Greece features plethora of wine regions at the mainland and the Greek islands. Wine tourism connected to hiking and biking routes is an excellent holiday idea. Read more about the places where travelers can visit vineyards:
The Vineyards of Peloponnese
The vineyards of the Peloponnese are concentrated mainly on hilly and mountainous areas, either in complex terrain, or plains and valleys between the mountains. The Peloponnese vineyards are shared into two main areas. One consists of the eastern and central part with key areas Nemea and Mantinia and the other on the west side, starting from the north and on the slopes of Mount Panachaiko, near Egion and Patras, and follows the coast of the Ionian Sea, stretching down to Messinia. Its main vine growing areas are Achaia in the north and Ilia and Messinia in the south. The vineyards of the Peloponnese have a mild Mediterranean climate, which is formed by the favorable effect of the sea breeze of the Gulf of Corinth and, the cold air provided by mountain ranges of Central Greece and central Peloponnese.
The vineyards of Nemea
The vineyards of Nemea is the largest zone producing PDO wines in Greece and covers a total of 7,500 acres, planted exclusively with the fine red variety Agiorgitiko. Local vineyards are found in three different altitudes. The lowland area, located around the cities of Nemea and Ancient Nemea at an altitude from 260 to 350m, the semi-hilly located on the southwestern slopes around the valley of Nemea at an altitude from 350 to 600m, And the mountainous, which are located at the foot of Mount Kyllini altitude from 600 to 800m. The vineyards are usually of bilateral linear shape, with about 1600-2000 vines per acre. Depending on the altitude, different microclimates and soils which vary in texture and fertility are found. Thus, in the hilly zone, see the Agiorgitiko maturing early, while in the mountainous area longer is taken to ripen.
The vineyards of Mantinia
The vineyards of Mantinia are located on a plateau at an altitude of 650m., in the center of the Peloponnese, where the variety Moschofilero is cultivated, giving fragrant white wines. The traditional vineyards are densely planted and trained into goblets while, the most recent linear vineyards cover from 1200 to 1800 plants per acre. The entire area consists of approximately 2,500 acres, which are located mainly on sandy clay soils with few slopes. Although located in the southern part of the area, vineyard Mantinia is one of the coolest growing regions of Greece, with often adverse weather conditions during the autumn season.
The vineyards of Achaia
The vineyards of Achaia consists of different terroirs with the most outstanding being those on the slopes of Egialia, which extends along the Gulf of Corinth. The vineyards on the slopes of Egialia are located at altitudes between 250 and 850m, with plots that vary in composition, fertility and drainage. In this area rosé Roditis is grown and because of its mild climate the most fragrant white wines are produced. West, with similar climatic conditions and at altitudes ranging from 450 to 500m., the vineyard of Patras are found. Roditis, is also cultivated there and because of the lower altitude, it ripens earlier. At lower altitudes, in the wider region of Patras, we find the red variety Mavrodaphne, while in the flat lands the cultivation of Muscat White is dominant.
The vineyards of Ilia and Messinia
Starting from Ilia, vineyards are found on flat lands with fertile soils, that have large water reserves, thanks to the waters of the rivers Alfios and Pinios. In Messinia, in contrast with Ilia, the vineyards are located in the highlands, enjoying the positive effect of the Ionian Sea, with Trifylia area being prominent. Characteristic of the western side of the Peloponnese is the successful cultivation of a range of international varieties for several decades now, with the greatest being Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Rouge and Refosco. We have also the culture of indigenous varieties such as Roditis, Mavrodaphne,.
The Vineyards of Northern Greece
Geographically, the vineyards of northern Greece extend east from Thrace to the Pindos mountain range in the west and to the south border Mount Olympus. The vineyards of Northern Greece, Drama, Kavala, Halkidiki, Goumenissa, Naoussa, Amynteo, Rapsani, Zitsa, Metsovo and other areas, cover a total of approximately 100,000 acres. These areas have many international varieties, producing some of the best wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah in Greece, but also indigenous varieties the most outstanding being Xinomavro.
Vineyards of Northern Greece are scattered among other cultivations, situated on hillside slopes and have generally fertile soils. Many are close to the sea or a lake, thus receiving the benefits of the moderate climate created. The vineyards of Northern Greece are almost entirely linear and irrigated with medium and large planting distances, usually with less than 4000 plants per hectare.
The vineyards of Drama and Kavala
The vineyards of Drama and Kavala are connected with the production of high quality wines, mostly with international grape varieties. In the area of Kavala, with its exceptionally mild climate, ranging from the sea coast up to the mount Pangeon, and with the rich soil characteristics proved to be the ideal location of early white varieties Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay. In Drama where more dry and warm climatic conditions exist, red varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, as well as Asyrtiko, a native white variety of the Cyclades are better suited, giving the aromatic and elegant wines through a different terroir. The vineyards of Drama and Kavala are linear and generally well organized and modern. In neighboring Thrace in Abdera, Xanthi and Maroneia, Rodopi has restarted viticulture with the successful installation of mainly foreign, and native varieties, such as the local Mavroudi.
The vineyards of Chalkidiki
The vineyards of Halkidiki consist mostly of vineyards on the slopes of Mount Meliton, Sithonia, and is one of the largest uniform vineyard in Greece. In these poor and sometimes sloping lands, both Greek and international varieties have been planted, but in goblet and linear forms in the early ’70s. Here, international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, adapted successfully as well as the indigenous varieties Asyrtiko, Roditis, but mainly the rare white variety Malagouzia, which has now evolved into one of the most dynamic indigenous varieties. Then we have the region of Mount Athos, which is a dynamic part of the vineyard with new linear plantings. Finally, near Thessaloniki, coastal areas of Epanomi and Agios Pavlos, complete the vineyard of Chalkidiki and the main cultivated varieties are Malagouzia and Asyrtiko.
The vineyards of Goumenissa
The vineyards of Goumenissa are located northwest of Thessaloniki in slightly hilly areas at an altitude ranging from 150 to 450 meters, Slightly sloping and with medium fertile soils. The variety that dominates the region is Xinomavro, but also some international varieties. In the vineyard of Goumenissa the local red variety, Negoska is also cultivated in up to 30% of the total crop. The vineyards are basically two-sided linear with sparse planting and reaches approximately 1400 vines per acre.
The vineyards of Naoussa
The vineyards of Naoussa are covering the foothills and eastern slopes of Bermio, at an altitude of 100m. up to 400m. and with soils varying in texture and morphology. The total area is about 1500 to 1600 acres, in which the cultivated variety Xinomavro, planted mostly in linear forms. In the area of Naoussa, Xinomavro matures late, after 20 September, making it vulnerable to early low temperatures and heavy rainfall. The factor that affects the quality of grapes Xinomavrowithin the region is the topography and diversity of the soil where it is grown.
The vineyards of Amynteo
The vineyards of Amynteo are located northwest of Naoussa, between the mountains Bermio and Voras, and surrounded by four lakes, the largest being Vegoritis. The vineyards are situated at an altitude of 500 to 700m., are linear and usually non-irrigated, and dominated by the cultivation of Xinomavro. The climate is very mild, with less rainfall and more sunshine than neighboring Naoussa. The lands around the lakes are generally sandy, hot and low in fertility, so that we have a different expression of Xinomavro than that of Naoussa. The mild and humid climate Amynteo is appropriate for the cultivation of many international varieties.
The vineyards of Rapsani
The vineyards of Rapsani are located in hilly and mountainous eastern slopes of Mount Olympus and, extends from an altitude of 150 to 750m. These vineyards are the smallest region growing the variety Xinomavro, through only 380 acres, on which the local varieties Krassato also grown. In the wider region international varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot.
The vineyards of Zitsa and Metsovo
The vineyards of Zitsa and Metsovo are mountainous and, indeed, one of the most mountainous of Greece. The vineyards Zitsa located on the eastern slopes of Pindos range, at an altitude of 700m., which collect the highest rainfall for the country, approximately 1.000mm per annum. There is grown the local white variety Debina, planted mainly to unilateral linear forms and a few are trained in goblets on about 1,250 acres. The Debina gives dry white and dry sparkling wines, while the harvest takes place in late September. Close to Zitsa we find even more mountainous vineyards in Metsovo, with an altitude of 900-1000m. Here all the vineyards are linear and are found mainly on sunny slopes, very steep and sandy loam soils with good drainage. The vineyards in Metsovo are mainly known for the cultivation of the variety Cabernet Sauvignon, which is where this cultivation began in Greece.
The Vineyards of Central Greece
The vineyards of central Greece start north of the boundary of Thessaly and the Pindos mountain range to the east and continue south to the natural boundary of the Gulf of Corinth, including Attica and Evia. Overall, comparing the individual areas listed, we see that it is a heterogeneous geological and morphological geographical area. This zone consists of 50,000 acres of vineyards, with the Attica region covering most of the vineyards of central Greece, with a total of 25,000 acres. Vineyards are found mainly in flat lands, despite the diversity of climate and topography of the area. The vineyards of central Greece are basically trained into goblets except for recent plantings, which are mainly indigenous varieties with the most common being Savatiano. The grapes of this zone are intended mostly for the production of table wines.
The vineyards of Mesenikola
In the village Mesenikolas, near the artificial lake Plastira is found the Mesenikola vineyard, cultivated on east exposed slopes and at altitudes that reach 700m. There we find red variety Mesenikola Black, the only place in Greece where this is cultivated, and also international varieties Syrah and Carignan up to 30% of the crop, to strengthen the local wine produced. The vineyards in this region are small and trained into goblets, and there are a few linear types. The variety Mesenikola Black matures in late September, because of mild climatic conditions in the region, due to the altitude and the nearby lake.
The vineyards of Anchialos
The vineyards of Anchialos, located on the shore of the Pagassitikos bay and are characterized by a smooth terrain with sandy loam soils. The clone of the well-known indigenous white varieties Roditis, which differs from the traditional Roditis because when it is fully ripe it does not develop the characteristic reddish color is cultivated in the vineyards of Anchialos. The vines are trained into goblets, and there are few recent linear plantings. In the Roditis cultivation a few acres of Savatiano have been added that complement the varietal composition of the region. Continuing in the neighboring Tyrnavos area in the Larissa district, in the linear vineyards, the white local variety Batiki is cultivated along with varieties Roditis and Muscat Hamburg, for the production of table wines and Retsina.
The vineyards of Fthiotida
In the area of Atalanti in Fthiotida, we find the cultivation of many indigenous as well as international varieties, the most important Cabernet Sauvignon. These varieties have adapted completely for almost three decades in the area’s mild climate, which is transformed by the favorable impact of sea breezes, also by the cool air from Mount Parnassos. The area has experienced great development in recent years, with many positive results.
The vineyards of Viotia
In Viotia district, on the plains of Thebes, the varieties Savatiano, intended mainly for the production of table wines and Retsina. On the boundary between Attica and Viotia district, on the slopes of Mount Kithaeronas, modern linear plantings of various indigenous and international varieties can also be found.
The vineyards of Attica
The vineyards of Attica are located in the area Mesogia where Retsina is mainly produced, which is based, traditionally, on the variety Savatiano and to a lesser extent on Roditis. The soils of Attica have low fertility and are mainly sandy loams. The vineyards of Attica have the warmest and most dry climates in Greece, with an annual rainfall that does not exceed 480mm, and with less than 100mm falling during the summer months. The Savatiano thanks to its durability in hot and dry conditions, is optimally adapted to Attica. The vineyards are densely planted and trained into goblets while there are several linear vineyards planted with international grape varieties.
The Vineyards of Crete
The vineyards of Crete are concentrated mainly on plains and plateaus at altitudes reaching up to 1,000 meters and are planted linear and in many cases are trained into traditional goblets. The mountain range of Lefka Ori, Idi and Dikty, which traverse most of Crete, create a great diversity of microclimates that express different characteristics of the local vines. Geographically, the island’s vineyards are located mostly in the eastern part and especially on the northern side. The varieties are dominated by the local varieties Vilana, Kotsifali.
The vineyards of Sitia
The vineyards of Sitia are quite rich in history, and are some of the oldest in Greece, cultivating many indigenous grape varieties. The most widespread are the red varieties Liatiko.
The vineyards of Peza
The vineyards of Peza are located on the low hills surrounding the valley of Peza, at an altitude of up to 700m. The varieties grown there are the red varieties Kotsifali, but also the local variety Vilana, which made the vineyards of Peza well known. The Vilana is grown mainly in the flat lands zone, giving though the most aromatic grapes at higher altitudes, where they mature gradually and in milder conditions. The vineyards are trained into goblets, and there are several linear.
The vineyards of Archanes
The vineyards of Archanes are located approximately in the center of Crete and south of the city of Heraklion. There they grow the local red variety Kotsifali and Aegean variety Mandilariaon slopes with eastern exposure, at an altitude of 300 to 400m. The vineyards of Archanes are trained goblets, while some sparser linear formations are also present.
The vineyards of Daphnes
The vineyards of Daphnes are located on the northeastern slopes of Mount Idi, at an altitude ranging from 300 to 500m. They grow the local red variety Liatiko, intended for the production of sweet wines, while they successfully grow international grape varieties. The soils of the area are sandy and of low fertility.
The Vineyards of the Ionian Islands
The vineyards of the Ionian Islands are located at various altitudes and range from flat to hilly, depending on the island where they are situated. The vine of the Ionian Islands are affected by the relatively moderate winds, mild climate due to the favorable impact of the sea that surrounds them, but also by the relatively high annual rainfall. In the Ionian Islands are found rare and unique varieties used for various PDO, PGI and table wines.
The vineyard of Kefalonia
The vineyards of Kefalonia cover an area of only 750 acres. The vines are trained into traditional low goblets, and reach an altitude of 800m on the western slopes of Mount Enos, the white variety Robola, which is unique in Greece, is cultivated. This variety thrives in poor limestone soils of mountainous and semi-mountainous southern and central areas of the island. After the invasion of phylloxera in Kefalonia, only in 1988 did the revival of Kefallonian vineyards take place, by planting vines proven to by resistant to phylloxera. At lower altitudes, the red variety Mavrodaphne is grown for the production of the homonymous Greek dessert wine, and Muscat White as well.
The vineyards of Zakynthos
The vineyards of the island are located in the southern coast of the Ionian Sea, followed by a great wine history. Nowadays, the cultivated vineyards cover an area 4,700 acres and are located for the most in the central part of the island. Dozens of varieties, many of which are local, like Goustolidi, Katsakoulias.
The vineyards of Lefkada
The vineyards of Lefkada are mountainous and are scattered around the island, on slopes that reach 600m. There the vineyards are on landscaped terraces with traditional gobelets, but also with modern linear plantings. The most famous, traditional wine varieties grown in Lefkada are Verjami and Vardea, while other varieties grown in much smaller quantities, such as Mavrodaphne.
The vineyards of Corfu
The vineyards of Corfu have been greatly reduced in size over the years and now cover only about 7% of the cultivated land and are scattered throughout the island. Locally varieties, and varieties of the Ionian Sea, such as Kakotrygis.