Greece began the modern era of wine, which for Mediterranean countries, roughly coincides with the European Union and its rich funding, with several unfavourable points.
Labels that consumers do not understand, clichés and prejudices, perhaps even little marketing work, especially because of its geography, which exposes it to constant periods of drought or, on the contrary, to heavy storms.
All this now seems to be behind us, and much credit goes to to the dimension of craftsmanship undertaken by the vast majority of Greek wineries. Plow output but high quality.
Greek terroirs are among the most fascinating in their combination of high altitudes and rugged slopes, but also among the most demanding.
The new era of Greek wine began around the 1980s, with the return to Greece of oenologists and agronomists who had specialised between France and Italybringing the necessary capacity to the country in order to raise the level of the movement.
First focused on the domestic market, Since 2009, the Greek wine industry has also started to take its first, decisive steps in terms of exports.
Northern Greece is a land of high potential but not yet fully expressed, and it is a land of red wine in tradition. Here the Xinomavroespecially if expected, gives excellent results. Noussa is the oldest and most famous Greek name, born in 1971a territory large enough to boast some Crus worthy of identification. Not far away we find Goumenissa, which at lower altitudes than Noussa, along the slopes of Mount Piako, produces full red wines. Another noteworthy area is that of Amindeoa cool area that produces aromatic white wines with great acidity, which are also good for sparkling wines.
Proceeding southwards, one encounters the Thessalya region where a lot of impetus is given to the use of local grapes such as Malagousia and Debina for whites, Mavrotragano and Limnio for reds. The highest vineyards in Greece are in Epirus, land of Cabernet Sauvignon, with a single appellation Zitsa, although the red Rapsani is particularly popular.
Still under Thessaly we find Attica, in the middle of central Greece; it is the region with the most hectares under vines, about 11,000, almost all in Savatianwine of Athens is produced here, i.e. Retsina, a curious resinous wine that marked the Greek oenological fortunes for years. Beyond prejudices, a good Retsina is an inseparable companion to get through the sultry Hellenic summers.
La most important wine region of Greece is the Peloponnesewhich is now attracting many young producers, is beautiful, rich and accessible.
La most prestigious appellation is Nemea where the red wines from Giorgitiko have over the years gained an excellent reputation. That of Patrasso, on the other hand, is an area with an important vocation for white wines, obtained from Roditis and Lagorthi, the latter of which has been rediscovered (rescued from extinction) in recent times. The same happened to the Sideritis, from which perhaps the finest whites are made. The last two areas of Attica worth mentioning are the cool plateau of Mantinia and the new name Monemvasia-Malvasia from which much is expected.
Among the islands remarkable, especially in the last 10 years, is the production of Crete, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Santorini, the latter perhaps the most convincing of the lot; but the most famous is Samos, whose Muscat Blancs are truly incredible. There is still much work to be done in Paros and Rhodes, but their respective terroirs bode well for the future.
The country's total hectares under vine are little more than 100000 with an annual production of 2.5 million hectolitres and a growing export value of almost 90 million euros.