Wine, another famous Greek staple ever since the days the god Dionysus was invented as a convenient excuse for tippling. Traces of Europe’s first grape-trading ground have been uncovered at Linos in Crete. The ancient Greeks were famous winebibbers, and that’s one trait that has continued uninterrupted from that time to this.
The main Greek wines are:
Agiorgitiko, cultivated and produced at Nemea, the home of the best Greek wine. This is a deep red wine with a strong blackberry flavour and silken texture. New Agiorgitiko is pleasant with fruit, and can be stored for up to ten years.
Assyrtiko, the wine of Santorini that has since migrated to other areas as well. It is highly acidic, even when fully matured. Crisp and metallic, this wine is refreshing, flavored with citrus fruits and lemon blossoms.
Athiri, deriving from a white grape of the southern Aegean and northern mainland Greece. These wines have overtones of flower aromas that tickle the palate.
Debina, a fruity wine made in Epiros, with a tinge of green apple and pear, and the basis of the region’s sparkling wines.
Kotsifali, deriving from a Cretan grape and noted for its full body, bright red color and satisfying taste. It’s often blended with Mandilaria, a red island grape.
Liatiko, a Cretan wine deriving from one of the oldest Greek grape varieties. It matures in July, hence its full name Iouliatiko, of which the former name is a contraction.
Limnio, as its name implies, a wine from grapes grown on Limnos and mentioned by Aristotle and other ancient writers. The Limnio grape produces a bright red wine that has suggestions of violets and cherries.
Malagouzia, which takes its name from the Malvasia wine of the Middle Ages, cultivated mostly on the islands. It’s strong and aromatic, with complex overtones and leaving a slightly peppery taste in the mouth. Wine tourism is becoming an increasingly popular form of vacationing for the smart set. In Greece one can tour several wineries and sample the product while getting to know how the wine is brewed and aged. One such organized tour is called Wine Roads that combines an experience of several wineries with archaeological visits. These take several days and include ample refreshment and accommodation at good restaurants and hotels along the route.
The Wine Routes
There are presently tens of vine yards and wineries to visit in various parts of Greece, which provide the visitor with the opportunity to tour the magical world of the vine yard and the wine, to become familiar with the traditional and modern methods of wine making and to taste selected Greek wines, in conjunction with traditional flavors. In terms of the preservation and the promotion of this heritage a specific form of rural tourism has in recent years been developed in Greece, the Wine Routes. This is a proposal to the visitor to follow a carefully selected route, which crosses the most graphic points in a viniculture zone. The visitor may visit selected wine production plants, to taste the local wines and to simultaneously tour through traditional built up areas, archaeological areas etc. This is a relatively new form of tourism, which has been absolutely harmonized with the natural environment and is simultaneously excellently organized, which aims at the essential familiarization with every area, through the tradition of viniculture and wine making. Along the length of the routes there are restaurants, taverns, ouzo bars and hotels, which offer hospitality of quality and which complement the familiarization with Greece and its culture.
Wineries to visit
The wine has been bound to the customs, the social life and the traditions of the Greeks for over 4,000 years. Discover the most familiar wineries to visit in Greece and savour the wines at the place where they are produced. Discover their aromas and flavours with the traditional products and the home recipes, which are passed down from generation to generation. Discover the culture of Greece through the seven Wine routes, as well as through tens of other routes for wineries to visit and live unforgettable experiences.