Aside from all its different charms, Greece can be one of many oldest and most various wine-making international locations on the planet, and on this information, we’ll allow you to in on the secrets and techniques of one of the best Greek wine. From the standard Greek retsina wine to essentially the most beautiful PDO wines, you’ll be spoiled for alternative in Greece. The sun-drenched Mediterranean nation is heaven on earth for wine fanatics and among the finest 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 of among the many best on the planet. The local weather in Greece encourages the usage of conventional wine-making strategies. Utilizing strategies that generally 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 yet one more legitimate purpose to go to the nation in its personal proper. On this information, you’ll discover the whole lot it is advisable find out about one of the best Greek wine earlier than your subsequent journey to sunny Greece.
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A Temporary Historical past of Greek Wine
Historic Greece & The Byzantium
The manufacturing and export of wine to neighboring international locations within the Mediterranean has been a thriving enterprise for Greeks since historical occasions. In Historic Greece, folks beloved wine a lot that they even had a Greek god of wine, the beneficiant and jolly Dionysus. In Byzantine occasions, wine turned a logo of Christianity. In consequence, wine flew freely in Constantinople, the second seat of the Roman Empire and the 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. To start with, underneath Ottoman rule, most of the nation’s vineyards have been destroyed by the Ottomans. After the liberation of Greece, locals began planting vineyards another time however the phylloxera epidemic on the finish of the nineteenth century destroyed many 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 all around 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 under no circumstances arduous to search 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 limitless stretches of vineyards. Greek wineries characteristic fashionable gear and make use of cutting-edge expertise, 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 knowledgeable wine-makers.
High 5 Greek Wine Varieties & The place To Strive Them
1. Assyrtiko in Santorini
Greece is primarily identified for its white grape varieties. Amongst them, Assyrtiko tops the checklist of the best Greek wine varieties. Indigenous to the island of Santorini, Assyrtiko is now grown elsewhere 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, most likely 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 commonly thought of one of the best Greek white wine. When in Santorini, you will need to additionally strive 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 made from 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 possibly can go to Nemea on a simple day journey from Athens. A whopping 80% of Nemea’s vineyards produce the indigenous Agiorgitiko pink grapes. Usually nicknamed the Blood of Hercules, Agiorgitiko is the preferred Greek pink wine, alongside Xinomavro.
Agiorgitiko is without doubt one of the most versatile Greek grape varieties, because it can provide quite a lot of wines. From mild fruity rosés to gentle 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 for this reason you might even see Rhodes as a substitute of Athiri written on the label of a Greek wine made from this selection. Embonas is the biggest wine-making area in Rhodes. It’s an space price exploring throughout your journey to the island and among the finest locations to bask in an genuine wine-tasting expertise.
Athiri grapes are used to provide retsina and several other different Greek white wines. Nevertheless, when in Rhodes, you will need to strive 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 suggests which you could’t go flawed with any kind of conventional Cretan wine you strive 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 of 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 preserve increasing. Vidiano grapes render high-quality white wines with complicated aromas of fruit and herbs and average 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 paying homage to flower blossoms. These white wines pair exceptionally effectively with vegetable-based dishes and for this reason the island of Naxos, famend for its contemporary produce, is one of the best place to bask in a tasting of native Aidini wines.
Greatest Wine Bars in Athens For Greek Wine
Even for those who don’t have sufficient days to journey to all of the Greek wine-producing areas talked about on this information, you’ll be able to nonetheless pattern one of the best Greek wine varieties with out ever leaving the nation’s vibrant capital. Athens is residence to a number of wine bars that do an important job of initiating rookies to the magic of wine and taking wine connoisseurs on an unforgettable journey into the realm of one of the best 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 simple time selecting your wine as Heteroclito options a formidable collection of 200 Greek wines, with about 20 of them obtainable by the glass.
A former wine cellar, Oinoscent is a favourite amongst Athenians and guests alike. Though the wine checklist of Oinoscent contains labels from all around the world, there’s additionally an enormous collection of high Greek wines to select from and pair with native cheeses and different Greek delicacies.
You probably have a factor for bubbles, Warehouse CO2 on the fringe of picturesque Plaka is your home. With a wine checklist that options solely glowing wines, Warehouse CO2 is the one champagne bar in Athens and doubtless the one place the place you’ll find so many Greek glowing wines to strive.
Prepared To Style The Greatest Greek Wine?
If the nation’s heat climate, pristine seashores, and mouthwatering meals weren’t sufficient, we’re certain that studying this information to one of the best Greek wine will need to 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 season wine.
Born and raised in Athens, Maria’s enthusiastic about journey and storytelling, a mixture that makes her excellent for her position as our content material supervisor.