Vineyards for Sale in Greece
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Vineyards in Greece
As one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, Greece has a long, proud history of winemaking that dates back 6,500 years. Greek wines were famous during the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, and Greek wine grape varieties spread throughout the Mediterranean and Europe. In spite of its historical prestige, Greece is just recently emerging as a modern premier wine-growing region. The renewed emphasis on Greek wines means that vineyards can focus on producing unique wines that are true to Greek wine culture, including resonated wine (retsina), the national beverage.
Greek White Wine Grape Varieties
Many of the most popular varieties of Greek wine are white, including most Greek retsina. Since parts of Greece have a much warmer climate than mainland Europe, many of the varieties are particular to Greece.
- Savatiano is a white wine grape variety grown in the region of Attica. These grapes are very resistant to the heat. Savatiano grapes can be fermented with or without cooling. Cold fermentation gives the wine a floral, fruity aroma, but the wine produced without cooling pairs well with Mediterranean food.
- Malagousia is a white wine grape grown in Macedonia. The resulting wines have a uniquely powerful aroma, and are generally full-bodied with medium acidity.
- Athiri grapes are some of the oldest wine-making grapes in Greece. They are originally from Santorini but are now planted across the country. Athiri wines are marked by their low acidity.
- Debina grapes are grown in Epirus in northwestern Greece. They have remarkably high acidity, which makes them ideal for creating crisp sparking wines.
Greek Red Wine Grape Varieties
While Greece’s national drink is a type of white wine, the country’s red wines should not be forgotten. Greek red wines tend to be complex, full-bodied, and often high in alcohol.
- Vertzami grapes are grown primarily on the island Lefkada. The grapes have dark, thick skins, and are generally used in varietals on Lefkada. In central Greece and Peloponnese, most Vertzami grapes are blended with other grapes.
- Limnio (also known as Kalambaki) grapes are very important in Greek history as they are native to the Aegean islands. Limnio grapes have been used in wine-production for 2,000 years, particularly in varietal wines made out of only Limnio grapes. Limnio grapes tend to produce full-bodied, high-alcohol wines with notes of bay leaf.
- Xinomavro grapes, the most common grapes in Macedonia, are well-known because of their great aging potential. Xinomavro grapes are similar to the Italian Nebbiolo wine grapes.
- Agiorgitiko grapes grow in the Peloponnese area. These grapes produce a soft and fruity red that varies based on where specifically the grapes were grown. Agiorgitko wines are somewhat similar to French Beaujolais, though the Greek grapes age better than the French.
Greek Wine Regions
The climate of Greece varies dramatically from dry, warm Mediterranean islands to the wet, snowy mountainous regions. Because of this, the country’s four wine regions produce distinctive taste that reflects their particular terroirs.
Northern Greece has a climate somewhat similar to areas closer to the Mediterranean, but with colder and wetter winters, particularly in the mountains. The coldest areas of northern Greece such as Zitsa produce white and sparkling wines from Debina grapes. Xinomavro and Malagousia grapes are also grown in the region.
Central Greece is drier than northern Greece, with a climate closer to that of Napa Valley. Many red and white wine grape varieties thrive here, with reds growing particularly well near Mount Olympus and whites growing well near Athens. The best vineyards for red wine in Central Greece are at high elevations.
Southern Greece is hot and dry, and most vineyards in the region grow aromatic white wines. However, Agiorgitiko, Greece’s most common red variety, also grows in the region.
The Aegean Islands are warm and dry, and many of the grape varieties grown there won’t grow in other areas of Greece. A famous Greek white wine, Assyrtiko, is native to Santorini. Muscat Blanc, a wine grape grown across the world today, is thought to have originated on Samos.