Wine is one of the oldest products of the Greek earth. The vine is basic to Greece’s agricultural traditions and it has always flourished in the same geographical area as wheat and olive trees, making it thus an agricultural trinity whose roots are lost in time. Currently, the wine industry is vibrant and progressive. The country produces wines with great regional diversity; that is why island wines are easily distinct from mainland Greek wines or those deriving from mountainous regions.
Arguably, the most promising aspect of the entire Greek wine-making landscape is the country’s singular range of indigenous grapes. There are more than 300 local grape varieties that are exclusive to Greece. Most of them have maintained the same name and reputation since antiquity. These lend to a specific, unique identity to Greek wines and a point of differentiation, which is their greatest selling point. Nevertheless, international grape varieties have also adapted well to the Greek growing environment. Greece offers an excellent range of varietal wines made from international grapes as well as some beguiling blends with native grapes.
Greek wines are food friendly. Wine has always been part of the Greek table and an integral part of Greek gastronomy, due to their aromatic qualities; however, many are also to be drunk as aperitifs.
The Greek white varieties display an array of floral and fruity aromas with crisp, clean, mineral flavours. They have wonderful acidity that goes well with a variety of international cuisines. Producers largely support the new trend away from the over-oaked whites that have dominated the international wine scene.
The red varieties show character and are not overly manipulated. The native red varieties combine fruit and earthy aromas with firm acidities that lend themselves to the production of many different styles of wine that range from fresh, pleasing, aromatic reds and roses to extraordinarily complex, full bodied red wines with long aging potential.
Greeks have been producing world class dessert or sweet wines since ancient times and continue to produce outstanding dessert wines that rival other well known wines from around the globe. Therefore we can observe that there is something new to be discovered in the world’s oldest wine-making tradition; it is thus interesting to see that many supermarkets and restaurants now sell wines which are produced in Greece.
Some of the most famous Greek wines are: Assyrtiko, Athiri, Roditis, Moschofilero, Aghiorgitiko, Mavrodaphne.