Naoussa in Northern Greece the kingdom of Xinomavro

Naoussa in Northern Greece is the kingdom of Xinomavro. This grape, grown all over northern Greece, finds its best expression here, in the hills surrounding Naoussa city. Nestling in the shadow of Mount Vermio, the 400 hectares of vineyards are scattered in small plots on an area the size of the entire Saint Emilion and Haut Medoc combined. According to Stelios Boutaris, owner and winemaker at Kir-Yianni, one of the leading producers in the region, the Naoussa vineyards resemble the Burgundy plantings, vineyards, carefully selected to best suit Xinomavero , rather than the Bordeaux vineyards of big plots that carpet the landscape.

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Champagne in December 2019

Twilight Over The Montagne de Reims

Twilight Over The Montagne de Reims

Racing along the D3 route after a three and a half hour drive from Burgundy, I’m catching the sun setting far behind the Montagne de Reims. The big hill halfway between Epernay and Reims, famous for some of Champagne’s most prized vineyards. The sky is ablaze with red, pink, purple and blue. Outside the temperature is nearing zero and the forecast for the next three days is that it will to get colder still. Luckily for me, the sky stayed blue for most of that December week.

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A visit to Venetsanos-Santorini

I visited Venetsanos winery in May 2019, as a guest of the General Manager, Petros Vamvakousis.

Venetsanos has a very interesting story, as winery built by the Venetsanos brothers in 1947, it was, at the time a very innovative winery. Santorini back then had no electricity, so the idea of placing a winery high up on the cliffs above the port, was to vinify the wine then pipe it down to the port, using gravity, in order for it to be shipped to the mainland.

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Santorini 2019

Santorini is a stunning island. It is obviously different to most other Greek islands because of its huge caldera and the two, very photogenic islands in the middle of that caldera. Paleo Kameni and Nea Kameni (the burnt islands). As well as the sister island of Thirasia.

The cliffs facing the caldera are the real reason people flock here to see the villages clinging the volcanic rockface in a tapestry of white and blue that is uniquely beautiful. The houses are dug into the mountainside creating spaces and alleyways that are begging to be explored.

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