The vineyards of Zitsa and Metsovo

Metsovo vineyards

The terroirs hosting  the vineyards of Zitsa and Metsovo are among Greece’s most mountainous, in the northwestern region of Epirus. Zitsa, situated at 700 m above sea level on the western slopes of the Pindos range, has the highest annual rainfall level in the country (approximately 40in.)  Here, the local Debina white variety occupies about 1,250 acres, yielding dry and semi-sparkling wines. Debina vines are cordon-trained unilaterally with some goblet-pruned exceptions, and harvesting takes place in late September. A few dozen kilometers to the east are found the even more mountainous terroirs of Metsovo (900-1,000 m), which is where the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon started in Greece. The vineyards are mainly found on sunny, steeply inclined slopes whose soil is sandy loam with good drainage. The vines are entirely planted in linear fashion.