For the Greek, wine is always classified in the five primary elements of his diet along with water, salt, oil and cereals. Meal drink, sedative or medicine is also closely linked to its culture and religion. In Greek society, wine attends and participates in all the events of the people, shares with them the joys and the sorrows. A companion of happiness and misery, a seal of friendship and a balm in sorrow, he is a trustworthy and steadfast companion.
The characteristics of Greek wine
In Greece there are more than 300 varieties to choose from and more than 70 are used in winemaking. It has been proven that some make really good wine, while the climate of each region contributes significantly to the taste and aroma of each wine. An element that also contributes significantly to the quality upgrade of Greek wines is the morphology of the soil per region and of course the sea, which create vineyards with different ecosystems (soil - climate - vine variety) where quality wines are produced. The sweet Mediterranean climate of Greece with the mild winters and sunny summers differs from the slightly continental climate of Northern Greece with the colder and rainier winters or the island climate with the hot summers and the winds. This diversity of the Greek climate gives a wide range of Greek wines with different quality characteristics.
Basic Greek varieties
As mentioned above in Greece there are more than 300 varieties of which more than 70 are vinified with excellent results. The beautiful island of Santorini is the homeland of Assyrtiko.The volcanic soils of the island and the extensive exposure to the sun give a full white wine with sharp acidity, citrus aromas and a mineral character.
Xinomavro is the king of the north. Although its name is not very attractive, Xinomavro is an impressively complex and rich wine. It has aromas of sun-dried tomatoes, olives and red fruits!
Malagouzia is the aromatic variety that was in danger of disappearing but is now one of the most popular varieties in Greece. It has aromas of white flowers, mint, peach, lime and lemon.
Agiorgitiko, which refers to Sangiovese, gives wines that are usually velvety, with red berry flavors, spicy character and balanced acidity. An aged Agiorgitiko 5-10 years old really impresses. Mavrodafni is a variety with a deep color, which is known for the dessert wines it gives. In recent years many winemakers have been making dry, red wines from Mavrodafni. These have a deep color, medium body and moderate to high acidity. They also have aromas of laurel, ink, coffee and black fruit.
Moschofilero is known for its white wines. Extremely aromatic with notes of rose, Turkish delight and citrus, they have a medium body and high acidity.
Vidiano from Crete has gentle aromas of apricot, bergamot, chamomile, white flowers and peach and very very different style depending on the altitude cultivated. At high altitudes it has high acidity and mineral character while at low altitudes it gives wines with a more fruity taste.
Limnio is one of the oldest varieties in the whole world. Its origin is the island of Lemnos, but it is widely cultivated in Northern Greece. It is a red variety with a botanical character accompanied by aromas of red fruits.
Apart from the basic varieties, however, there are also individual ones that we find in specific areas such as Robola from Kefalonia. Robola is a white variety with a delicate aromatic character, light mineral notes and moderate to high acidity.