Kyr-Yianni is situated in the area of Ramnista in Giannakohori. The Property’s vineyard extends to a total of 500 acres of land and during the Turkish domination it was part of a big estate. The vineyard is situated 280-330 metres above sea level and the varieties which are cultivated are xinomavro (70%), syrah (10%), merlot (10%) and various experimental varieties. In the centre of the vineyard, an artificial lake used for water storage in the past, has nowadays been developed into a wildlife sanctuary. The Property’s winery is found in the middle of the vineyard and is open to visitors.
Upon arrival, visitors are directed to the presentation hall where the history of the property is presented through old photographs and the prizes of the award-winning wines. The visit continues to the production areas of the winery and the cellar, where wines are aged. A wine tasting takes place next at the specially arranged area of the wine-vault.
If the weather conditions are favourable, visitors can visit Koula. Koula is a three-storey building, which along with the perennial oak near it compose the Property’s landmark. Koula and the surrounding area will soon be ready to welcome visitors with a display of historic photographs of the area.
Ktima Kyr-Yianni literally means `Master Yianni`s Farm` in Greek. Purchased and developed by the Boutari family in the 1960`s, these fifty hectares of vineyards used to be part of a large farm, that was left unmanaged since World War I. At the time the decision to invest in viticulture was a major shift in the production philosophy of Boutari.
Being traditionally a house of negociants the company thus introduced the concept of the single vineyard approach to premium winemaking in Greece. For almost two decades thereafter the core blend of the classic Boutari Grande Reserve used to be derived primarily from this vineyard.
In fact, the establishment of the estate, whose acreage is exceptionally large for Greek standards, brought about dramatic changes not only within the Boutari company, but also among the people of the entire area of Naoussa. Seven hundred more hectares of vineyards were soon planted by other growers with the scientific, moral and financial support of both government agencies and the Boutari company. As a result, the reputation of the once famous wine country of Naoussa was revived and its status as a prominent European region of V.Q.P.R.D. wines was subsequently acclaimed by the mid 1970`s.
Under the leadership of Yiannis Boutaris the spirit of innovation and ceaseless experimentation persisted as the priority of the vineyard management throughout the 1980`s. Several different Greek and international varieties were planted in addition to the indigenous Xinomavro (or `Naoussa Noir), which is still the most widely planted variety in Naoussa. The French varietals Merlot and Syrah were selected among many others both for their successful physiological adaptation, as well as for their contribution to the typical wine character of Xinomavro. The series of trials conducted by viticulture and enology specialists over the last thirty years have ultimately led to optimal cultural practices and superior wine quality. Integrated Pest Management and sustainable farming are strictly observed and have proven to be exceptionally cost effective and environmentally sound.
During the mid 1990`s Boutari Group greatly expanded to become a market leader in the Greek drink industry, while the estate itself was coming of are. The construction of a winery on site was thus necessitated mark for high quality. Production and sales today are both independent from Boutari Group and the wines are marketed under the brand name of `Ktima Kyr-Yianni`. From berry to bottle through fermentation and oak aging the estate wines are thus solely made on the premises.
The vineyards have an overall southeast exposure at an altitude of 280 - 330 m. However, the estate is devided in thirty distinct parcels of different micro-climate, which is a function of varying orientation, inclination and soil type. Silt, loam and clay are found in equal proportion. Rainfall is abundant during the winter months but summers are so dry that minimal drip irrigation is applied to prevent heat damage. The density of the vines ranges from 3.500 to 4.000 per hectare and the average crop yield is maintained below 2,5 kg per vine. The variental composition is as follows: 70% Xinomavro, 15% Merlot, 15% Syrah. A parcel of 1 ha is planted with various local Greek varieties for experimental reasons.
The winery is a small-scale, but fully equipped facility to perform standard processing for premium wines. Stainless steel fermentors (120 and 180 HL) and tanks (50 and 60 HL) are operated under temperature control to receive annually a total of 350 tons of grapes. All wines undergo malolactic fermentation in the cellar without inoculation. Over 400 oak barrels (225 and 500 L) are used for the maturing and aging of wines, which lasts for a minimum of 12 months. They are mostly made from Limousin wood and are fully replaced every four years. The wines are minimally filtered, bottled and stored for another 12 months in a temperature controlled warehouse before being shipped.
The winery overlooks a pond with a surface of about 5 ha that was artificially created for irrigation purposes thirty years ago. This little wetland in the centre of the estate has become by now a habital for a variety of fauna and flora that enrich life in the estate. A building for the production distilled beverages and of aged balsamic vinegar is cyrrently under construction.
Further down `Koula` appears; this is a watchtower, built during the Ottoman times by the local landlord to protect his property from bandits. It is an architectural monument that was recently restored and stands proudly next to the arcane oak tree beside it. They are both characterised by a state decree as a preserved monument and the two together form the emblem of the estate.