History of Greek Wine

- The drink of the gods -

Wine History

brief history of Wine

In the depths of prehistoric times the traces of the vine are lost. Winegrowing known since prehistoric times began in Asia. In Greece, according to mythology, Bacchus brought it from India. From Greece the cultivation of the vine was extended to the rest of Europe, initially in Sicily and on the coasts of southern Italy by Greek settlers, and then in Spain and the southern France, where the national beverage was the beer of barley, and Roman conquerors in northern France, Germany, Hungary, Britain and elsewhere.

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History of Greek Wine

There are many remains of wild vines found in various parts of the country (Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, Evia, Peloponnese), some dating back to the Neolithic Age. The cultivation of the domesticated vine begins in Greece, in several areas from the 4th millennium BC.

In Early Historic Times we have the development of Greek colonies on the coast of Asia Minor. From the descriptions of Homer, who lived in the 8th century B.C, in the northern Aegean, for many centuries, large quantities of wine were traded between Lemnos, Thrace and Troy, such as Ikaria’s Pramnios and Ismaric (or Maronite) of Maroneia in Thrace. Since the birth of the institution of the city-state, around the middle of the 8th century. BC, the Greeks created new colonies in the Black Sea and the Western Mediterranean, expressing the need for exploration and finding new places to dispose of their goods. This is the first time that vineyards will come across the coasts of the western Mediterranean.

During the 7th c. BC, the cultivation of the vine is now widespread in Greece. Similarly, old and new winemaking techniques have been introduced, such as grape harvesting and the addition of various plants, herbs, honey, and resin, to preserve or flavor the wine. At the same time, the worship of the god Dionysus spreads and develops, through the Dionysian feasts, theater, tragedy and dramatic poetry. Major vine centers of the time are Attica, Thassos, Naxos and Rhodes. During the period (700-480 BC), the use of amphorae for the safe transport of wines to sea trips is spreading the trade of Greek wines from the Aegean islands and the continental coasts not only helps in the development of exports but also in the spreading of Greek culture, Greek language and religion.

 

The Classical period is characterized by the “Golden Age” of Pericles in Athens (5th BC), a period identified with perfection and the birth of democracy and philosophy, the erection of the Parthenon, the era of great philosophers and the great classical writers.

A key feature of the Classical wine period is the foundation of the modern wine culture and legislation, as it was today expressed by the designations of origin, the protection of wine production.

At that time, wine played a leading role and contributes to Greek philosophy as we know it through the works of Socrates, Plato and many other philosophers.

Famous wines of the Classical Period were Ariosios of Chios, Lesvos, Mendaios of Chalkidiki, Peparathios, Samios and Thassios (which is the first PDO in the world).

Hellenistic period is the most glorious era time for Greece and Greek wines. Through the campaign of Alexander the Great, Greek culture extends to Egypt and India, transferring Greek vines to the depths of Asia. The Macedonian ships transported wine from the Greek islands of the southern Aegean, such as Rhodes, Kos, Cyprus, but also from the coasts of Asia Minor, to the ports that the army came to.

At the same time, on the island of Lesbos we have the lyrics by the philosopher Theophrastos, which is considered to be the first wine book. During the Hellenistic period and for the following centuries, these areas became the major production and commercial centers of the Mediterranean wine. Egypt’s Alexandria, with remarkable wine production, had a prominent position.

 

From the middle of the 2nd century B.C, all of Greece is under the control of the Romans, who enrich their culture by adopting many Greek elements, thus shaping the Greco-Roman civilization. These elements also identify the roots of Roman wines, through Greek viticulture and winemaking techniques, some of which the Romans already knew from the Greek colonies of southern Italy and Sicily. Traditions of Greek banquets will be a welfare rule for wealthy Romans.

Detailed references to Greek wines made many great Roman poets and writers of the time, evoking them through their works. Among them, Horatios called “Homerus vinosus” Homer, Virgilus, who commemorates the Greek vine varieties, writing that it is harder to measure than “Grain of sand” and Pliny, who describes the Greek wines in details. Also, the two great Greek doctors, Dioskouridis and Galenos, following the footsteps of the great Hippocrates, inform us about the healing qualities of wine, the Greek wines of that time and their quality.

Findings of Cretan amphorae have been found in excavations in Pompeii and Ostia, Italy, Lyon, France and Switzerland.

In 330, the capital of the Roman Empire was transferred to Byzantium and renamed to Constantinople, by its founder emperor Constantine. Christianity spreads throughout the Empire, and Saint Tryphon will later become the patron saint of the viticulturists. During the millennium that the Byzantine Empire spread, a great civilization developed, that maintained the great tradition of viticulture and wine production of ancient Greek culture. Throughout this period winemaking practices have evolved and Greek wine has continued to play an important commercial and social role.

Christianity will play an important role in the historical continuation of Greek wine, through the winemaking activity of the monasteries of Mount Athos, the use of the sweet wines of the Greek islands in the communion and the use of the vine as a basic element of Byzantine art. On the other hand, hostile raids on the mainland and piracy on the islands will disturb wine-growing periodically.

During Venetian rule, the Aegean and Ionian Islands, Crete and for a while the Peloponnese, were under the Venetian rule. For centuries, Europeans had a great deal of appreciation for Greek wines, for their quality and durability for long sea voyages. That is why the Franks and the Venetians have begun to transport more and more wines from Crete, the Cyclades and Monemvasia. The exports boom of Greek wines during the Venetian domination finally ends with the absolute domination of the Turks of mainland Greece and the islands.

Ottoman Turks, for religious reasons, did not want to exploit the Greek vineyards. The inhabitants of the wine-growing regions were left free to produce their wine, as was the case for vine cultivation for thousands of years. The Muslim religion prohibited the consumption of wine and the cultivation of vineyards for wine production, but Turks allowed the collection of taxes from any similar activity by the Greek Christians. There were many areas in the Ottoman Empire, whose inhabitants continued cultivating, but had the obligation to allocate the quantities of wine produced to the local rulers. In a number of cases, residents of areas refusing to pay the tribute tax then abandoned vineyards or destroyed them.

The monasteries helped in many areas to preserve a large part of the native varieties and wine production of Greece, through the large vineyards and the first organized wineries that they owned. The most important ones were the monasteries of Mount Athos and Meteora.

Important wine-producing centers of that time were Naoussa, Nemea, Rapsani, Siatista, Tyrnavos, the Aegean Islands, the Ionian Sea and Crete.

In the early years of the independent Greek state, the efforts of viticulture and wine production began again, where the first Greek oenologists appeared. However, efforts have not been able to produce the desired results, as the struggles for the liberation of Greece lasted for another century. However, the commercial and export activities of the Santorini wine continued normally. Greece continues to expand its borders, attaching the islands of the Ionian Sea and Thessaly, reaching about half its current size. At the same time, the first Greek oenologists return after studying in France, building the basis of the oenological scientific potential of the country.

The major cooperative wineries of Crete, Rhodes, Samos, Nemea, Patras, Naoussa, Santorini, Tyrnavos and other areas, as well as the large private wineries of Boutari and Tsantali in Macedonia and Kourtaki in Attica, through their modern equipment, helped in adoption of the grape production and in the bottling of commercial quality wines.

In 1971, the Wine Institute undertook a very important research project under the guidance of Stavroula Kourakou, to highlight the timeless wealth of Greek vineyards and modern Greek wine. This work has given several historical Greek vineyards the legislative recognition and protection, as well as the right to indicate their name on the labels of their wines. After several years, while Greece became a full member of the European Union, local wines are also recognized.

Winemakers, oenologists studying mainly in France and other European countries, as well as graduates of Greek universities specializing in Viticulture and Oenology, offer a new dynamic in the production and utilization of the unique Greek varieties through the use of modern technology and winemaking methods.

This period is the starting point for the discovery of Greek wines by Greeks and foreigners from all over the world, while the distinctions for Greek wines are no longer only local but also global.

In modern times, Greek winemakers and oenologists, through well-equipped and state-of-the-art wineries, utilize the products of Greek vineyards, highlighting the native varieties of the country. Thus, wine-lovers from all over the world can enjoy the exceptional Greek wines and travel to historic vineyards, which for thousands of years produced some of the most famous wines of world wine history.

wine in ancient Greece

Ancient Greeks considered wine to be an integral part of their lives, so they worship Dionysus, the god of wine, the feast, and the theater. We will see him in several illustrations in a multitude of vases to hold in one hand a bunch of grapes and in the other a mug of wine, while in the state of ecstasy, Satyrs dance, Silesians and Maenads.

At the banquets the wine was plentiful, facilitating communication between the co-workers and creating an atmosphere conducive to the development of philosophical discussions. The water with which they diluted the wine delayed the drunkenness, ensuring the sobriety of mood and the vigor of the spirit throughout the symposium, which held many hours, many times and days.

The first inhabitants of Greece did not know the art of winemaking. There are indications of the consumption of wine imported from Asia Minor, Babylonia, and Egypt. For the introduction of wine from Asia and Egypt, initially, and later wine and wine production in Greece, the archaeological finds, the references to ancient texts, the household utensils, the storage and the transfer of wine, and the performances in amphorae, wine jars and vases.

The enormous economic importance of wine has resulted in its legislative protection. In ancient Greece, for the first time, the concept of the Origins of Wine was devised. Thus, we see in texts that Xios wine, Lesvian wine, Thiasian wine, Pramenios wine (from Ikaria) are mentioned. In the shipwrecks discovered in the Mediterranean Sea, but also in the Black Sea to the Indies, amphorae from Chios, Thassos, Samos, Rhodes were found, the findings from the great wine trade coming from Greece. Each city-state, even had its own amphora shape for its wine, with a special stamp that testified to the region that produced it. The shape of the amphorae was such that it allowed them to wedge and enter rows within the ships’ holds so as to ensure safe transport of wine to the greatest possible quantity.

In closing the period of Greek antiquity, we could say that wine played many roles: it replaced the sacrifices of animals and people (“God is the wine, and the gods are offered a drink to secure the goods to the people”, Euripides) (“a blessed one who sees joy full of the sweet and tender fruit of the grape that casts sorrow from the wretched and oblivious of the bitterness of the day”, again Euripides), was the favorite breakfast, a bread or a damp nut in unlimited wine, wine that has not been diluted to keep all its nutrients (a habit that has been maintained for centuries until the end of the 20th century in rural societies) and finally, in the symposia, diluted with water one to three, helped in the entertainment and development of philosophical discussions.

City names such as Oinoi, Oinos, Oinopias (Aegina), Oinousi and Oinofyta bear witness to the widespread cultivation of the vine and the vinification in Greece. Vine seeds from the Bronze Age were found in the caves of Tiryns and Orchomenos, fossilized leaves and vine seeds in the Southern Europe, leaves and vine seeds in Egyptian tombs of the 6th millennium BC. The earliest existence of wine in Greece of the Bronze Age is evidenced by the results of the analysis of the jar (Pithos) findings that the excavations in Myrtos, an Early Minoan settlement of the 3rd millennium BC, on the south coast of Crete have brought to light. From the tests of organic residues recovered from the fragments of pith walls (remains of pressed grapes, giraffes, bark, shoots) found in Mirtos, there was confirmed the existence of a grape product with a clear indication of resin addition, after diterpenoid resin acids were detected. The scientific analyzes of a three-way potter of the 1900-1700 BC era, found in Myrtos, reveal a wine with resin stored in a smoked oak barrel or with the addition of smoked oak pieces into the barrel, as shown by the oak lactones that have been detected. The distinctive taste that such an addition adds to wine is similar to today’s Scotch whiskey.

In conical cups of the same era found in the Aphodoulou settlement in the Amari Valley in Crete, the analyzes showed that they contained wine flavored with resin. In triple-pots from the same settlement, phosphoric acid, a compound found in brewing bins before 3000 BC.

The analysis of the finds in pots (tripods, culinary basins, culinary amphorae, conical cups, rhythms) from Crete, Mycenae, and Mainland Greece and Cyprus, in 1600-1100 BC. provide indications for the presence of herbs in wine and wine with resin as; but also lead to the possibility of a mixed fermented beverage consisting of wine, barley beer, and honey, but also honey, tartaric acid, oil, beeswax (considering that oil and wax were used for wine preservation and sealing of containers). But these findings may also be interpreted by the successive use of vases for wine, barley beer, and watermelon.

WINNING IN ANCIENT GREECE

The cultivation of the vineyards and the production of wine in Greece began in the 15th century BC. The Ancient ones mentioned the wines of Maroneia in Thrace, Lesvos, Thassos, Kos, Paros, Chios, Ikaria.

The ancient Greeks did not distinguish the wine only as old and new, but also as white, black and red, sweet and dry, thin and thick, fragrant and not fragrant, but also weak, medium and strong. Wines were made not only from grapes, but also from raisins (dried grapes), and other products such as figs, pomegranates, apples, apidies, quinces, palm trees. They also consumed flavored wines with the addition of resin, tar, rocks, but also mixed with salt or sea water as well as mixed with lump flour and grated cheese.

The ancient Greeks also introduced the term “bouquet” which refers to the preferred vivid odor of older wines.

Storage of Wine

For the storage, transportation, drinking of wine the ancient Greeks used:

Amphora (a vase with an oval body with a vertical grip on both sides) made of clay, bronze, bronze, silver, even gold, but also wooden, glass, marble, stone. The small amphora could also be hung on a wall.

Crater (vase)  The crater was the large vase, in which water and wine were mixed, and the word came from the cerannium, which means mixing. It was served to mix the wine with water during rituals and banquets.

Kylix (Cylinder) was a kind of cup in ancient Greece, which they  used mainly to drink wine. The cups were wide and shallow with two handles placed diametrically on their rim. Their bottom was almost flat and was the main surface for paintings.

Kantharos  Kantharos is a kind of ancient Greek vase with a cup shaped body with a vertical grip on both sides, connected to the rim of the vase and with a high curved handle at the top.

Skyphos (Kotyli) It served as a glass from Homeric times. Α kind of wide (“wide-bodied”) glass with two handlest was one of the most popular cups in ancient Greece.

Kiathos The pot was quite handy, Ancient Athenians said it was the necessary utensil both in the houses of the rich and in the huts of the poor.

Oinohon It was a vase used to transport wine from the crater to glasses.

Stamno: Clay vase for wine deposition.

Fialy (Bottle): Mostly clay pots of various shapes, bearing inscriptions and decorations.

Hydria a vase of ancient Greek ceramic with an oval body, a distinct neck and a round mouth. The decorative scene is depicted on the body and often on the shoulder, while the height dimension varies from 40-50 cm.

Wine Trade

The trade of Greek wines spread throughout the Mediterranean to the Iberian peninsula and the Black Sea, and was one of the most important economic activities of Ancient Greeks. In many cities there were special laws to ensure the quality of wine, but also to protect it against foreign competition and imports. A typical example was the legislation of Thassos, according to which ships with foreign wine that were approaching the island were confiscated! Amphoras, which were used for wine storage and transport, were found with special seals indicating the origin and year of production of the wine they contained. Many elements of the complex European Community legislation concerning the production and presentation of wines have similarities to those in ancient Greece.
Various sources have saved the names of the wine-producing regions and the wines they produced. Originally, the most famous wines – internationally – were those of the northern Aegean: Limnos, Thassos, Lesvos, Chios, Ikaria, Samos. Later after the classic era, the wines of Rhodes, Kos and the other Dodecanese, Thira, Naxos, Crete, Cyprus were also well known.

Ancient Greeks also established colonies in the Mediterranean, introducing wine and wine production in southern Italy, Sicily and France, thus creating the foundations of wine production in Western Europe.

Greek Wine God

The Greeks developed a special relationship with wine, which accompanied all manifestations of human behavior. They even considered the wine a gift of a goddess and created the god of wine, Dionysus, appreciating the fact that he helped them depending on the occasion to honor their gods and their dead, but to forget the sufferings of life, to create a pleasant atmosphere and philosophize.

Dionysus son of Zeus, belongs to the minor but important deities of the ancient Greek pantheon, since his worship influenced significantly the religious activities of the Hellenic territory. Though he is not an Olympian god, already in the 6th century BC is represented with the Olympians, although it appears relatively distant.

He is also known as Bacchus , the name adopted by the Romans.

Dionysus as a mythological entity “is neither a child nor a man, but an eternal teenager. In this form, it represents “the spirit of energy and the transforming power of the game.

Dionysus is also linked to fertility through the fulfilled love and the epigram of Anakreon to the god begins with the words “O Lord, your companions in the game is the mighty Eros, the Black-eyed Nymphs and Aphrodite!”

Information we receive from Linear B leads us to the hypothesis that Dionysus as an ancient deity was already known in the 12th century BC. His worship is related to celebrations of vegetation, sacred madness caused by drinking wine and fertility.

In early Dionysian celebrations we discover the roots of Greek tragedy and western theater. Some of the ancient traditions of Dionysian worship were adopted by the Christian church and many references to the vine are found in the decoration of Byzantine churches, apart from the use of wine in divine society.

For the storage, transportation, drinking of wine the ancient Greeks used:

Amphora (a vase with an oval body with a vertical grip on both sides) made of clay, bronze, bronze, silver, even gold, but also wooden, glass, marble, stone. The small amphora could also be hung on a wall.

Crater (vase)  The crater was the large vase, in which water and wine were mixed, and the word came from the cerannium, which means mixing. It was served to mix the wine with water during rituals and banquets.

Kylix (Cylinder) was a kind of cup in ancient Greece, which they  used mainly to drink wine. The cups were wide and shallow with two handles placed diametrically on their rim. Their bottom was almost flat and was the main surface for paintings.

Kantharos  Kantharos is a kind of ancient Greek vase with a cup shaped body with a vertical grip on both sides, connected to the rim of the vase and with a high curved handle at the top.

Skyphos (Kotyli) It served as a glass from Homeric times. Α kind of wide (“wide-bodied”) glass with two handlest was one of the most popular cups in ancient Greece.

Kiathos The pot was quite handy, Ancient Athenians said it was the necessary utensil both in the houses of the rich and in the huts of the poor.

Oinohon It was a vase used to transport wine from the crater to glasses.

Stamno: Clay vase for wine deposition.

Fialy (Bottle): Mostly clay pots of various shapes, bearing inscriptions and decorations.

Hydria a vase of ancient Greek ceramic with an oval body, a distinct neck and a round mouth. The decorative scene is depicted on the body and often on the shoulder, while the height dimension varies from 40-50 cm.

The trade of Greek wines spread throughout the Mediterranean to the Iberian peninsula and the Black Sea, and was one of the most important economic activities of Ancient Greeks. In many cities there were special laws to ensure the quality of wine, but also to protect it against foreign competition and imports. A typical example was the legislation of Thassos, according to which ships with foreign wine that were approaching the island were confiscated! Amphoras, which were used for wine storage and transport, were found with special seals indicating the origin and year of production of the wine they contained. Many elements of the complex European Community legislation concerning the production and presentation of wines have similarities to those in ancient Greece.
Various sources have saved the names of the wine-producing regions and the wines they produced. Originally, the most famous wines – internationally – were those of the northern Aegean: Limnos, Thassos, Lesvos, Chios, Ikaria, Samos. Later after the classic era, the wines of Rhodes, Kos and the other Dodecanese, Thira, Naxos, Crete, Cyprus were also well known.

Ancient Greeks also established colonies in the Mediterranean, introducing wine and wine production in southern Italy, Sicily and France, thus creating the foundations of wine production in Western Europe.

The Greeks developed a special relationship with wine, which accompanied all manifestations of human behavior. They even considered the wine a gift of a goddess and created the god of wine, Dionysus, appreciating the fact that he helped them depending on the occasion to honor their gods and their dead, but to forget the sufferings of life, to create a pleasant atmosphere and philosophize.

Dionysus son of Zeus, belongs to the minor but important deities of the ancient Greek pantheon, since his worship influenced significantly the religious activities of the Hellenic territory. Though he is not an Olympian god, already in the 6th century BC is represented with the Olympians, although it appears relatively distant.

He is also known as Bacchus , the name adopted by the Romans.

Dionysus as a mythological entity “is neither a child nor a man, but an eternal teenager. In this form, it represents “the spirit of energy and the transforming power of the game.

Dionysus is also linked to fertility through the fulfilled love and the epigram of Anakreon to the god begins with the words “O Lord, your companions in the game is the mighty Eros, the Black-eyed Nymphs and Aphrodite!”

Information we receive from Linear B leads us to the hypothesis that Dionysus as an ancient deity was already known in the 12th century BC. His worship is related to celebrations of vegetation, sacred madness caused by drinking wine and fertility.

In early Dionysian celebrations we discover the roots of Greek tragedy and western theater. Some of the ancient traditions of Dionysian worship were adopted by the Christian church and many references to the vine are found in the decoration of Byzantine churches, apart from the use of wine in divine society.

SYMPOSIUM

The symposium (banquet) in classical Athens was a social event involving only men, and it was private or public. The banquet was one of the most popular ways of entertainment for ancient Greeks.

In ancient Greece, wine was necessary in the philosophical and social discussions that were usually held at the symposiums where the participants exchanged ideas for a variety of topics.

Sweet wine (limed wine) was only given when there was a toast or in other exceptional cases. The slaves – young men or women – served the drink in metal or more commonly in clay utensils, and the symposiums enjoyed conversations, poetry recitation, riddles, puzzles, music, dances, shows and games. Early in the evening the symposiums began and could last for several hours.

The symposium was an educational space for teenagers of the aristocratic class who had the opportunity to be present, to follow the symposiums’ discussions and to initiate the values of their class.

The symposiums took place in the houses or in public buildings, if they were organized by the city. The Symposians ate and drank usually lying on a two-seater bed, leaning on their elbows. The honorable positions were next to the host. The tables were small and portable, one for each symposium participant.

Women never took part in these meetings except for the singers, dancers or even the partners who were entertaining the attendees.

So it seems, how important was the avoidance of drunkenness and the preservation of a civilized atmosphere.

Roman and Byzantine Period

Wine production continued through the Roman era and in Byzantium, in the last years of which we observe the beginning of its decline. At the beginning of the 11th century, the Byzantine emperor offered Venice special commercial treatment, with the result that the wine trade of the Greeks diminished against the competitive advantages of the Venetians. During the Ottoman period the high taxes imposed resulted in the cessation of commercial activity. The wine continued to be a basic product of the Greek diet. During this period, the monasteries played an important role by preserving the art of viticulture and wine production.

Greek Wine Revival

After the two world wars and a civil war, Greece began enjoying political and economic stability. A system of designations of origin was introduced and viticulture and wine production were reorganized bringing Greece in line with the policy of the European Union. For Greece, wine has always been an important element of its diet and lifestyle. With the rise in living standards, the Greeks sought a better quality. The result was that winemakers also invest in the redevelopment of vineyards with new plantings and new cultivation methods, but also in technology and knowledge in the production of wine. This led us to the regeneration of the production of quality wines in Greece beginning in the 70s and the results we enjoy today.

Particularly after 1980 and thanks to the continuous efforts of Greek producers, Greek wines are presented at international fairs, win international distinctions, their timely appearance in foreign markets.

 

The symposium (banquet) in classical Athens was a social event involving only men, and it was private or public. The banquet was one of the most popular ways of entertainment for ancient Greeks.

In ancient Greece, wine was necessary in the philosophical and social discussions that were usually held at the symposiums where the participants exchanged ideas for a variety of topics.

Sweet wine (limed wine) was only given when there was a toast or in other exceptional cases. The slaves – young men or women – served the drink in metal or more commonly in clay utensils, and the symposiums enjoyed conversations, poetry recitation, riddles, puzzles, music, dances, shows and games. Early in the evening the symposiums began and could last for several hours.

The symposium was an educational space for teenagers of the aristocratic class who had the opportunity to be present, to follow the symposiums’ discussions and to initiate the values of their class.

The symposiums took place in the houses or in public buildings, if they were organized by the city. The Symposians ate and drank usually lying on a two-seater bed, leaning on their elbows. The honorable positions were next to the host. The tables were small and portable, one for each symposium participant.

Women never took part in these meetings except for the singers, dancers or even the partners who were entertaining the attendees.

So it seems, how important was the avoidance of drunkenness and the preservation of a civilized atmosphere.

Wine production continued through the Roman era and in Byzantium, in the last years of which we observe the beginning of its decline. At the beginning of the 11th century, the Byzantine emperor offered Venice special commercial treatment, with the result that the wine trade of the Greeks diminished against the competitive advantages of the Venetians. During the Ottoman period the high taxes imposed resulted in the cessation of commercial activity. The wine continued to be a basic product of the Greek diet. During this period, the monasteries played an important role by preserving the art of viticulture and wine production.

After the two world wars and a civil war, Greece began enjoying political and economic stability. A system of designations of origin was introduced and viticulture and wine production were reorganized bringing Greece in line with the policy of the European Union. For Greece, wine has always been an important element of its diet and lifestyle. With the rise in living standards, the Greeks sought a better quality. The result was that winemakers also invest in the redevelopment of vineyards with new plantings and new cultivation methods, but also in technology and knowledge in the production of wine. This led us to the regeneration of the production of quality wines in Greece beginning in the 70s and the results we enjoy today.

Particularly after 1980 and thanks to the continuous efforts of Greek producers, Greek wines are presented at international fairs, win international distinctions, their timely appearance in foreign markets.

Greek Wine & Grape Varieties

Location: Aegean Islands (Santorini)
In Santorini, Assytiko is the predominant variety that qualifies for the production of the wines with the Appellation of Origin of Superior Quality: Santorini. It can also make excellent barrel fermented dry white wines.
Characteristics:
White grape variety, cultivated on volcanic soil. Yields white wines high in sugar and full of aroma, dry or sweet.
Location: Peloponnese (Nemea).
Characteristics:
Red grape variety. Yields dry and sweet red wines rich in color and very fruity

Location: Aegean Islands (Santorini, Rhodes)
Characteristics:
White or black grape variety with light aroma very creamy. It is blended with Asyrtiko

Location: Epirus(Zitsa)
Characteristics:
White or black grape variety, with distinct aroma and silver color. Yields sec, demi sec, lightly sparkling wine

Location: Crete(Archanes, Peza).
Characteristics:
Red grape variety . Yields sec red wines rich in sugar and spicy

Location: Thessaly(Rapsani)
Characteristics:
Red grape variety. Yields sec wines
Location: Crete(Dafnes, Sitia)
Characteristics:
Red grape variety. Yields sec and doux wines. It is blended with grapes Mandelaria and Kotsifali
Location: Aegean Islands (Paros, Rhodes) and Crete(Archanes, Peza)
Characteristics:
Black grape variety. Yields sec, doux semi-aromatic wines
Location:Peloponnese (Patras) and Ionian Islands (Kefalonnia))
Characteristics:
Red grape variety. Yields doux wines
Location: Peloponnese (Mantineia)
Characteristics:
Pink to purple skin variety, semi-aromatic. Yields sec and doux white wines
Location: Aegean Islands (Samos) and Ionian Islands (Kefalonnia)
Characteristics:
White grape variety with aromatic quality. Yields wines sec to doux
Location: Central Greece (Attica, Viotia, Euboea) and Thessaly(Anchialos)
Characteristics:
White grape variety. Yields sec and doux wines
Location:Aegean Islands (Lemnos))
Characteristics:
White grape variety with aromatic flavor. Yields doux and sec non-fortified wines
Location: Macedonia (Goumenissa)
Characteristics:
Red grape variety. Yields sec wines
Location: Ionian Islands (Kefalonnia)
Characteristics:
White grape variety. Yields sec wines
Location: Peloponnese (Patras), Thessaly (Anchialos)
Characteristics:
White grape variety with green skin. Yields sec wines
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