Xinomavro vs. Barolo and Barbaresco Masterclass

On October 20th, right before the 50 GGW Awards Ceremony, more than 40 guests gathered for a unique masterclass titled “Xinomavro vs. Barolo and Barbaresco”, hosted by Yiannis Karakasis MW and Poland’s first Master of Wine and 50 GGW judge, Wojciech Bońkowski.

Yiannis Karakasis MW and Wojciech Bońkowski MW

The masterclass artfully united the worlds of Xinomavro, hailing from the Amyndeo and Naoussa regions of Greece, with the Italian wine giants, Barolo and Barbaresco. Each of these wines brought a rich history and distinctive character to the table, creating an enthralling opportunity for attendees to delve into fruitful discussions, comparison and contrast.

The inclusion of Xinomavro wines were not only from this year’s 50 Great Greek Wines (GGW) list but also from previous editions. This selection offered attendees a comprehensive view of the Xinomavro varietal’s evolution and prowess, showcasing the consistent quality that has garnered international acclaim.

Wojciech Bońkowski MW stated: “The masterclass emphasized the obvious similarities between Nebbiolo and Xinomavro: wines often displaying a light ruby but prominent tannic structure, fresh acidity, a clear sense of place and ageing potential. There were also differences offering food for thought: for Xinomavro, the current trend is clearly for lighter wines, with softer extraction, often no oak at all, and “natural” winemaking. In Barolo and Barbaresco, the legislative framework requires wood ageing resulting in more evolutive wines, while lighter styles are declassified into Langhe Nebbiolo. Thirdly, the general level of the Greek wines was very high, easily competing with blasonated Piedmont brands such as Gaja or Scavino, with the notable caveat of tannins management, where Italian wines still seemed to have an edge of experience and stylistic maturity.”

The lineup of wines featured in the masterclass was as follows:

Luigi Baudana, Serralunga Barolo 2019

Elio Altare, Barolo 2019 

Gaja, Barbaresco 2020 

Sandrone, Le Vigne Barolo 2018 

Paolo Scavino, Barolo 2018

Oenops Wines Xinomavraw, Macedonia

Alpha Estate Ecosystem Xinomavro Reserve Vieilles Vignes Single Block ”Barba Yannis”, Amyndeo

Ktima Diamantakos Naoussa 2017, Naoussa

Markovitis Winery, Naoussa 2019, Xinomavro, Macedonia

Kir Yianni, ”Ramnista” 2017, Xinomavro, Naoussa