AROUND GREECE

Main Greek grape varieties

Greek varieties from A to…X

The wine production of Greece has been -and continues to be- one of the largest, most important and most impressive wine productions across the world. Not only enjoyed by the lucky locals, the Greek wine varieties are also being exported across the international markets, reaching distant civilizations and gaining praise, recognition and multiple awards.  Apart from the up-and-coming Greek varieties and their flagships (Assyrtiko, Moschofilero, Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro) there are also practically hundreds of other Greek grape varieties. 

Here is a guide to the most popular Greek wine varietals you should make sure to try when visiting Greece!

Agiorgitiko
King of the red grapes in the Peloponnese, Agiorgitiko is cultivated in Nemea. It produces wines that are deep red in color, with a pronounced gooseberry and blackberry flavor, and a rich, mature, velvety, luscious texture. The soft new Agiorgitiko wines are fruit-forward and are enjoyed at an early age. However, there is a potential for long-term cellaring (5-10 years).

Assyrtiko

Assyrtiko is the noblest white variety found in Greek vineyards, and its cultivation is centered in the Cyclades. However, it has successfully migrated to Chalkidiki, Epanomi, Drama and the Pangeo Mountain in Northern Greece, as well as to the Peloponnese. It maintains its high acidity even in full ripeness. Its wines are rich and refreshing with crispy acidity and excellent minerality. The aromas of the wine remind us of citrus, lemon blossoms, orange peel and grapefruit.

Athiri
This is another white grape found on the islands in the Southern Aegean and in Chalkidiki in Eastern Macedonia. The wine is characterized by a mild aroma of citrus and yellow fruits.

Debina
A white variety from Epirus, with its cultivation centered in Zitsa, in the Ioannina Prefecture. Its wines place emphasis on fruit. They are characterized by their refreshing acidity. Debina has the potential to produce effervescent wines.

Liatiko
An exclusive Cretan grape, Liatiko is considered to be one of the oldest Greek varieties. It matures in July, hence its name, which is an abridement of “Juliatiko”. Liatiko is a variety with high alcohol potential that best demonstrates its qualities when it is sufficiently ripe.
Limnio
Limnio is an ancient red grape variety from the island of Limnos. References have been made to it by Aristotle and other ancient writers.Today it is cultivated not only on Limnos, but also in Chalkidiki and generally in Northern Greece, where it produces a superb red robust wine, with the exotic fragrance of the violets after a rainfall and the aroma of cherries.

Malagousia
This subtle Greek white variety is possibly related to the renowned “Malvasia” wine dating back to the Middle-Ages. It was rescued from obscurity thanks to the foresight of certain Greek producers who believed in the wine. The accolades of the critics and the enthusiastic response of the consumers did more than justify their acumen. The Malagousia wines have a strong bouquet and a musk aroma, while leaving a mild peppery taste in the mouth.

Savvatiano
A variety from Mainland Greece, with its cultivation centered in the Attica region. It produces wines with the aromas of yellow fruit and low acidity.

Kotsifali
A red Cretan grape, Kotsifali produces wines noted for their wonderfully juicy taste, their bright red color and a good grip on the palate. It is usually blended with Mantilaria, another island red grape.

Xinomavro
The most distinguished red variety of Northern Greece. It manages well in continental climates, and it is cultivated in more regions than any other variety in Greece. Its grapes have an intensely acidic taste, even when mature.
 
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