Aside from all its different charms, Greece can also be one of many oldest and most various wine-making nations on the planet, and on this information, we’ll allow you to in on the secrets and techniques of the perfect Greek wine. From the standard Greek retsina wine to essentially the most beautiful PDO wines, you’ll be spoiled for selection in Greece. The sun-drenched Mediterranean nation is heaven on earth for wine lovers and probably the greatest locations to go to in Europe for wine tourism.
Greek wine is produced primarily from indigenous grape varieties, whereas the nation’s assorted terroirs are thought-about among the many most interesting on the planet. The local weather in Greece encourages the usage of conventional wine-making strategies. Utilizing strategies that typically date again millennia produces natural wines of the utmost high quality.
Greece could also be well-known for its solar, sea, and ruins, however Greek wine is one more legitimate cause to go to the nation in its personal proper. On this information, you’ll discover all the pieces you must learn about the perfect Greek wine earlier than your subsequent journey to sunny Greece.
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A Transient Historical past of Greek Wine
Historical Greece & The Byzantium
The manufacturing and export of wine to neighboring nations within the Mediterranean has been a thriving enterprise for Greeks since historical instances. In Historical Greece, folks cherished wine a lot that they even had a Greek god of wine, the beneficiant and jolly Dionysus. In Byzantine instances, wine turned a logo of Christianity. In consequence, wine flew freely in Constantinople, the second seat of the Roman Empire and town we now know as Istanbul.
Ottoman Occupation & The Phylloxera Epidemic
Nevertheless, within the centuries that adopted, wine-making in Greece steadily declined for a lot of causes. Initially, below Ottoman rule, most of the nation’s vineyards had been destroyed by the Ottomans. After the liberation of Greece, locals began planting vineyards over again however the phylloxera epidemic on the finish of the nineteenth century destroyed a lot of the vineyards not solely in Greece but additionally in the remainder of Europe.
Put up-Warfare Resurgence & The Path From Low To Excessive High quality
After the Second World Warfare, Greek wine-production began to develop once more. Within the Sixties, with the sudden inflow of vacationers from everywhere in the world, a budget and easy-to-make retsina wine turned one of many symbols of Greece within the eyes of vacationers. These days, retsina is considerably frowned upon because the Greeks have acquired a style for top-quality wines. Wonderful bottles are by no means exhausting to seek out all through the nation today.
Wineries in Greece
Greece takes nice delight in its wine tradition and traditions. There are over a thousand wineries in Greece, most of that are adjoining to seemingly infinite stretches of vineyards. Greek wineries characteristic fashionable tools and make use of cutting-edge know-how, staying true to historical wine-making strategies on the similar time. Many wineries in Greece are open for visits, providing wine-tasting experiences and excursions led by professional wine-makers.
High 5 Greek Wine Varieties & The place To Attempt Them
1. Assyrtiko in Santorini
Greece is primarily identified for its white grape varieties. Amongst them, Assyrtiko tops the record of the best Greek wine varieties. Indigenous to the island of Santorini, Assyrtiko is now grown in different places in Greece too, primarily on the Cyclades Islands. Within the late nineteenth century, the phylloxera plague that hit Europe didn’t contact Santorini’s Assyrtiko vineyards, in all probability as a result of the island’s volcanic ash acted as safety for the vineyards.
Assyrtiko grapes render very dry white wines with fruity hints. Santorini’s Assyrtiko is usually thought-about the perfect Greek white wine. When in Santorini, you need to additionally attempt the island’s signature dessert wine, the distinctive Vinsanto. The latter is a naturally candy PDO wine produced from sun-dried grapes. In keeping with Greek laws, Vinsanto is product of Assyrtiko grapes at a minimal of 51%. The remainder of the grapes used should even be varieties that develop in Santorini.
2. Agiorgitiko in Nemea
Nemea is the biggest wine-producing area in Greece. You’ll be able to go to Nemea on a straightforward day journey from Athens. A whopping 80% of Nemea’s vineyards produce the indigenous Agiorgitiko purple grapes. Usually nicknamed the Blood of Hercules, Agiorgitiko is the most well-liked Greek purple wine, alongside Xinomavro.
Agiorgitiko is among the most versatile Greek grape varieties, because it can provide a wide range of wines. From mild fruity rosés to comfortable fruity and even very tannic and spicy reds, there’s an Agiorgitiko wine to swimsuit each style.
3. Athiri in Rhodes
Athiri is a Greek white grape selection discovered on a number of Greek Islands. Nevertheless, Athiri vineyards are primarily cultivated on the island of Rhodes and because of this you may even see Rhodes as an alternative of Athiri written on the label of a Greek wine product of this selection. Embonas is the biggest wine-making area in Rhodes. It’s an space value exploring throughout your journey to the island and probably the greatest locations to take pleasure in an genuine wine-tasting expertise.
Athiri grapes are used to supply retsina and a number of other different Greek white wines. Nevertheless, when in Rhodes, you need to attempt the island’s glowing wine. Made from Athiri grapes, the glowing wine of Rhodes was the primary bubbly wine ever to be produced in Greece by CAIR, a wine-producing firm established on the island in 1928.
4. Vidiano in Crete
Crete has traditionally been one of many main wine-producing areas in Greece, which implies which you can’t go unsuitable with any sort of conventional Cretan wine you attempt on the island. That stated, there’s a white grape selection that stands out in Crete. Indigenous to the island of Crete, Vidiano was virtually forgotten till it returned to the vineyards across the 80s. It’s now thought-about a rising star among the many finest Cretan wines.
A troublesome white grape to domesticate, Vidiano occupies solely a small portion of the full winery space on Crete Island. Nevertheless, as they rise in recognition, Vidiano vineyards maintain increasing. Vidiano grapes render high-quality white wines with advanced aromas of fruit and herbs and reasonable acidity.
5. Aidini in Naxos
Additionally spelled Aidani, Aidini is a Greek white grape selection that appears to be as keen on the Greek Islands as the remainder of us are. Cultivated on virtually each island within the Aegean Sea, Aidini grapes are among the many oldest Greek varieties and they’re primarily produced in Naxos, Paros, and Santorini.
Aidini wines are characterised by elegant aromas, that are harking back to flower blossoms. These white wines pair exceptionally effectively with vegetable-based dishes and because of this the island of Naxos, famend for its contemporary produce, is the perfect place to take pleasure in a tasting of native Aidini wines.
Finest Wine Bars in Athens For Greek Wine
Even if you happen to don’t have sufficient days to journey to all of the Greek wine-producing areas talked about on this information, you may nonetheless pattern the perfect Greek wine varieties with out ever leaving the nation’s vibrant capital. Athens is house to a number of wine bars that do a fantastic job of initiating freshmen to the magic of wine and taking wine connoisseurs on an unforgettable journey into the realm of the perfect Greek wines.
Within the coronary heart of the historic heart, Heteroclito needs to be your best choice if you wish to delve into the secrets and techniques of Greek wine, as this bistro-style wine bar serves nothing however wine from Greece. But this doesn’t imply that you just’ll have a straightforward time selecting your wine as Heteroclito options a powerful collection of 200 Greek wines, with about 20 of them out there by the glass.
A former wine cellar, Oinoscent is a favourite amongst Athenians and guests alike. Though the wine record of Oinoscent contains labels from everywhere in the world, there’s additionally an unlimited collection of high Greek wines to select from and pair with native cheeses and different Greek delicacies.
When you have a factor for bubbles, Warehouse CO2 on the fringe of picturesque Plaka is your house. With a wine record that options solely glowing wines, Warehouse CO2 is the one champagne bar in Athens and possibly the one place the place you could find so many Greek glowing wines to attempt.
Prepared To Style The Finest Greek Wine?
If the nation’s heat climate, pristine seashores, and mouthwatering meals weren’t sufficient, we’re positive that studying this information to the perfect Greek wine should have made you lengthy for a visit to Greece much more. Let’s plan the journey to Greece you’ve all the time dreamed of collectively, a visit that tastes sweeter than the sparkliest summer time wine.
Born and raised in Athens, Maria’s enthusiastic about journey and storytelling, a mix that makes her very best for her position as our content material supervisor.