If you are currently visiting Greece or living anywhere in the world and would like to explore the amazing wines produced today in this beautiful, blessed for its sun and cuisine south european country, here is a small guide to the most popular Greek wines depending on the variety or blend of varieties they are produced from. Try them because they are really exceptional and you might seriously feel the need to find some place for some in your cellar.
1. Assyrtiko wines
Assyrtiko wines are probably the most famous wines of the Greek vineyard. They are white wines mainly produced at the island of Santorini, one of the top touristic destinations of the world, but today they are also produced in many other parts of Greece with excellent results. Nychteri wines (nychta means night in Greek) are Assyrtiko wines for the production of which grapes are gathered carefully at night to avoid the heat.
2. Agiorgitiko wines
Agiorgitiko wines are red wines coming mostly from the area of Nemea, one of the top Greek terroirs at the north of the Peloponnese, which has been cultivated since the ancient times and which is well known from mythic Hercules and his triumph over the lion of Nemea. With an incredible range of possible characteristics from high to very soft tannins, a great aging potential and many distinctions in competitions abroad Agiorgitiko wines are today some of the best Greek wines.
3. Moschofilero Wines
Moschofilero wines come from the area of Central Peloponesse with a special focus at the terroir of Mantineia which is famous for its perfect aromatic Moschofilero wines. The taste of peach and sweet lemon, as this beautiful wine ages gracefully, turns to apricot and nectarine with almond notes creating a sophisticated and chic wine which is light and very pleasant to drink anytime.
4. Malagouzia wines
Malagouzia wines are a quite recent introduction from the Greek vineyard and owe their existence to Vaggelis Gerovasiliou and Roxane Matsa, two forward – thinking winemakers who actually brought back this important Greek wine variety from distinction. Malagouzia wines are white, usually full bodied, aromatic, white dry wines which are excellent both as a blend or individually.
5. Xinomavro wines
Xinomavro wines are amongst the top Greek wines today and many are part of the best wine lists around the world. They are red wines which come from the area of Macedonia, at the North of Greece, from one of the two important Greek wine terroirs of Naoussa and Amynteo. They offer exceptional aging potential and are often compared with Italian Nebollo wines due to their dark cherry color and expressed acidity.
6. Mavrodaphne wines
For hundreds of years Mavrodaphe wines have been exported to Europe as dessert wines due to their chocolate raisin taste and high tannins which offer an excellent after dinner experience. But today they come in a new extraordinary dry full bodied version which already has admirers around the world. They are mainly produced at the north of the Peloponesse or at the island of Cephalonia and they are now exported to a number of countries.
7. Vidiano wines
Vidiano wines are amongst the most famous wines produced at the island of Crete. They are made from one of the oldest indigenous varieties which was almost extinct a few years ago and was recently revived with excellent results. According to wine experts around the world this is one of the most promising new Greek varieties which have the potential to create great wines for the world markets.
8. Savatiano wines
Savatiano wines have been produced in the area of Attica for hundreds and even thousands of years. Until recently Savatiano was considered as a very common variety with limited export potential but recently it has been reinvented with the introduction of some really special dry wines which have their own audience in Greece and abroad. Savatiano wines can become exceptional when low yield cultivation methods are used for their production.
9. Muscat wines of Samos
They have been for centuries one of the most important export item for winemakers from the east Aegean island of Samos, with a very enthusiastic audience abroad. They offer different versions that are all very enjoyable due to the special aromatic character of the original grape. They also come in the form of vin doux, a mix of fresh muscat and muscat grappa.
10 Retsina wines
Retsina wines are traditional wines made according to the usual techniques used for white wines except that small aromatic pieces of Alepo Pine are added in the must during fermentation which offer this popular wine’s very distinct taste. Retsina made from the Savvatiano variety has a more dynamic personality than the one made of Assyrtiko. New very impressive versions of Retsina such as Dakry tou Pefkou, with much less resin than the original recipe, have received great distinctions in global competitions and have totally changed the way wine lovers around the world see this historic wine.
11. Vinsanto wines
Vinsanto wines come from the beautiful island of Santorini. They are sweet sundried white wines made from a blend of Athiri, Assyrtiko and Aidani. The taste is powerful and unique. A perfect wine to enjoy after a dinner for two in the sunset. If the amazing Santorini caldera is not the background for this magic moment any amazing view will do.
12. Rapsani wines
Rapsani wines are some of the most original Greeκ red wines today. They are produced in Central Greece from indigenous grapes and have dedicated fans both in Greece and abroad. The vines are usually grown at the southern slopes of mount Olympus, the mythical home of the ancient Greek gods and the blend is made of Xinomavro, Krassato and Stavroto varieties. This is one of the first Greek wine regions that was given the appellation of Superior Quality in 1971.
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