by Markus Stolz

true wine lover

byMarkus Stolz
July 19, 2010, 7 Comments

I find that true wine lovers often make an extra effort to expand their knowledge. One of the most rewarding ways doing so is to meet with winemakers and learn from them.

Michael Holzer, who had watched the Greek wine episode on Wine Library TV, contacted me towards the end of May. Michael is a physician who works at the University of Miami and travels a lot with his 5-year old daughter. I highly recommend you read about their adventures here:

This year’s summer trip was to be in South Africa for the football world cup; in addition, they had also planned to visit Greece for a few days. After having watched the Wine Library episode, Michael became so interested in the Xinomavro varietal that he actually changed his already fully planned schedule to make time to visit some of the producers I recommended to him.

I just received the following message from him that I would like to share (kind permission received):

I had a great time in Greece and the wine tasting was awesome….definitely a big fan of Xinamavro.  Went to Alpha Estate and spent a couple hours with Angelos Iatridis who took me around the winery. I was lucky because there was a big tasting the day before so I was able to taste their whole line including a few different years of their top wines.  Really enjoyed their flagship blend, as well as their top Xinamavro and a Tannat.

Also went to Dalamara and Kir Yianni, both I enjoyed.

The highlight though was the time I spent with Apostolos Thimiopoulos.  He took me around the hills of Naoussa, let my daughter play with his rabbits, served us good food, and tasted his incredible wine, including barrel tasting of the 2008 Uranos which was incredible….I was also able to get some of the 2007 off him as well….he was very impressed how I came all the way to Naoussa after watching the wine library episode…..Really is a great person, who makes some incredible wine.

Thanks again for all the info and introducing me to some great Greek wine….I brought back a bunch of bottles as well to drink over the years.

Thank you so much Michael, I am delighted that you had such a rewarding time. The pictures with the winemakers speak for themselves ;) And what great way to introduce your cute daughter to the world of wine!


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  1. Kostas KatsoulierisJuly 21, 2010, 8:05 am

    What a great story and a fantastically heartwarming blog too! Brings back memories of how on our drives to Greece by car from the UK, when I was a kid my dad would make a detour to go through parts of Burgundy (I still remember staying at a lovely chateau and then visiting Moulin A Vent for some wine tasting). Michael Holzer puts us winelovers who live here to shame by organising a wine tour as part of a whirlwind visit to Greece and South Africa. If I was EOT and/or the Wine Roads of Northern Greece I would jump on this story…

  2. elloinosJuly 21, 2010, 8:32 am

    Kosta, thank you so much for adding your voice – your description of your childhood memories fits right in. Good point with the EOT or the Wine Roads of Northern Greece!

  3. Michael HolzerJuly 30, 2010, 4:52 am

    Thanks for the kind words from those leaving the comments above and thanks again to Markus. I also used the Wine Roads of Northern Greece website which I thought was helpful and informative, but was missing some wineries (ie dalamaras, Thimiopoulos).

    I will be having some people over for some wine tasting at my house later next month and will be introducing people to Xinomavro to help “expand the palate” of my friends.

    Thanks again.

    I have also updated my daughters travel blog at to include the section on Naoussa.

    Michael Holzer

  4. elloinosJuly 30, 2010, 10:17 am

    Michael, thank you for keeping engaged! Great that the travel blog is updated, I urge everyone to take a look at it, super work. And of course I am very glad that you introduce other people to Xinomavro…

  5. Kostas KatsoulierisJuly 31, 2010, 12:13 am

    Michael, I think Dalamaras and Thimiopoulos are not part of the Wine Roads of Northern Greece organisation. A shame really . Your daughter’s blog is great as are the photos. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It is I who should thank you for coming to my country and not just “doing the ancient ruins” but seeing another and constantly improving side of Greece. Have a great Summer!

  6. michael HolzerNovember 19, 2010, 4:56 am

    Just a quick update. I have had 2 wine tastings at my house in which I served the 2007 Thimiopolous Uranos and it was definitely a crowd pleaser. Most were extremely impressed and loved the wine. I served it among many top Italian wines (Barolos, Amarones, and Brunellos) I actually just bought more(14 bottles) from over the past couple of months. I think this wine while drinks well now, will be INCREDIBLE in the years to come. I am looking forward to the 2008 which I barrel tasted, and plan to buy a lot. I am glad to say that I have successfully introduced many here in Miami to the grape Xinomavro, and an incredible producer in Thimiopolous. I hope that the passion for top greek wine continues to grow in the USA.

  7. elloinosNovember 19, 2010, 10:16 pm

    Michael, thanks so much for your update which has touched me deeply. It is so great that you continue to spread the word about Xinomavro and Thimiopoulos in particular. I am expecting the 08 in to be shipped to my warehouses in Germany any day now. I agree with you that this wine needs a lot of time to really show its potential, which is hard, as quantities available are limited and it already pleases the palate so much! Great to hear from you again, I hope our paths will cross in real life!