Day one on the road in Greece we found ourselves making the 2 hour drive west of Thesssaloniki to Amyndeon. A region which is growing with renewed ambitions. At altitudes between 500 & 750 metres, it is the country’s coolest wine growing region: a sandy alluvial plain flanked by mountains and home to four lakes which help temper the climate. There are plenty of old vine Xinomavro vineyards in the area with some as old as 100 years, which means they are pre-phyloxera and planted during Turkish rule.
I visited Laurens Hartman & his wife wife Annette van Kampen at Domaine Karanika. Over the past 7 years they have cobbled together a patchwork of small vineyards and gone about farming organically (certified) with strong bio-dynamic principles (un-certified). The winery is small, designed by Lauren’s himself to operate using gravity at all stages of the winemaking process. He is a true minimalist, preferring not to fine or filter. His sulphur regime started at zero and has crept up to almost non existent over the past couple of years. The wines are all living wines and the quality is very good and getting better and better. I think this is an estate to watch closely, as their passion is matched by intellect and determination.
Read more about Laurens & Annette at www.karanika.com