Idea Lab

Greek Wine 101

The Wines of Greece derive inspiration from a timeless culture and ancient lands. By combining modern know-how with old tradition, unique terroir and indigenous grapes, Greek winemakers now produce many of the world’s most fascinating wines.

Wine Enthusiast

The Grapes of Greece

In an increasingly homogenized world full of Chardonnay and Cabernet, Greece rewards curious drinkers looking for good but different wines. Blessed with indigenous, characterful grapes preserved across generations, Greece is your next frontier. Here are four grapes (pronunciation included) worth finding.

1
Assyrtiko

Lover of sun and volcanic soil, "a seer' tee ko" gives dry, brisk whites with saline minerality and citrus. Capable of complexity and ageability.

Assyrtiko
2
Moschofilero

Like a floral bouquet, "mos cho FEEL eh roe" delivers beautiful aromatics. From rose petals, citrus, to stone fruit, the palate is crisp, the alcohol moderate.

Moschofilero
3
Agiorgitiko

Capable of fresh, soft, fruity wines in youth, red grape "ah yor yee' ti ko" gains structure, concentrated berry notes, and complexity when aged in oak.

Agiorgitiko
4
Xinomavro

"Ksee-NOH-mah-vroh" can age due to firm tannins, tight structure, and elegance. A potpourri of aromatics includes red fruits, olives, tomatoes, and spice

Xinomavro

Download the Guide to Wines from Greece

Perfect Pairings

Greek cuisine needs little introduction. It forms the cornerstone of the widely – emulated Mediterranean diet, noted for its taste and health benefits. Greek wine, though, is not only a staple only on the Greek table; its ability to accompany international cuisines is amazing.

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Assyrtiko

Sun-kissed Santorini remains Assyrtiko’s spiritual home. Thus, fresh, light "island" fare like seafood and salads with feta and olives, match its bright character.

Assyrtiko
2
Moschofilero

Dry, fresh, and aromatic, this white works with a range of foods from garden-plucked zucchini, to white fish with lemon, to roast chicken.

Moschofilero
3
Agiorgitiko

Soft, juicy, and brimming with red fruits, try with meatballs, grilled steak, moussaka, tomato beef stew and rich cheeses.

Agiorgitiko
4
Xinomavro

A firm tannic structure and crisp acidity call for fat and protein. Think grilled meats, game and sausage. Lamb is a classic partner.

Xinomavro

Regions & Appellations

Most dream of islands encircled by cerulean blue, knowing little of the diversity of Greek landscapes. From mountainous hinterland, to miles of coastline, to farflung isles scattered across many Seas, each region’s soil, climate, and culture contributes distinct character to its wines.

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Northern Greece

Xinomavro rules the Macedonian North. Look for bottles from Naoussa, Amyndeon and Goumenissa. With semi-continental and continental climates, these appellations make intriguing, long – lived reds.

Northern Greece
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Central Greece

A mystical place known for mountain monasteries, the myriad wines of Central evoke similar magic. Look for velvety Xinomavro from Rapsani at the foothills of Mt. Olympus.

Central Greece
3
The Peloponnese and the Ionian Islands

This vast region encompassing mainland and islands focuses largely on whites. Find perfumed Moschofilero from Mantinia, or dry reds from Agiorgitiko out of Nemea.

The Peloponnese and the Ionian Islands
4
The Aegean Islands

The Greece of travelers’ dreams. Santorini’s volcanic soil produces renowned Assyrtiko as both dry and dessert-style Vinsanto. Discover sweet, floral Muscats from Samos and Lemnos.

The Aegean Islands
5
Crete

This important island for viticulture has seven appellations. A mountainous spine provides cooler temperatures for vineyards dedicated to dry whites, reds, plus sweet wines.

Crete