Vineyard in Naoussa, central Macedonia
Moschofilero grapes

Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and among the first wine-producing territories in Europe. The earliest evidence of Greek wine has been dated to 6,500 years ago[1][2] where wine was produced on a household or communal basis. In ancient times, as trade in wine became extensive, it was transported from end to end of the Mediterranean; Greek wine had especially high prestige in Italy under the Roman Empire. In the medieval period, wines exported from Crete, Monemvasia and other Greek ports fetched high prices in northern Europe. [3]


See also: Ancient Greece and wine

Dionysus with Hermes, a silenus and grapes
Wine boy at a symposium

The origins of wine-making in Greece go back 6,500 years[4][5] and evidence suggesting wine production confirm that Greece is home to the second oldest known grape wine remnants discovered in the world[2][4][6] and the world's earliest evidence of crushed grapes.[4] As Greek civilization spread through the Mediterranean, wine culture followed.[7] The Ancient Greeks introduced vines such as Vitis vinifera[7] and made wine in their numerous colonies in Italy,[8] Sicily,[9] southern France,[10] and Spain.[7]

In 1937, a Wine Institute was established by the Ministry of Agriculture. During the 1960s, retsina suddenly became the national beverage. With rapidly growing tourism, retsina became associated worldwide with Greece and Greek wine. Greece's first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard was planted in 1963. In 1971 and 1972, legislation established appellation laws.[citation needed]

Wine regions

A system of appellations was implemented to assure consumers the origins of their wine purchases. The appellation system categorizes wines as:[11][12][13]

The main wine growing regions – so called appellations of Greece – are:[12][13]

Aegean Islands

Greek wine regions
Vineyard in Santorini
A vineyard in Peloponnese
Wine barrels in Samos
Red wine of Zakynthos



Ionian Islands


Central Greece



Grape varieties

A Nemea wine made from 100% Agiorgitiko

Red wine

Assyrtiko grapes

White wine


  1. ^ Ancient Mashed Grapes Found in Greece Archived 2008-01-03 at the Wayback Machine Discovery News.
  2. ^ a b Mashed grapes find re-write history of wine Zeenews
  3. ^ "Top Greek wine regions to visit in 2022". Retrieved 2022-11-07.
  4. ^ a b c 6,500-year-old Mashed Grapes Found in Greece Archived 2012-10-08 at the Wayback Machine. Discovery News.
  5. ^ 6,500-year-old Mashed grapes found World’s earliest evidence of crushed grapes
  6. ^ 6500-year-old Mashed grapes found Archived 2007-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c Introduction to Wine Laboratory Practices and Procedures, Jean L. Jacobson, Springer, p. 84.
  8. ^ The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Brian Murray Fagan, 1996 Oxford Univ Pr, p. 757.
  9. ^ Wine: A Scientific Exploration, Merton Sandler, Roger Pinder, CRC Press, p. 66.
  10. ^ Medieval France: an encyclopedia, William Westcott Kibler, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, p. 964.
  11. ^ THE GREEK WINE LAW Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b Yachting paradise Greece, the yachting paradise
  13. ^ a b Greece
  14. ^ Winemaking region Macedonia Archived 2020-04-08 at the Wayback Machine. All about Greek wine.
  15. ^ "Liatiko".
  16. ^ Mavroudi
  17. ^ "Mavroudi in 5'!". Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  18. ^ Lazarakis, Konstantinos (2018-01-22). The wines of Greece. Infinite Ideas. ISBN 9781910902691.
  19. ^ "Vertzami". Wine Searcher. 29 October 2014.
  20. ^ Shara Hall, Lisa, "Guide to Greek Wine", Epikouria Magazine, Spring/Summer 2006

Further reading

See also