International Xinomavro Day Date in the current year: November 1, 2024

International Xinomavro Day Greece is one of the world’s oldest wine-producing regions, so it is not surprising that Greek winemakers are proud of the country’s native grape varieties, some of which have a very long history. International Xinomavro Day, observed annually on November 1, was created to celebrate the principal red grape variety of Northern Greece.

Xinomavro (literally translated from Greek as “sour black”) is a red wine grape variety grown in the geographic region of Macedonia in Greece, which should not be confused with the country of North Macedonia. It is primarily cultivated around Anyntaio, Goumenissa, Naousa, Siatista, Trikomo, Rapsani, and Velventos. As of 2008, Xinomavro was the most cultivated red wine grape variety in Northern Greece and the second most popular red wine grape variety in Greece.

For a long time, it was thought that Xinomavro was related to Pinot noir or Nebbiolo. However, recent genetic research has shown that Xinomavro is the result of a natural cross between Gouais blanc and an unknown grape variety.

Xinomavro is a very versatile grape variety that allows to produce different types and styles of wines depending on the growing conditions: reds, rosés or even whites (so-called blanc de noir wines produced from red grapes without skin contact), still or sparkling, dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet or sweet. Xinomavro wines generally age well due to their high tannin content and acidity.

Xinomavro can be used to produce varietal wines or blended with other grape varieties, most commonly with Merlot, Syrah, or Negoska (another red wine grape variety grown in Central Macedonia; a blend of Xinomavro and Negoska results in fruity wines with high alcohol levels). All wines that come from the Naousa PDO (protected designation of origin) are made with 100% Xinomavro grapes.

International Xinomavro Day was established in November 1 to spread international awareness of the dominant grape variety from Northern Greece and to raise the profile of the Greek wine industry on a global scale. The date of November 1 was chosen for several reasons. First, the beginning of November marks the end of the grape harvest in Greece. Second, it is meant to highlight that Xinomavro is the number one grape variety in Northern Greece. Third, the date is easy to remember.

To celebrate International Xinomavro Day, Greek vineyards and wineries, restaurants, wine bars, distributors, tourist agencies, and other stakeholder hold various events to promote Xinomavro and Greek wines in general. These events include vineyard tours, wine tastings, food and wine pairing classes, professional seminars for sommeliers and wine sellers, and more.

If there are no events near you, you can observe International Xinomavro Day by buying a bottle of Greek wine and sharing it with a friend, going out to an authentic Greek restaurant that serves wines from Greece, reading a book or watching a documentary about the history of wine-making in Greece, and spreading the word on social media using the hashtag #InternationalXinomavroDay.

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International Xinomavro Day, international observances, wine-related holiday, Greek wines, Greek wine industry