Greece is likely to be the next trendy wine destination, with a vast selection of indigenous grapes like Xinomavro and Assyrtiko, Robola, Moschofilero and many others. One of the country's clear advantage is its unique grapes which give the country a clear wine identity.
In recent years, winemaking has enjoyed a revitalisation in wineries and vineyards across the country. Driven by a young generation of winemakers who have returned to their country after studying in several of the best oenologist schools abroad and develop the potential of native grapes in order to produce excellent wines.
Certain varieties might sound at the beginning “Greek to you”. Each one highlights the great wealth of terroirs and microclimates, carries with it centuries of development, and adds its own character to become the source of a wealth of local, extremely distinctive grape varieties with producers growing grapes such as Vidiano, Agioritiko and Malagousia all over the country.
Assyrtiko, because of its creamy texture and its citrus and lemon flavours and high acidity.
Agioritiko, for its impressive dark fruit flavours of prunes and plums, and the same heavy tannins, which go very well with heavier meat dishes.
Vidiano, for its rich aromas of apricot and a seductive mineral flavour in the background, which due to the barrel usage creates a rich personality on its own
Greece’s wine industry has changed dramatically since the eighties.
Due to the financial crisis, many big producers collapsed and that lead to a “renaissance” of smaller family-run and unique wineries to enter the market. Viniculture can be found in practically every corner of Greece.
The mild Mediterranean climate, with its cool winters and sunny summers, is highly distinguished under the influence of the cool sea breeze and the mountains, creating many unique micro-climates. On the mainland, far away from the water, you can find some continental climate features like big temperature differences between day and night.
Today Greek grape varieties have been protected under the EU which has sat regulations, under which a wine can be described as 'Protected Designation of Origin' (PDO) or 'Protected Geographical Indication' (PGI) both ensure a guaranteed quality in order to acclaim on international market standards.
And this is how you pronounce it:
Assyrtiko = Ah-SIR-tee-koh
Agioritiko = Ah-yio-REE-tee-koh
Moschofilero = Mos-koh-PHEE-leh-roh
Vidiano = Vee-dee-ah-NO
Romeiko = Roh-MAY-koh
Xinomavro = Xee-NO-ma-vroh