Greek Wine Regions

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Santorini vineyardWinemaking has been an integral part of the Greek culture for over 4,000 years already. They have had archeological discoveries that have been made regarding the Greeks’ inseparable relationship with wine.

The ancient Greeks had an idea that the nutritional value of wine was not to be underestimated and so they basked in its flavor and integrated it in their lives. They would gather around and talk about intellectual and philosophical subjects while eating choice food and drinking wine. The ancient Greeks also traded wine throughout the world inside sealed amphorae and even created their very own Appellations of Origin.

In recent years, the wine industry of the Greeks has undergone vast improvements with the serious investments that they have done in the wine-making technology. They have invested in technology that has helped them improve their wine-making abilities.

They have even come to the point that their native winemakers undergo training in the best wine schools all around the world. Because of this, their efforts right now as Greek wines continue to receive the highest awards in international competitions as well as recognition.

One of the main reasons why Greek wine is so unique is because there are more than 300 original, home-grown grape varieties that are present in the country. These have been cultivated since ancient times and so these grapes have become a landmark for the country of Greece.

Many of the wine critics in the world have come to a conclusion that the well-defined flavors that come from these assorted varieties of grape make it a platform for marketing in the Greek wine industry. There are also many well-known international grape varieties which are also used in Greek wine-making.

Because of the plentiful variety of grapes and the conducive climate and sunshine of the country, the Greek "terroir" is simply an excellent ground for the production and the growing of high quality grapes which, in turn, is equivalent to great-tasting wines.

These is a rundown of the different winemaking regions of Greece:

Macedonia – It is a legendary wine-making region which produces delicious, full-bodied red wines made from the native grape, Xinomavro.

Epirus  – This region holds mountainous and difficult vineyards to reach. They are hidden between the slopes of Mt. Pindos. Even though the growing conditions are difficult, experts agree that some excellent wines can come from this region.

Thessalia – This region is known for the production of the distinct Rapsani red wines made from a combination of indigenous Xinomavro, Krassato and Stavroto grapes.

Sterea Ellada  – The particular region of Attica in Sterea Ellada is one of the oldest winemaking places where wine is made in Greece. It is said that it is in this place that Dionysus, the God of Wine, introduced the culture of wine to the Greeks. Various inspired winemakers have shown that the region has all of the necessary qualities for the production of world class wines.

Peloponnese – This region is known for the diverse and complex vineyards which spread throughout hillsides, plains and plateaus.

The other Greek islands also have attained prominence because of their winemaking traditions and their extensive network. All in all, the wines of Greece are a dark horse waiting to emerge as a unique cultivator of wines that the world will praise.