About Greek Wine

About Greek Wine
Greece, as you might imagine, is one of the oldest wine-producing nations on Earth. There are records that point to the first wines being produced there more than 6000 years ago. Natives took their vines to neighboring lands to introduce viticulture (especially in Italy) and Greek wine itself was thought of in high regard in ancient times. Today, after a long period of good but unexciting wines, Greek wines are regaining attention in many circles.

Greece is currently ranked as number fifteen in terms of total production worldwide. Vineyards are planted in several regions, both inland and on several islands. Naoussa in the Macedonia region in the far north is an important wine area, as is Thessaly in Central Greece. As far as the islands, Dafnes on the isle of Crete and Patras on the island of Peloponnese are highly rated wine districts.

While generations grew up on Roditis, a medium-sweet rosé, today's Greek wines are much more refined and complex. The Assyrtiko is among the best white varieties, producing wines similar to Riesling, while for red, Agiorgitiko is a prized entity. Wines made from Agiorgitiko have ripe berry fruit, medium-weight tannins and moderate acidity. On its own, it is an excellent red to drink young; it also makes for notable rosés and is sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Quality has improved over the past few decades; media attention has also increased. The wines are fairly priced with many coming in under $20. The days of simple Greek wines made for export to Greek restaurants seems a thing of the past.

Top Picks for Greece

La Tour Melas 2015  Greece
88 points
Dark dusty ruby color. Minerally aromas of wet earth, black currant, graphite, paprika, hibiscus, and dried blueberries with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish medium body and a tingling, delightful, breezy vanilla cream and dried orange peels finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. A mineral-forward Bordeaux Varietal blend that will work wonders at the table.
Sofos 2015 Greek Red Wine Korinthos
86 points
Best Buy
Bright ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of red cherries, spicy black plum, and pomegranate with an crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and an interesting, breezy finish with fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A light, fruity and easily enjoyable red wine!
86 points $12.99 Best Buy
Sofos 2016 Greek White Wine Peloponnese
84 points
Clear straw green color. Aromas and flavors of granny smith apple, yellow peaches, and butterscotch with a soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a brisk finish with a suggestion of oak. A rich and round, easily enjoyable white!
84 points $12.99