The aging of up to 1000 bottles of wine at the bottom of Arapitsa is being tried for the first time in Greece by Naoussa winemakers
To prove that the aging of wine in a river can ensure the special taste that wine lovers around the world are looking for, the winemakers of Naoussa are trying, sinking for the first time in Greece, up to 1000 bottles of xinomavro wine at the bottom of the Arapitsa river. Thus, it may have already been shown that the immersion of wines in the sea provides interesting organoleptic characteristics in wine, but is the same true of the running and gargling water of a river? This is exactly what the winemakers aspire to discover, who for the coming years, in addition to their cellars, will often visit the river Arapitsa, with the hope that every time they will discover their own treasure.
The immersion of wine bottles will take place on September 5, 2021, at the Sacrifice Site of the Naoussa Heroines, and the action is organized in the framework of the European program Interreg Europe Cult-Create for creative industries and creative tourism, in which the Municipality of the Heroic City of Naoussa participates with eight other partners.
At the same time, the immersion of the wines in the river is part of the Vintage Festival, which will take place from September 24 to October 3 this year (last year it was postponed due to covid-19) and the digital platform for interconnection and promotion of small and medium tourism enterprises. It is emphasized that the action is carried out in collaboration with the Association of Wine Producers of Naoussa, the Gastronomic Community of the area, the Hoteliers Association of Imathia, the Commercial Association and the Association of Food Service Establishments.
“The goal of the actions and events that we organize in the post-covid-19 era, is to put our city on the map of travelers looking for good wines around the world,” the mayor of the Heroic City of Naoussa, Nikolas Karanikolas, told AMNA agency. adding that “wine tourism is booming worldwide and our region can be a reference and meeting point for even the most demanding palates.”
In search of their own “treasure”
“History has shown us that wines that were found on shipwrecks in the Aegean and stayed for thousands of years in the water, not only did not lose their taste and “glamor”, but on the contrary their “disappearance” at the bottom, worked beneficially to turn them from special to… unique. We aspire for even better results with the immersion of our own wines in Arapitsa ” the president of the wine cooperative “Wines VAENI Naoussa”, and head of the wineries of Imthia, George Foundoulis noted speaking to AMNA.
He clarified that 600 to 1000 bottles of wine will be placed in iron pallets, and will be sunk at the bottom of Arapitsa which “has great depth and low temperatures”, and emphasized that the purpose is to keep them in this extreme environment for several years.
He reminded that the area of Naoussa has 22 wineries and about 4,500 acres are cultivated with vines, with the “number one” variety being Xinomavro, which is exported to more than 45 countries in the world. He revealed that the goal of Naoussa winemakers is to penetrate the markets of Brazil, India, Korea, and Japan and announced that the harvest in the region will begin in September, with the year foreshadowing a “satisfactory” vintage, as he characteristically said.
“In the last 15 days before the harvest, we want good temperatures in order to harvest our grapes properly,” said Mr. Foundoulis, ” and so we will not have any damage “.
Stressing, however, that the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, he said: “Every day we work to fortify our vineyards and we are constantly looking for new practices to stay alive in the years to come.”
Regarding the 16-month period of the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken worldwide to prevent the spread of covid-19, Mr. Foundoulis stressed that the wineries “have reached the brink”, noting that yes, government measures are moving towards the right direction, but it is required to decide on “crisis distillation” for 100% of the applications and to have a storage subsidy.
Subject to further support, he estimated that in 2022 winemakers’ sales will return to 2019 levels, year? which was one of the best of the last decade. “It is the wish of all of us in 2022 to talk about the bad parentheses of the years 2020 and 2021 in our area,” Mr. Foundoulis concluded.