Greece is officially the oldest wine country in Europe. In Greece, the Hellenic Republic, the history of viticulture started about 3000 years ago. Today, Greece, with its approximately 105,000 hectares of vineyards, is a medium-sized wine country, comparable to Germany. Wine is produced almost everywhere in the country, often on a small scale. Greek wines are not yet well known internationally, but that is actually a shame because connoisseurs call Greece a 'sleeping beauty' with unprecedented opportunities to produce quality wines.
Greece is surrounded by seas. Of course the famous Greek islands but also the mainland borders on water. In the north it is mountainous and has a continental Balkan climate with cold winters. Most of Greece has a Mediterranean climate. The lower coastal zones sometimes have very warm periods. The best vineyards in Greece can be found in the heights, where it is cool. On the islands, one also has to contend with strong winds.
Greece's strength lies in the use of its own indigenous grape varieties. With blue grapes, these are Agiorgitiko and Xynomavro. The white: Assyrtiko and Moschofilero. The Greeks often make wines from a single grape variety. The indigenous grape varieties are generally resistant to drought and heat. International varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Merlot are also planted in Greece, however, because these are not adapted to the specific growing conditions, the wines are less successful.
Some more famous wine regions are Naoussa (located in the rugged north of Greece), Nemea, Samos (just off the coast of Turkey and specialized in rich, sweet wines from muscat), and Santorini (the volcano island with its black soil).