Where should one begin with the litany of difficulties that beset the culture of this grape? Xinomavro's greatest disadvantage is its rapid lignification. Once the grapes have achieved sufficient sugars, the stems can already be snapped! This adds to the potentially towering tannins that Xinomavro possesses. This is further compounded by its grapes possessing 3-4 seeds per berry rather than the usual 1-2. Thankfully its skins are thin and weak. Whilst vigorous, particularly when water is overly abundant due to all-too-frequent irrigation in much of Naoussa, it is a slow ripener. This is not aided by fertile soils or inappropriate irrigation that can both lead to overly high yields and subsequent unripe tannins and vegetal aromas and flavours. In terms of its raw material, Xinomavro is an ancient variety with numerous clones. 3 of these produce small berries on small bunches that, if well handled, can create relatively fine-grained tannins, delicate aromas and bright pigmentation. These better clones are nowadays the basis of the best wines, whilst the other clones are often employed for increasingly attractive rosé wines.
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