The history of winemaking in Greece begins in antiquity. During this period of mythology and culture, Ancient Greece was largely responsible for the spread of viticulture throughout the world. From Dionysus to Homer, viticulture was an integral part of the Greek way of life many millennia ago. The first traces of viticulture in Greece date back to more than 6500 years BC, when wine presses were discovered in various parts of the country. The Transcaucasian origin of the domestic vine must be one of the reasons for the success of the vine in this region. Greek wines were highly valued in Italy, during the Roman Empire, and during the Middle Ages, and have influenced the wine world to this day. In 1971, Greece began to adopt the system of appellations to be closer to French and Italian wines while preparing for its entry into the European Union.
Divided into 11 wine-producing regions, Greece is one of those sun-drenched countries with a decidedly Mediterranean climate and terroir. Greece opens up the Balkan Peninsula with the mainland flanked by the Ionian and Aegean islands. Alternating between green river valleys, steep mountains and coastal plains, Greece is a country of contrasts. The existence of several mesoclimates influencing the regions and the many different terroirs make this 130,000-hectare vineyard a true source of wine inspiration. The Peloponnese is the most active wine-producing region and two of the most renowned Greek appellations, Nemea and Mantinia, are located in this region.
A wide variety of grape varieties are grown in Greece, with diverse indigenous grape varieties such as Assyrtico, Agiorgitiko and Moschofilero flourishing alongside Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.