Like almost everything in Greece, winemaking goes back to 2,500 BC with the first traces of wine. Back.
The oldest wine press ever found was discovered in the ruins of Vathypetro, a village near Heraklion in Crete. Historians estimate that this wine press dates from the time of the Minoan civilization in 2,500 BC. And is the oldest wine press in the world.
In ancient times the love of the Greeks for wine increased. They even had a patron god for it, Dionysus, and some of his favorite grape varieties have been revived to join the constellation of modern Greek and international grape varieties grown and made into excellent wines across the country.
In Byzantium, wine combines the biblical with the Greek tradition. Dionysus bestowed most of his symbols on both Christ and the Emperor, as both are depicted as vineyards. The apostles and the true believers are depicted as vines and grapes.
The spread of Christianity in medieval Europe was found to be critical to the preservation of viticulture and winemaking. Wine plays an important role in Holy Communion.
During the Ottoman occupation, monasteries and winemakers faced an existential problem when the Turks banned alcohol and tried to destroy all the vineyards. It was not an easy time for winemaking and this has certainly interrupted all advances in the field.
Greek wine experienced further setbacks in the following two world wars.
The rebirth of Greek viticulture and wine and the development of bottled wine in Greece begin in the sixties.
This is the time to make the first serious investments in buildings and equipment.
As a result, there is a spectacular improvement in Greek wines in terms of technology. At the same time, the vineyards are being restored by planting selected grape varieties. In addition, in the seventies, the areas suitable for the production of wines with designation of origin were established by law.
In the 1980s, when Greece joined the European Union, the wine industry began to switch to higher quality wines with the improvement of viticulture, and a new generation of winemakers earned their jobs with international training and experience.
Since the country's financial crisis, winemakers have had to develop strategies for more exports to offset the lost revenue in their own market. They spend more time and money on their commitment to their indigenous people.
Greece has four main growing areas: Northern Greece, Central Greece, the Aegean Islands and Southern Greece.
The climates of the regions are very diverse, with snow-capped mountains in northern Greece in winter and hot and dry summers, and a Mediterranean climate with hot summers in the southern Aegean. Because of these climatic differences, Greek wines differ significantly in style.
The white wines range from crisp and sour Assyrtiko to Moscofilero with tropical fruits and sweet wines from Muscat Blanc. The main red wines are powerful, full-bodied like Xinomavro and Agiorgitiko and aromatic Mavrodaphne.
Many grape varieties have been awarded the award-winning PDO classification, including Zitsa, Mantineia, Mavrodafne from Kefalonia and Patras, Santorini, Monemvasia-Malvasia, Moschatos from Limnos, Naoussa, Nemea, Paros, Moschofilero, Robola in the Peloponnese find fruity red wines from Nemea and crispy whites from Mantineia, in Epirus naturally bubbly and playful zitsas on Santorini, the flint Assyrtiko.
The impressive fact is that there are more than 300 indigenous grape varieties in Greece. More than 70 of them are vinified with exceptional results. And every year a new grape variety is in the spotlight.
To sum up, Greek wine has a lot more history, class and tradition than presented in many European countries. The quality of wine in Greece has steadily improved over the past few years and it is well worth learning about the world of Greek wine and trying some of these great wines.