“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”―
Time to raise your glasses, wine lovers: the National Drink Wine Day is coming up on February 18th. Greek wine is one of the best-kept secrets in the wine world. With 32 appellations, 120 regions, 300 native varietals, and over 1000 wineries, Greece has a lot to bring to the table. Even with the majority of Greek vineyards being relatively small in size, producers have been able to utilize local and international grape varieties, the ideal climate and modern winemaking techniques to produce truly top quality wines. The Assyrtiko variety from Santorini, Agiorgitiko from Nemea, Xinomavro from Naoussa, Moschofilero from Mantineia and other less widely known varieties from other areas are already recognized in the international wine scene. Here are 5 reasons to take a break and sip a glass of one of the world’s oldest and finest of wines.
Wines of Santorini- Santo Wines
Picture Courtesy: @santo_wines
The island of Santorini, in the southern Aegean Sea, is a mound of volcanic rock with mineral-rich soil, whipped by strong winds that have prompted the winemakers to train their vines to curl into rounded “baskets” hugging the dirt. The Union of Santorini Cooperatives, SantoWines was founded in 1947. Today, it consists of the largest organization of the island representing all the cultivators and counting 1.200 active members.
Old-Fashioned Yet Modern- Moropoulos Winery
Picture Courtesy: @moropoulos_winery
Wines have been at the core of Greek society for at least 4000 years. Wine in Greece was never far from its mystical connection to the cult of Dionysus- the God of Wine. Today, regional wine-tasting festivals and expos are organized throughout the year. Wine-related agritourism is also an excellent way of discovering how tradition is combined with modern technology at the country’s wineries. The Moropoulos family has had a long-time tradition in vine-growing in Mantinia zone, producing high-quality fruit over the last decades. The siblings decided to take the family’s heritage a step further by establishing their own winery. This way they would be able to showcase the character of their vineyards and their respect to the Arcadian land.
Great Roses- Gaia Wines
Picture Courtesy: @gaiawines
Many Greek rose producers pack their wine with lots of fruit, yet the wines show an uncommon lightness and elegance at the same time. Excellent roses are being made from north to south in Greece. One of the pioneers of the modern Greek wine revolution Gaia Estate was established in 1994 by Greek winemakers Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos. Operating two different wineries they make cutting edge wines in both Nemea and Santorini. Gaia’s main aim is to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties to wine enthusiasts worldwide.
300 Native Varieties- Ktima Gerovassiliou
Picture Courtesy: @ktima_gerovassiliou
Greece specializes on small-scale production of high quality wines. Around 5 million liters of wine are produced per year, ranking Greece as one of the most important word-wide in relation to its population and viniculture zones. The creation of the Wine Museum, in combination with its various organised activities, including visits, wine tastings, educational programs, seminars, publications, lectures, theatrical, and musical performances, further contributes to the diffusion of wine-growing culture.
Experience Of Retsina- Mylonas
Picture Courtesy: @mylonas_winery
Retsina, a distinct variety of wine originated in Greece has a history that dates back 2,000 years. This white wine is infused with pine resin. The vineyard of Attica dominates as the oldest and most historical vineyard in Greece. The vineyard of Attica is essentially divided into three wine-growing zones, the northern, the western and the eastern zone, each one of them being a gateway to the capital of Greece, Athens.
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