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Vlachico is a variety that comes from the coldest parts of Northern Greece and strongly conveys the characteristics of its cold climate in the glass. It is a red grape variety, used to produce dry red wines, which are usually matured in barrel. Although it was traditionally blended with other varieties, producers and wine lovers are beginning to appreciate the qualities of wines exclusively made from Vlachico.
Vlachico gives wines with a bright, though never deep, ruby color, with strong and clear nose and mouth aromas, which refer to cool red forest fruits, sweet spices, but also green leaves. In the mouth, the alcohol is moderately low, rarely above 12.5%, the tannins are subtle and fine-grained, while the acidity is high. Vlachico is grown in Epirus, very close to the border with Albania, in areas with high altitude and low temperatures, limited hours of sunshine and regular rainfall, elements that intensify its characteristics.
For these reasons, Vlachico is often mixed with another variety of the region, Bekari, with a deeper color and higher alcohol and tannin content. However, some producers adopt state-of-the-art viticultural methods, creating amazing wines from Vlach. Vlachico is a variety for everyone who likes wine but is tired of greasy, heavy, personalityless and overly rich red wines. Vlach wines are refreshing, charming and tasty, which makes them an excellent choice for a warm summer evening, where they can be enjoyed chilled.
They effectively accompany cold dishes and charcuterie. Despite their light structure, Vlach wines can evolve and improve over time, staying in the cellar for four to seven years. The pre-eminent indigenous red grape variety of Epirus, cultivated since ancient times in the area of Zitsa at an altitude of over 600 meters and on sloping limestone soils. It strongly conveys the characteristics of the cold climate of the mountainous regions where it is produced, which are summarized in low temperatures, limited hours of sunshine and regular rainfall.
From Vlachiko and in combination with the white local grape variety Debina, the first winegrowers of the area made the traditional wine of Zitsa, a distinctive and extremely popular rosé semi-sparkling wine.