Greek wines are rich in flavour and history

Greek wines are rich in flavour and history

Sunny Greece boasts excellent climatic conditions for growing wine. Today, it may seem that other countries have overtaken it in this sector, but make no mistake.

Greek wine is of very high quality and extremely delicious. In addition, there are many typical varieties that are not grown elsewhere.

From Dionysus to contemporary tourism

The history of Greek winemaking is incredibly long. In fact, Greece can be considered one of the cradles of the drink. Wine began to be cultivated here sometime between 6000 and 5000 BC and became an important part of ancient Greek culture.

After all, one of the Olympian gods was Dionysos, the god of wine and merriment, who was fiercely worshipped by the Greeks. But wine was also drunk in philosophical debates and used for medicinal purposes.

From the Balkan Peninsula, winemaking spread to Italy, France and Spain, and from there it was only a short step to other European countries. Greece itself has faced many difficulties throughout its history. The wine industry suffered under Ottoman rule and numerous wars in the 20th century.

Today, the wine industry benefits mainly from tourism.

The plethora of varieties

And what wine are you less likely to come across in the Greek region? Perhaps the most famous is retsina. This popular and now traditional drink was discovered almost by accident. In ancient times, wine was stored in containers sealed with pine resin. This seeped into the wine and retsina was born.

Today, resin is added to it on purpose. It is thanks to resin that the wine has its typical aroma and taste. The most important and oldest wine-growing regions in Greece are Crete and the Peloponnese.

It is in the Peloponnese that you can find the Rodotis variety, which is used to make retsina. However, the famous white variety Moschofilero and the red varieties Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro are also grown here.

Very old archaeological finds of various wine containers and wine presses from Crete demonstrate the important role the island played in Greek wine production.

Nowadays, a variety called Vidiano is grown at the high altitudes here. However, you can also taste wine from the Villana variety with its typical floral notes.

For one of Greece's most popular varieties, head to the picturesque island of Sanotrini. The Assyrtiko variety is grown here and is characterised by its fruity flavour and high acidity.

And while Santorini is one of the well-known and widely visited islands, Kefalonia has not yet gained such popularity.

Yet here too, apart from the beautiful sandy and pebbly beaches, you will find one specific grape variety. It is called Robola and it produces an aromatic wine with typical citrus undertones.

If you visit Kefalonia, you can take an excursion to one of the wineries to learn more about the production process. Of course, there will also be a tasting.



The tradition of making a toast is said to have originated in ancient Greece. After raising their glasses, the host is said to be the first to drink to assure the others that the wine he is offering them is not poisoned.

According to another theory, the toast was born in ancient Rome, where glasses were tapped together so hard that the drink would spill from one glass into the other - again to prevent attempts of poisoning.