The Kir Yianni winery presentation
A family going back to its roots
Kir Yianni's founder is Yiannis Boutaris. Taking up the family tradition as a fourth-generation winemaker he has been a prominent figure of Greek wine since the mid 1960's. In 1970 he planted 40 hectares of red grapes on the eastern foothills of Mt. Vermion in Northwestern Greece and 20 hectares of white grapes on its western highlands in 1985. In 1997 he bottled his first wines under the "Kir'Yianni Estate" label after having established two modern wineries at the idyllic setting of these vineyards. Most major international grape varieties are grown together with the best of the Greek indigenous varieties to produce a premium portfolio of dry white and red wines. The recently restored ancient tower overlooking the main wine cellar is the hallmark of Kir-Yianni Estate.
The Estate in Naoussa, one of Greece's leading AOC regions, is located in Yianakohori, at the highest point of the viticultural region. The 50 hectare Estate was bought by the Boutari family in the late 1960s. By the creation of the Yianakohori vineyard, Yiannis Boutaris, spearheaded the revival of the prized Naoussa Appellation and paved the way for the production of "terroir" wines, which revolutionised the scene in Greek winemaking in recent years. In the early 1970s, the Estate was planted solely with Xinomavro, the indigenous variety of North-Western Macedonia, in double vertical shoot positioning vineyards, a technique used for the very first time then in Naoussa. During the period 1985-1990 Merlot and Syrah were planted, in selected vineyard parcels, adjusting perfectly to the microclimate, and giving great results alone or mixed with Xinomavro. In the years 2004 - 2006, 15 hectares of vineyards were re-planted with Xinomavro and other Greek and international varieties, focusing on the the right vineyard sites and appropriate Xinomavro clones, under the supervision of Dr. Haroula Spinthiropoulou, a pioneering Greek agronomist and viticulture specialist. The Amyndeon Vineyards are located at the winemaking village of Aghios Panteleimon at the shore of lake Vegoritis, defined by the Kaimaktsalan and Vitsi mountains. Thanks to the endless energy and efforts of the Yiannis Boutaris, Amyndeon, once a neglected wine region, is today recognised as one of the most promising AOC zones of Greece. The region is characterised by a unique microclimate, due to the high altitude and the four neighbouring lakes.
Selection is the keyword: Each part of the vineyards at Kir-Yianni estate is harvested separately, based on phenolic ripeness. The grapes are then brought to the sorting table, where only the best end up in our fermentation vats. Second-rated input is processed separately and sold in bulk. A similar selection process takes place during wine-making and ageing, in order to ensure that only the best is bottled. Kir-Yianni is in constant experimentation regarding the quality and type of oak (origin, capacity, burning, size of pores) used in the barrels. The main aim is always the creation of wines of a special character: Rich but refined aroma, acidity to provide body and ageing potential, perfect balance in the mouth and ease of combination with various dishes constitute the distinct style of Kir-Yianni wines, which makes them truly appealing for the modern consumer.
"Good wines are made in the winery and great wines are made in the vineyard" says Stellios Boutaris; He believes that during the next five years,
Kir-Yianni will reach its true potential, through the use of the grapes from its new vineyards, and the know-how acquired during many years of research on the vine and the wine (Naoussa is the only Greek wine area where an extensive clonal selection programme has been performed). "Our vision is to upkeep the potential of the Greek vineyard in general, and the Macedonian vineyard in particular, and to establish ourselves in the international map of wine-making. Our principle in Kir-Yianni is that innovation builds tradition! Emphasis on indigenous grape varieties, modern wine-making methods, a professional approach and consumer-friendly wines, are the foundations to build and reach our goals" says Stellios Boutaris.
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