When associating countries with wine, Greece may not be the first place to come to mind. However, the nation contains the first evidence of crushed grapes, making it one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world.
Wine has played an important part of Greek society for nearly seven thousand years. You’ve probably heard of Dionysus, the ancient god of grape-harvest and wine; unsurprisingly, he was also strongly linked to festivity and celebration. With the rise of ancient Greek Civilization, wine from the Aegean was transported all over the Mediterranean. It was even highly prestigious in Italy during the Roman Empire.
With Greece’s diverse climate comes a wide variety of wines. Grapes are produced all over the nation, each region generating a unique flavour. At Odysea, we have the pleasure of introducing you to ten delicious wines, each one transporting you to a different part of the country.
This fortified red wine is produced from the Mavrodaphne grape variety, which is indigenous to the Peloponnese peninsula. With aromatic notes of dried plum, dried fig and raisin, it has a jewel like red colour with terracotta hues. Warm and gently sweet, we’d pair it with salty dishes, blue cheese, chocolate, fruit and yoghurt with honey.
Produced from Agiorgitiko grapes from high altitude vineyards in the mountains of Corinth, this wine has fragrances of red fruit, blackberries and plums. It has a light body accompanied by a pleasant acidity and ripe tannins with a velvety aftertaste of cherry tart.
This white wine is made with grapes from vineyards in Aegialia, on the slopes of mountain Aroania. The vineyards are located at an altitude of 450-100m which provide the ideal environment for good quality grapes. With a golden yellow colour, the wine has flavours of lemon blossom, peach and elegant hints of pine. Its crisp acidity makes it perfect for an aperitif with nuts and olives. It is also ideal with light curry dishes and, of course, all things Greek.
A superb medium bodied wine, this Agiorgitiko was produced in Domaine Skouras: the vision of George Skouras. After graduating from the University of Dijon, George went on to create a boutique winery in Nemea, which is the largest Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) region for red wines in Greece. Mantinia, also renowned for the production of PDO white wines, is close by, while the surrounding areas have excellent terroirs. Domaine Skouras owns a number of vineyards scattered across each of these regions. This particular wine has notes of dark berry and spice, and pairs well with roasts and spicy foods.
An organic wine made from the indigenous grape variety Vidiano, it is produced on the Karavitakis family estate in Chania, Crete. Making wine for more than 80 years, the estate consists of 150 acres of vineyards boasting carefully selected terroirs for each variety. With its aromas of quince and nectarine fruit and rich, expansive texture, this wine pairs perfectly with spicy orange-ginger chicken, pasta with seafood & tomato sauce and light cheeses.
Another wine produced in Domaine Skouras, this Cabernet Sauvingon is dense, concentrated and elaborate yet elegant. With aromas of ripe blackberries and cherries and a spicy character, the wine has notes of leather and smoke that fill the notes. It contains a balanced acidity and flavours of ripe fruit, cloves and black pepper, and has a very long aftertaste with great complexity.
The United Winemakers Cooperative of Samos is one of the oldest cooperatives in Greece, founded in 1934 after actions taken by the vine growers of the island. This Samos Vin Doux has a gorgeous golden colour, with primary aromas of flowers, fresh fruits and honey. Its notes of pure lemon curd and cardamom give the wine a natural sweetness and a long-lasting aftertaste. Perfectly accompanies desserts such as apple pie, lemon pie and fruit tarts, as well as a delicious aperitif served with fruit, cheeses and nuts.
This dry white wine is produced with grapes from high altitude vineyards in the mountains of Aigialeia which overlook the gulf of Corinth. Gorges with rich natural vegetation and small rivers flowing into the sea ensure a mild climate, perfect for grape production. This Kintonis Dipnos contains fresh blossoms and lemon notes, which result in a soft and light aromas and a citrus aftertaste.
Bright with a light cerise colour, this wine was also produced in Domaine Skouras in the Peloponnese. A medium bodied wine, it has aromas of ripe cherries and raspberries, with floral hints and rose petal notes. These aromas follow through on the palate with a light senseation of sweet grass and bubblegum.
This malagousia perfectly accompanies mature and hard cheese, pasta, lean fish, vegetables and poultry. It contains Aromas of jasmin and bergamont as well as a rich mouthfeel, crisp acidity and long aftertaste.