Greek wine has its roots in antiquity, as ancient Greeks began to make wine as early as 13th century BC. They were the first to create special legislation concerning wine in the 5th century BC and they were also the first to notice that certain areas make better wine than others.
Later, Greek grape wine varieties were overshadowed by the very famous varieties of Italy or France. Fortunately, the last decades, local winemakers are re-branding the Greek wine, studying what makes Greek grapes varieties unique and succeeding in giving wine lovers, world-class wines.
Read below and discover the top 5 Greek wine grape varieties you should not miss trying while in Greece
When someone thinks of Greece, the image of Santorini’s spectacular sunset and white and blue views comes into mind. But Santorini is also the motherland of the famous variety of Assyrtiko. The variety can also be found in other parts of Greece, but the volcanic soil of Santorini makes it more special. It mainly produces dry white wines, some aged in oak, but also, a number of sweet wines are made as well.
Food pairing: Sea food, white meat, pasta
Wine tasting: Santo wines
One of the most famous Greek wine grape varieties, is also a grape of the PDO Nemea, known worldwide for the wine production and the beautiful scenery. This amazing red variety took the name from Agios Georgios (Saint George), Agiorgitiko produces deep red wines full of gooseberry and blackberry flavors, and a rich and mature texture. It can be drunk either as a young, unoaked red wine, or as matured in oak for at least a year.
Food pairing: White and red meat, pasta, cheeses, spicy food
Wine Tasting: Nemea wine route
Savatiano is one of the most historic white Greek grape varieties. grows mainly in the Athenian region, Attica. Almost abandoned decades ago, it’s now one of the most widely planted varieties thanks to new passionate winemakers. Savatiano offers fruity and flower aromas such as peach, green apple and jasmine.
Food pairing: Sea food, Salads & vegetables, white meat, spice food, pasta, cheeses
Wine tasting: Mylonas winery
One of the most characteristic red grape varieties of Greece, Xinomavro means xino(sour) and mavro (black). Grown mostly in Northern Greece, especially in Naousa (PDO) and Amideo (PDO), is described as a brutal and demanding variety. Offers an intense color, high acidity, rich aromas and thick tannins.
Food pairing: Red meat, pasta, cheeses
Wine tasting: Domain Karanika
Robola is a famous white grape variety grown mainly in Cephalonia island (PDO). Its a wine famous for its fruity aromas, especially citrus, peach and green apple and the characteristic minerality o the area. Robola wine is usually consumed fresh and un-oaked but they also have 3-4 years aging potential.
Food pairing: Sea food, Salads & vegetables, pasta, cheese
Wine tasting: Orelios vineyard