Wine has been produced in Greece since classical times and was believed to be the discovery, as well as the gift of the god, Dionysus, also known to the Greeks as Bacchus.
Greece has not been an easy country in which to grow grapes successfully as the summer heat of the interior, and the islands, requires that harvesting takes place early. In the highlands where altitudes can be in the vicinity of 1000 metres, the low temperatures necessitate the grapes being harvested before they are fully mature.
However, thanks to the volcanic and limestone properties of the soil, along with the Mediterranean climate, Greece has been able to produce wine across the country and there are today, nine major wine making areas.
A DAY WITHOUT WINE IS A DAY WITHOUT SUNSHINE
LEADING GREEK GRAPE VARIETIES
Probably the best white variety in Greece. Almost always associated with the high quality wines of Santorini. It has many styles from dry to the very sweet and luscious Vin Santo. It is sometimes also blended with the lesser known Athiri and Aidani varieties.The grape is recognized by its fragrance of citrus- particularly blossom of orange and lemon.
A semi-aromatic variety that is low in sugar and high in acidity. It is generally associated with the area of Mantinia where it produces excellent dry wines but they should be drunk whilst still young. It has a crisp character with a floral aroma and hints of spices.
Grown mainly in the Peloponnese and central Greece. It produces elegant and light wines and is often used in blending. The wines have a lot of citrus flavours.
A common variety and the dominant grape in Attica where it is used both for table wine as well as in the production of retsina. The wine has aromas of citrus fruit and flowers.
A fairly new variety as it was thought to be extinct until being discovered in the 70’s. It is a very aromatic grape which produces elegant, full bodied wines with aromas of exotic fruits and jasmine.
An aromatic grape which produces excellent dessert wines as well as dry wines. It is produced in many areas but generally associated with Patras, Samos as well as Rhodes.
This excellent variety, also known as ‘St George’, is always associated with the area of Nemea and is known for its soft tannins and cassis bouquet. It produces fresh aromatic reds as well as first class aged wines.
The name means ‘sour black’ and is a top variety. It is a tannic grape so wines benefit from at least a few years ageing. It has complex aromas of red fruits as well as hints of olives and spices.
Predominantly associated with Patras where it produces dessert wines that are often said to be Greece’s equivalent of Port. With ageing, it is reminiscent of a tawny port with its velvety, chocolate undertones. This variety is capable of producing dry wines although these are seldom seen.
Mainly cultivated on the islands of Crete and Rhodes where it is often used for blending although Crete does produce wine from this variety alone. It produces very distinctive wines which benefit from ageing.
Avgerini Catering would be happy to advise and/or supply suitable wines for your catering requirements.