo graperoverDark ruby. Medium viscosity. Well balanced aroma’s of blueberry, prune, plum, hazelnut, vanilla, and oak. Appealing flavors like bueberry, prune, plum, vanilla, black olive, and attractive acidity. Phenolic. Medium/full bodied. Opulent, fleshy texture. Good to drink now, but patience will reward.

2008 Kir Yianni Diaporos, PGI Imathia, 91 points.

diaporos_2008_label_front_en (1)red grape clip87% xinomavro, 13% syrah.

wine barrel22 months French barriques.

vmlRegional: Macedonian sausages. World: roasted game, prime red meats, roasted lamb, strong cheeses.

logo graperoverDeep dark purple. Fat. In the nose rich bouquet of ripe, dark forest fruit, some cedar and cocao. Complex flavors of concentrated fine tannins, balanced dark fruit like blackberry and plum. Voluptuous and round texture. Pleasant long finish. Needs decanting. Will develop still.