Just imagine an action-packed wine safari in Northern Greece that takes you from seaside to mountaintop. During a recent wine adventure along the Wine Roads of Northern Greece we encountered not only great wines and food but also amazing hospitality.
Great beaches, vineyards and more
You will find that in Greece you are never far from a beach and the vineyards are even closer. While the reputation of Greek wines has varied throughout time today Greek wines are amongst the best wines in the world. In Northern Greece we tasted excellent wines, such as Assyrtiko (A seer’ tec ko), a white wine; Xinomavro (Ksee NOH mah vroh) a red wine; a new-style of Retsina; and international varieties. Great wines and food, with stunning scenery makes Northern Greece the perfect culinary escape.
Stops on the Wine Roads of Northern Greece
Now a few highlights from the stops we made along the wine roads.
1. Domaine Porto Carras
After arrival in Thessaloniki we drove onto Domaine Porto Carras, Sithonia Halkidiki. We toured the estate, had a wine tasting, followed by dinner at Domaine Porto Carras. This full service resort is perhaps one of the most beautiful Northern Greece wine estates.
1. Ktima Gerovassiliou
Next morning, it was onto Epanomi Thessaloniki to visit Ktima Gerovassiliou, a beautiful winery surrounded by vineyards. After a fabulous wine tasting we had an amazing morning snack/brunch.
Second stop was Tsantali for a Rapsani Safari Wine Adventure. We boarded 4X4 ‘s and headed into the Olympus Mountains vineyards. There in a vineyard, overlooking the nearby town, we did a wine tasting, with a most wonderful collection of cheeses. After the wine tasting we had a late lunch.
3. Boutari Winery
Following lunch we drove to the Boutari Winery, Stenimahos Naoussa. At Boutari we tasted a fabulous lineup of wines from three wineries (Elinos, Kitrvs and Boutari) before dinner.
1. Kir-Yianni Winery
After a restful night in Naoussa it was onto Kir-Yianni Winery, Giannakohori. The setting surrounding this winery is stunning. While at Kir-Yianni we joined a group of Austrian and Greek sommeliers for another excellent wine tasting. Lunch was on the patio, overlooking the vineyards.
2. Alpha Estate
Two hours later, we arrived at the Alpha Estate, Amynteon. Angelos Latridis, winemaker and co-proprietor took us on a tour of Alpha’s scenic vineyards, including a visit to a block of old vine Xinomavro. Our host took us through a very detailed wine tasting. Before leaving Alpha Estate we ate our second lunch.
3. Katogi Averoff
Next, we drove to Metsovo where we toured Katogi Averoff, a winery hotel, followed by a wine tasting before dinner. We spent the night at Katogi Averoff, a perfect mountain getaway.
1. Stelios Kechris Domaine
The day began with a drive to Stelios Kechris Domaine, Kalohori Thessaloniki where we tasted awarding winning, new style Restina. After an exciting wine tasting we ate lunch. It was indeed a special treat to taste Stelios Kechris Retsina.
2. Biblia Chora Estate
Next, it was onto Biblia Chora Estate, Kokkinohori Kavala. We toured the winery and did inviting wine tasting. Yes, we had wonderful cheeses to go along with the wine tasting. Even though it was getting dark we took a quick look at the experimental vineyard.
3. Wine Art Estate
From Biblia Chora Estate it was onto Mikrohori Drama where we toured the Wine Art Estate, did a wine tasting, and had dinner. A winery owner who loves to cook prepared an awesome dinner.
Later we checked into a Drama hotel.
1. Ktima Pavlidis
Next morning, we were off to Ktima Pavlidis winery, Kokkinogia Drama. We toured the winery, did a delightful wine tasting, followed by lunch.
Many independent travelers will find the above itinerary too intense. One recommendation would be to take more time, or visit fewer places. Those traveling with a tour company should ask to have to winery visits included in their itinerary. Our wine safari along the Wine Roads of Northern Greece was indeed an action-packed, seaside to mountaintop adventure. I invite you to join me in my travels in Greece and elsewhere at Spaswinefood, or visit my travel column at the Examiner.
© Sharon Parsons
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Note: This expense paid Press Trip was sponsored by #dwcc15 and #NorthGRTrip