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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 07 July 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 7 JULY 2018 13 FOOD FOR THOUGHT also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah, which have been long introduced and integrated into the area's vineyard. Together, the Xinomavro and Negoska varieties produce the PDO Goumenissa wine (which has to contain at least 20 per cent of Negoska vines). The presence of Negoska vines in the composition of PDO Goumenissa wines differentiates the latter from other wines using only Xinomavro vines, like the PDO Naoussa, Amideo and Rapsani wines. Xinomavro is one of the most interesting Greek red wine varieties. It is versatile, as it allows for the production of various kinds of excellent wines: sparkling, red, white blanc de noir and rose. Its vineyard is a demanding one: it requires attention and care to produce few, good-quality grapes with optimal (phenolic) maturation. The Xinomavro variety ages slowly; indeed, in the Goumenissa area it becomes mature between late September and early October. It is highly tannic (in other words, dry) wine and as such, it requires special treatment during the winemaking and wines, it comes through as fresh tomato and in older ones as sun-dried tomato. This scent is uncommonly found in other wines. The Xinomavro variety gives rise to wines able to last over time and constantly evolve. The variety can be compared to the dynamic Cabernet Sauvignon wines of France, The most commonly cultivated vine varieties are the local Xinomavro and Negoska, Roditis, Assyrtiko, Malagouzia and Limnio the ageing processes for its tannic nature to be tamed. In addition to red fruits, its aroma is characterised by a distinct tomato scent; in newer the Baga wine of Portugal and the Nebbiolo wine of Italy, while it maintains its special characteristics. Negoska is a Greek red wine variety, most often cultivated in Goumenissa, which often 'complements' Xinomavro vines. It has rich colour, high sugar content, soft tannins and medium acidity, and it produces red fruit aromas. Initially it was considered to be identical to the Xinomavro variety, but it is not. The 'marrying' of Xinomavro and Negoska varieties is best accomplished in oak barrels which add spice, liquorice and fresh smoke aromas to the wines' scents. The result is the PDO Goumenissa wine, a dynamic wine with intense complexity and rich body, able to withstand the test of time. The five wineries in the area of Goumenissa produce six PDO Goumenissa wine labels. The cultivation of vineyards in the area of Goumenissa takes place in hills with gentle slopes in the east hillsides of Mount Paiko, whose altitude ranges between 150 and 250 metres. Being adjacent to the River Axios valley, the vineyards benefit from summer breezes and etesian winds which reduce the effects of moderate summer heat waves, the vardaris wind that blows all year round and keeps diseases away, the neutral (in terms of alkaline reaction) land of the area and the presence of the residents whose cultivation practices, traditions and personality are fused into the wines of the area. Nowadays, apart from the wines, Goumenissa is also known for its brass bands which, with their music, can transport you to the Balkans. According to a local legend, when the French allies, who were in Goumenissa during the First World War left the region, they buried their bronze instruments in a field. Some farmers discovered them quite randomly a few years later, and so, around 1920, they began to play them. The folk players of brass are selftaught and the knowledge of their art passes from generation to generation. Today, the wines of Goumenissa have taken over the Greek and international markets, despite the fact that the international wineloving audience encounters difficulties with the pronunciation of the names of the varieties and sometimes even of the wineries. This makes me proud of my town and its people who - with their will, dedication and effort and with the help of the wine - have managed to make Goumenissa famous across the world. * Olga Iakovidou BSc, MS, DEA, PhD is a professor at the Department of Agricultural Economics of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
30 June 2018
14 July 2018