I just returned from a trip to Northern Greece (strictly speaking Sterea Ellada), where I spent the Easter holiday with my family. We stayed at the Limni (lake) Plastira in the prefecture of Karditsa in the region of Thessaly. The landscape is stunning, snow capped mountain ranges dominate, while the trees were just breaking into full bloom. The artificial lake was constructed between 1956 and 1962, has a length of 14 km, a width of 4 km, a maximum depth of 60 metres, its perimeter exceeds 70 km. There were lots of activities available for my kids; bow shooting, horse riding and floating bikes on the sea were just some of the highlights. I spoiled myself with a breathtaking helicopter ride.
This area is also home to the Messenikola OPAP, one of the youngest quality wine appellations of Greece; this status was awarded in 1994. The vineyards are mainly located at altitudes between 250 and 600 metres, with gravely soils. Mavro Messenikola is a local red grape that typically yields somewhat light wines with blueberry aromas. The varietal composition of the OPAP calls for 70% Mavro Messenikola, the balance must be Carignan and Syrah. I tasted an exceptional blend of Mavro Messenikola and Syrah, the latter adding depth and structure. One estate to look out for is the Karamitrou Winery, which was established in 2000. Not only does Georgos Karamitros show talent with Mavro Messenikola and Syrah (single varietals and blend), he also produces a noteworthy Assyrtiko.