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Wines from Greece

With a Multitude of Wines

Greece, which is believed to be the birthplace of ancient civilization, is also one of the oldest wine regions of the globe.

With the winemaking history dating back to over 6,500 years ago, the country has more than 300 indigenous varieties and several international varieties within it.

As a wine lover, what I can find in this mountainous, Mediterranean country is the vast diversity of wine styles and flavours from north to south.

Thus, the country is providing a multitude of wines in a boundless spectrum of choices for all the wine lovers from across the world.

Wines
Vineyards
Wine grape varieties

In this article we will see in detail about the viticulture and viniculture in this ancient country…

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Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide…

Rise and fall of Viticulture in Greece

As I mentioned earlier, Greece is known to have one of the oldest viticulture histories in the world.

The archaeological evidence suggests that this is having the second oldest grape wine remains on the planet.

Not only this, this is also home to the earliest crushed grapes in the world. We can observe the importance of wine in Greek mythology as well.

The Greek’s God of Wine can be seen in legends from every nook and corner of the country.
It can be noted that during the ancient days, the wines were produced in Greece on household and communal basis.

Although the country had a rich viticulture connection, it saw a massive blow in the later part of the history. Well, the Greek viticulture did not flourish like Italian from the fourth century onward.

It is because of this reason that the country’s role in the modern wine industry is far less than it should be. It was only during the late part of the 20th century that the winemaking in Greece started to revitalize.

Modern Face of Greece’s Winemaking

The modern winemaking industry of Greece is found to be supported by advanced techniques and several quality-focused wine producers.

Thus, the modern face of the country’s winemaking is combining the tradition with the modern.

I would say viticulture is found in every nook and corner of the country, although the scale is differing from one place to another.

The preferred wine styles are also found to be differing considerably. Thus, the northwestern part of the country is favouring richer, tannic wines, while the southern part is favouring fresher, high acidic wines.

Wines of Greece

In the year 1971, an appellation system was launched in the country to mimic the world-famous French and Italian systems.

The wine appellation system in Greece is classifying the wines as follows:

  • Appellation of Origin of Superior Quality
  • Controlled Appellation of Origin
  • Vin de pays
  • Vin de table

Retsine

No mention of Greek wine would be complete without referring Retsina. This is a distinctive style of Greek wine with the flavours of pine resin.

Originally, this resinated wine style was found to have developed when the pine resin was utilized as a sealant in wine storage vessels. Today, this style is made by choice by adding pine resin during the wine fermentation process.

Major Wine Regions of Contemporary Greece

Following are the major wine regions of contemporary Greece:

  • Aegean Islands
  • Crete
  • Thessalia
  • Epirus
  • Ionian Islands
  • Macedonia
  • Peloponnese

Wine Grape Varieties of Greece

The major indigenous wine grape varieties of Greece are:

White Varieties

  • Assyrtiko
  • Athiri
  • Aidani
  • Lagorthi
  • Malagousia
  • Moschofilero
  • Robola
  • Roditis
  • Savatiano
  • Tsaoussi
  • White Muscat
  • Debina

Red Varieties

  • Agiorghitiko
  • Xinomavro
  • Mandilaria
  • Mavrodaphne
  • Limnio
  • Kotsifali

Apart from these, we can also find some international varieties here. The country’s first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards were planted in the year 1963.

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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