Greece Wine Guide


The Greek viticulture reached its peak during Antiquity but afterwards sank into oblivion. These days, Greece's wine sector is undergoing a renaissance thanks to a quality-driven new generation of winemakers.

In this rugged landscape, the vines are growing all over the country. Greece enjoys a Mediterranean climate thanks to the Ionian and Aegean Seas. In the north the climate is more continental because of the proximity of the Balkans. The hot summers explain that the vineyards are planted in altitudes.

History of Wine in Greece

Vine culture go back to the Antic period. Archaeologists discovered vine's marks dating from approximately 4000 B.C. Wine was anchored in Antic Greek culture with Dionysos the god of wine and was referenced in Homer's and Plato's works. But the country's chaotic history could not help its wine sector's development. It explains that Greece is not an important player in the global wine economy despite its rich wine history.

Nowadays, Greek wine is rising thanks to the passionate young winemakers and the use of modern technologies. The sector can enjoy the meeting of ancient traditions and modern customs. The old native varieties like Assyrtico, Agiorgitiko, Xynomavro stand alongside the plantations of international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay.

The viticultural regions are labeled as AO (for Origin Appellation). For the production of quality dry wines the regions have the label OPAP and the quality sweet wines are produced in OPE areas. The many country wines are named topikos oenos.

Wine regions in Greece

In the north-east of the Peloponnese Peninsula, OPAP Nemea is the most important wine region thanks to its high quality dry wines. The vineyards are situated on the hills and plains around the town of Nemea. Agiorgitiko produces strong spicy red wines with plum notes. The producers are experimenting blend wines with other varieties. Gaia is the greatest producer in OPAP Nemea.

In Greek Macedonia, OPAP Amyntaio is covered in elevated vineyards of Xynomavro. The vines are on a plateau rising to a height of 700 meters surrounded by mountains. The climate is deeply continental but the grape has an astonishing balance of acidity and ripeness. Alpha Estate produces great red wines of Xynomavro.

PGI Pangeon in the north-east of Macedonia is near the city of Kavala. The vines rise on the Mount Pangaion's slopes. The area produces PGI country wines which are beginning to build a good reputation as Greece's best country wines. Bibli Chora produces great dry white wines.

Epanomi is south of Thessalonniki in Macedonia. The vineyards are around the city of Epanomi. The district produces great PGI country wines with a good reputation. Gerovassiliou is a great producer a high quality white and red wines.

Santorini is an island in the Cyclades which produces OPAP wines. The winters are mild and the summers dry on the Island's volcanic soils. The winemakers have to protect the vines against the strong winds and have to use specific skills to keep the water inside the plants.

Assyrtiko is used to make great dry white wines and the famous sweet wines. The dry concentrated wines have a strong acidity and high alcohol level. Santorini sweet wines are called Vinsanto. The late harvest grapes have to dry in the sun two weeks before the wine's maturation during at least two years. They can balanced a beautiful sweetness and a powerful acidity. The oldest have an oxidatif character revealing toffee and dry fruits flavors. The most important wine estates in Santorini are Hatzidakis and Santo Wines.

Our wines from Greece