Greek Wine

Greek Wine Wine in Greece has been produced for over 6500 years, rendering the country one of the oldest wine – producing regions in the world. Wine in Ancient Greece was extensively used and traded all over the Mediterranean. In modern times, a Wine Institute was established in Greece in 1937, while the growth of tourism in Greece during the 1960s suddenly crowned retsina as the national beverage. An appellation system has been established in Greece; OPAP means Appellation of Origin of Superior Quality; OPE is Controlled Appellation of Origin; Topikos Oinos means Vin de pays; and finally, Epitrapezios Oinos means Vin de table and can be subcategorized in Epitrapezios Oinos, Cava (a type of aged “reserve” blends) and Retsina (traditional wine flavored with pine resin).

Vineyards are grown in numerous regions of Greece. Indicatively, wine growing regions include Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Crete, Attica, Thessaly, Kefalonia, Naoussa, Epanomi, Nemea and Patra. Some of the best known brands of Greek wine are mentioned below.

Agiorghitiko (“St. George’s”) is a red wine grown mainly in the Peloponnese, with fruity flavours and attributes similar to Beaujolais Nouveau; however, Agiorghitiko ages for 5 years. Xinomavro (“sour black”) grows in Macedonia around Naoussa. Its palate is reminiscent of tomatoes and olives and has a rich tannic character. Mavrodaphne (“black laurel”) is a variety grown in the Peloponnese and the Ionian Islands.

Among the white wines, Assyrtiko is similar in character to Riesling, and is mainly grown in Santorini. Athiri is a variety of low acidity, grown in Macedonia, Attica and Rhodes. Malagousia is a variety grown in Macedonia, which creates elegant full bodied wines with perfumed aromas. Moschofilero is a Blanc de gris grape from the region of Mantineia in the Pelopponese and has the Controlled Appellation of Origin. The wines produced by Moschofilero are crispy and floral. Robola grows in Kefalonia and produces smokey mineral and lemony wines, perfect for accompanying fish and seafood.

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