Visit Dalamara on a winter's day and you'll find the old guard inside, sitting around the fire. This is a family winery, established in 1840 and now run by Kostis Dalamaras, the fifth generation. Inside the atmospheric building, opposite the fire, is a beautiful old copper still (used to make the local spirit), and walls bedecked with antique farming equipment, photos, deeds and maps - a tangible link to the generations who have worked the land. Dalamara have always made great wine from some of the oldest, best vineyards in Naoussa. They know what they are doing.
The heart of Dalamara is the Paliokalias vineyard. It is six hectares of Xinomavro across a range of soils, with vines of variable age - some nearly 90 years old. It is certainly a special site, 240-300m up in the foothills of Mount Vermio. The wine it produces, probably the first single vineyard wine in Naoussa, is one of Greece's greatest reds. When Kostis took over in 2010, he began farming biodynamically and paying special attention to the different sections of the vineyard - the age of the vines, the aspect and the soil type. He knows every inch of this land.
Kostis makes wine the traditional way. He learned his craft in some some seriously high-end biodynamic domaines in France, and takes a simple, vineyard-first approach. The wines are made with minimal sulphur additions and aged in French oak, most of which is old to preserve the purity of the fruit. There is quite a range, but in addition to Paliokalias the most important are the plain 'Naoussa', which is a benchmark for the region, and the limited edition wines made in outstanding vintages only. One of these, the impossibly rare 'Vielles Vignes' comes from a tiny section of the Paliokalias vineyard containing the oldest, lowest-yielding, ungrafted wines. If you ever see a bottle, buy it. It is a genuinely world-class wine, and the ultimate proof that Dalamara is one of the greatest producers in Greece.
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