A Little about Greek Wine: 

Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and the first wine-producing territory in Europe. The earliest evidence of Greek wine has been dated to 6,500 years ago where wine was produced on a household or communal basis.

A system of appellations was implemented to assure consumers the origins of their wine purchases. The appellation system categorizes wines as: 

  • Onomasia Proelefsis Anoteras Poiotitos (O.P.A.P.), i.e. an Appellation of Origin of Superior Quality
  • Onomasia Proelefsis Eleghomeni (O.P.E.), i.e. a Controlled Appellation of Origin
  • Topikos Oinos, i.e. a Vin de pays
  • Epitrapezios Oinos, i.e. a Vin de table
    • Epitrapezios Oinos, regular table wine which usually comes in screw-top containers
    • Cava, more prestigious, aged “reserve” blends (minimum aging: 2 years for whites; 3 years for reds)
    • Retsina, a traditional wine, flavored with pine resin


Greek Wine Regions: courtesy Wikipedia

Greek Varietals to Know

1. Agiorgitiko

(ah-gee-or-gee-tee-ko): This grape produces lush, velvety reds with black-cherry flavors.

2. Assyrtiko

(ah-sir-tee-ko): A source of minerally, bone-dry, citrus-edged white wines.

3. Athiri

(ah-thee-ree): Wines from this white variety often have a scent of stone fruits, like nectarines.

4. Malagousia

(mah-la-goo-see-ah): This melony, jasmine-scented white was on the brink of extinction before winemaker Evangelos Gerovassiliou began growing it again.

5. Moscofilero

(mos-ko-fi-ler-oh): A primarily Peloponnesian white, its wines have tangerine and blossom scents.

6. Roditis

(ro-dee-tis): Elegant and light-bodied, this pink-skinned grape produces crisp whites and rosés.

7. Xinomavro

(zhee-no-mav-ro): This red has floral and spice aromas, firm tannins, and vibrant fruit.

Wine grapes are grown, more or less, all over Greece. A few top regions are the Cyclades, especially Santorini, where Assyrtiko and other vines are tied into a basket shape to protect the fruit against the continuous wind; the Peloponnese peninsula, particularly Neméa, which produces full-bodied, juicy reds like Agiorgitiko; and Náoussa in Macedonia, the heart of Xinomavro.

sources: foodandwine.com, decanter, wikipedia

I was invited to attend the Wines of Greece event held at City Winery in NYC. I got to sample Greek wines from 39 of the top wineries and interview some winemakers who shared their stories of innovative winemaking and their passion for making quality wines. 

Dracaena Wines

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Episode 19: An Interview with the Greek Winemakers


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    1. Thank you so much Julia. I am just getting into doing it. There is so much to learn!

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