«Hey! There are horses in here! » You shouted joyfully, as we passed the yard’s door to the winery, «… and a dog and so many cats! So cute! »
We entered the yard and then a dark, long room with a fire place at its end and a really big table alongside. It took as some seconds to get use to the light conditions and then I noticed the shiny copper distillation pot on a red brick socle. Distillation pot in a winery means tsipouro – a colorless spirit made of grape marks that comes in two forms, with or without anise added. The place was cute and warm, reminding something of a museum with everyday life’s objects and tools of another era. Pictures were hanging on the wall and handmade carpets were covering the stone coaches by the fireplace.
The owner – a middle-aged with a bright – clean look, Mr. Yannis Dalamaras soon came and after the introduction, he started telling stories about grapes, wine and Naoussa –and was a really good and passionate story teller!
We stayed there for almost two hours talking about Xinomavro – the local dark skinned grape variety from which they produce the famous Naoussa wine, about wine production and trade and the problems that are facing in the crisis environment.
Naoussa has a long history in winemaking and winetrading. There are labels used in 19th century. The inscription says “Genuine Naoussa Wine” in three languages: Greek, Hebrew and the destination’s language. There are also contracts with strict freight terms in order to protect the wine’s reputation. Among the things that we’ve heard, a story to remember is how Naoussa got its name. The city was founded by Turks from Asia Minor and locals and they named it in favor of the Sultan’s mother, the New Augusta (new queen) Niagusta, Niausta (as is called by locals) and Naoussa (the official name).
We left the place richer by few bottles of red dry wine and a bottle of matured anise free tsipouro, called grappa by the locals.
Xinomavro is a grape variety that produces high quality wines, well known among the wine experts all over the world. Xinomavro wine matures in barrels and bottles for a sum of three years before reaches the market.
Dalamaras’ Xinomavro is Paliokalias, a rich, dark red wine full of aromas and tastes reminding red forest berries, oak, cinnamon.
Don’t miss the matured Dalamaras Grappa. It’s a result of a longtime process, during which the spirit passes from 17 different types of barrel and for different time interval.
You can visit the winery anytime you like but it’s better to make a call first. You can arrange a dinner or a meeting with friends. Food is delivered on place by local Naoussa restaurants or you can use the open air barbecue facilities, if you are good on handling fire and coal.
Special thanks to our host and guide, Liana Stylianou
info and trivia:
If you want to learn more about Xinomavro and winemaking history, visit Naoussa from September to November to attend “Wine and Culture” events.