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  • Aegean Islands Greek Wine

    Eastern Aegean Islands and Greek Wines

    limnos-muscat-aegean

    The Aegean is spread out to the east of mainland of Greece and the coast of Turkey and is filled with countless islands. Vines have been cultivated on these islands and wine made for at least 6,000 years and the sweet, luxuriant wines of Limnos, Lesbos, Chios, and Samos are legendary. Each island has its own microclimate and soil structure which ensure wines of an individual character undulating hills rising to 450 metres (1,476 feet) and valleys in which the wine-growing and agriculture is concentrated. This white Limnos wine is yellow- green in colour with a very fruity nose of fresh Muscat grapes. The taste is fulsome and rounded. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 10-12°C (50-53.6°F). Several acceptable red wines are also made on the island of Limnio grapes.

  • Central Greek Wines

    Central Greece

    Ionian Greek wine mapThis area is the centre of the Greek mainland, bounded in the north by Ipeiros and Thessalia, in the west by the Ionian Sea, and in the east by the Aegean. Vast quantities of wine are produced here but the region only has one guaranteed source of origin wine. The other wines are all table wines or country wines. The three areas that together form Central Greece do produce an excellent Cava-style wine (Hatzi Michalis) and very good topikos oinos (Hatzi Michalis, Zarogikas, and Cambas). There are very fruity retsina (appellation traditionelle) wines from Thebe and Messoghia that are made from Rhoditis and Savatiano. There has been substantial investment in this region recently in Prench grape varieties and the better Greek ones. It is anticipated that fine wines will originate from here in the future.

     

    KANTZA Greek wine

    This is a very subtle white wine made from Savatiano and Rhoditis, that is like a retsina without the resin. Drinking temperature for Kantza Greek wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

     

    Ionian Islands and greek wine

    The Ionian Islands lie to the west of the Greek mainland on a latitude with Ipeiros, Central Greece, and parts of the Peloponnese. Vines are cultivated on virtually all of these islands. The conquest by the Turks in this part of Greece - also known as Eptanessos or the seven islands - was of sufficiently short duration that the inhabitants were able to continue to cultivate vines and make wine.

    The wine industry in the most northerly island of Corfu (Kerkyra) has been somewhat depressed by the rise of tourism and the growing of olives. Here too though excellent white wines are made such as that from the house of Ktima Roppa. This is an oldfashioned and traditional wine with the culture of 'flor' (a film created by the fermentation) in the same way as sherry.

    The wine is a lot like dry sherry. The grapes used are Robola and Kakotrychi. New businesses are developing modern-style dry white wines of elegance using the native Kakotrychi grapes. Production of this new wine is very limited. Very little wine worth mentioning is produced at present on the islands of Paxi, Lefkas, and Ithaki (with the exception perhaps of Lefkas's Santa Mavra). Cephalonia (Kefallinia) does make good wine though.

     

    KEFALLINIA ROBOLA GREEK WINE

    Robola, also known as Rombola, is one of the finest white grape varieties of Greece. This grapevine thrives extremely well on the seven Ionian islands, thanks to both the weather and soil structure. The summers are hot but there are light sea breezes to provide the necessary moisture and cooling. The vineyards are sited at 1,968 feet (600 metres) and sometimes as high as 2,952 feet (900 metres) .

    Robola's colour is fairly pale yellow with a tinge of green. The bouquet, with hints of hazelnut and citrus fruit, is seductive and the taste is mellow, elegant, and extremely pleasant. Drinking temperature Kefallinia Robola Greek Wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

     

    KEFALLINIA MAVRODAPHNE GREEK WINE

    Mavrodaphne Kourtaki Greek WineThis is a first class sweet red wine made from Mavrodaphne grapes. At first glance it resembles a ruby port in looks. Drinking temperature for Kefallinia Mavrodaphine Greed wine is 46.4-53.6°F (8-10°C) or 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) according to preference.

     

    KEFALLINIA MUSCAT GREEK WINE

    This is a first class sweet Muscat wine that is very aromatic. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 42.8- 50°F (6- 10°C). A number of reasonable white and red wines are also made on Cephalonia. The white wines, made from grapes such as Rhoditis, Sideritis, Tsaoussi, Zakinthino, Robola, or Sauvignon Blanc, are fresh and fruity. The reds, made from Agiorgitiko, Mavrodaphne, or Tymiathiko, are fresh, fruity, very aromatic, and not always equally dry.

    VERDEA GREEK WINE

    On Zakynthos just as on Corfu, a fresh green white wine in the style of a Madeira is made that is known as Verdea. This is an excellent aperitif. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 46.4-53.6°F (8-10°C).

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  • Greek wine growing

    Greek region wine

    Greek winesGreek wines fall into two market segments: the branded wines and those with the name of their place of origin. Large numbers of just about drinkable wines fall within the branded sector but also some very top quality wines. Greek wine-growers have an ideal climate for cultivating vines and making wine, especially close to the sea. Many different microclimates, combined with varying local soil conditions such as chalk and rock, and the different varieties of grapes used ensure different characters for the various wines. At present some 300 different types of grape are grown in Greece. Many of these are of French origin such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot, but the majority are native and sometimes ancient varieties. The best known of them are Assyrtiko (Santorini, Sithonia, Athos) ,

    Vilana (Heraklion, Crete), Robola (Cephalonia), Savatiano (Attiki, Beotia, Euboea) , Giorgitiko (Nemea), Xinomavro (Naoussa, Amynteon, Goumenissa, Rapsani) , Mavrodaphne (Achaia, Cephalonia),Mandelaria (Paros, Rhodes, Heraklion Crete), Moschofilero (Mantinia), Muscat (Patras, Samos), and Rhoditis (Achaia, Anchialos, Macedonia, Thrace).

    Greek wine logoThe Greek regions, from north to south, are Thrace, Macedonia, Ipeiros, Thessalia, Central Greece, The Ionian islands (Eptanesos), Eastern Aegean islands, The Peloponnese, Cyclades islands, Dodecanese islands and Crete.

    Greek wines fall into two market segments: the branded wines and those with the name of their place of origin. The Greek landscape does not generally feature large mountains with a few exceptions but the country is naturally divided into smaller areas by small mountains and hills.

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  • Other wine Greek region

    Epanomi Greek wine

    Epatiako Greek WineThe Gerovassiliou make very proper and modernstyle topikos oinos or country wines from French and Greek grape varieties in Epanomi to the west of Chalkidiki.Their white Fume (Chardonnay and Assyrtiko) is full-bodied, rounded, and very pleasant. The red Ktima Gerovassiliou (Grenache Rouge and Petite Syrah) is exciting and fulsome in flavour and is also rounded and warm. The tannin in the wine means it can be kept for at least five years. Other good wines, though less impressive are those of Lazaridi (Drama).

    The house of Tsantali makes several quite pleasing white and red topikos oinos or country wines in curious 'belly' bottles known as Makedonikos Topikos Oinos. Tsantali also produce a reasonable Athos Topikos Oinos and a subtle Agioritikos made from Assirtiko and Sauvignon Blanc. Finally, the Cava-style wines made by Tsantali and Boutaris are exceptionally good.

     

    Zitsa region wine

    Zitsa's vineyards are found to the north of Ipeiros, against the Albanian border at a height of about 1,968 feet (600 metres). Delicious still and sparkling wines are made here from Debina grapes. These wines are characterised by their elegance, freshness, and exuberant fruitiness. The sparkling Zitsa is available as semi-sparkling or imiafrodis krasi and fully-sparkling or afrodis krasi versions. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C) .

     

    Metsovo Greek wine

    Gerovassiliou Chardonnay Epanomi Greek wineA Greek politician named Averoff dreamed of making the best wine of Greece. Although he never achieved this himself, his company has scaled unprecedented heights and may well make its founder's dreams come true. The vineyards are on south-easterly facing slopes of the Pindos mountains.

    Pine red wines have been produced here for centuries but unfortunately the ancient vines were entirely destroyed by phylloxera. The original vines were replaced by Cabernet Sauvignon. Excellent Katogi Averoff red wine is made from these grapes, which are related to the Greek Agiorgitiko. This great wine can certainly be kept for ten years because of the tannin it contains. This ruby red wine is characterised by its intense aromatic power and fulsome taste that is velvet smooth (after maturing).

    Katogi Averoff is now regarded as one of Greece's best wines and it is very expensive. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 62.6-64.4°F (17- 18°C) .

     

    Thessalia Greek wine

    Thessalia is situated to the south of Macedonia and it borders Ipeiros to the west, the Aegaen to the east, and Central Greece to the south. The area is dominated by the imposing Mount Olympus (9,570 feet /2,917 metres) and it is bisected by the Pineios river. Thessalia is clearly an agricultural region. The best vineyards are sited on slopes or close to the sea. The vines planted on flat countryside are for grapes sold to be eaten or for poor wines.

     

    Rapsani Greek wine

    Rapsani's vineyards are planted on the slopes of Mount Olympus at heights of 984-1,640 feet (300-500 metres). The climate here is fairly moist and above all cold in the winter. Yet the siting of the vineyards guarantees full sunshine and excellent red wines. The basic grapes used for Rapsani are Xinomavro, Krassato, and Stavroto, which combines to produce a fresh, rich, and elegant red wine. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C).

     

    Nea Anchialos Greek wine

    The vineyards of Nea Anchialos are sited close to the sea near Volos. The Rhoditis vines grow at a height of 328-656 feet (100- 200 metres) and their grapes make a fresh and elegant white wine. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).{jcomments on}

  • Peloponnese Wine Area

    Peloponnese Greek Wine

    Peloponnese wine mapFrom the mainland of Attika the Peloponnese are reached across the Straights of Corinth (Korinthiakos Kolpos) and the Corinth Canal. The Peloponnese are a predominantly agricultural region of Greece, famous for their sultanas and Corinthian grapes that are better known as currants. The Peloponnese is a fairly hilly region, dominated by Mount Taygete (2,407 metres/7,896 feet). Most of the vineyards are in the north of the ‘island’, including the guaranteed origin wines of Patras, Mantineia, and Nemea. In addition to these three wines, the Peloponnese also produce a large quantity of reasonable to good Greek wine and topikos oinos. The increasingly common modern wines made with the well-known French grapes of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Grenache Rouge, and Carignan etc. are surprising but not exactly exciting. These grapes do produce outstanding results though when combined with Greek varieties such as Mavrodaphne or Agiorgitiko.