Markos is the third generation of a family of viticulturists and winemakers at Markovitis Winery, formerly Chateau Pegasus, and the first producer in Greece to practice organics. Based in Naoussa, a region in Macedonia in the north of Greece, near Thessaloniki, famous for making Nebbiolo-style wines that can be just as age-worthy. Naoussa was Greece's first appellation established in 1972. Marko's grandfather planted 24 hectares of the Xinomavro grape in 1970 in the foothills of Vermio mountain, in the north-western part of the zone, on gentle slope, between a forest of oaks. Xinomavro can seem austere in youth, with grippy tannins and high acid. This structure mellows with age, the wines acquire a fragrant lift and develop complex earthy notes, not unlike Pinot Noir. Markos’ Xinomavro is the only wine made on the estate, made with 100% de-stemmed fruit and aged in old barrels.
Markovitis Xinomavro 1997
A hugely complex and aromatic wine. Starting with a bouquet of ripe black fruit, hints of olives and tomatoes and bursting with terroir expressions of eucalyptus, wood, wet leaves and earth. The acidity has been beautifully preserved and the intense tannins have softened with age.
The grapes are handpicked and carefully de-stemmed. The juice is then gently processed through a gravity fed system to avoid overhandling. Primary and malolactic fermentation take place in stainless steel. The wine is then aged in tanks for 12 months, before being transferred to barrels for 24 months. This imparts very little wood effect allowing the fruit to speak for itself.
The Markovitis vineyards are in a mountainous area of north east Greece. Whilst this area is technically Mediterranean, the area experiences some continental influences such as cool nights and warm to hot days, which aids the high acid retention in grapes that already tend to have high acidity. The soils are clay. Markos’ philosophy of is to do as much work in the vineyard as possible, so he can have a light hand in the winery.
Certified organic, since 1992, celebrating the biodiversity in the surrounds with weeds thriving in between the rows of vines. Crop load is strictly reduced by careful pruning