Agiorgitiko is the quiet power grape of the Greek vineyard and of yet unexplored potential. It is not only the PDO grape of Nemea, the largest region with such status but has the fame that spreads throughout Greece and so does its cultivation. It is also the most marketed grape domestically, to the extent that one can find agents selling wines of Nemea anywhere in Greece, even in the heart of other dedicated wine-producing regions. It performs well in hot climates and gives a variety of styles.
Thick-skinned of variable size, depending on the clone and with around 8 clones available commercially today. It is potentially high yielding, late budding and late ripening.
Aidani is a white aromatic grape found mainly on the Aegean islands, particularly Santorini, Rhodes and Euboea. It is used invariably in the making of Santorini’s Vinsanto and contributes delicate flavours to this special wine blend. Historically, it has been linked with famous wine blends, such as Aperanthitis, Malvasia and Naxos. It is often known as Aidani Aspro, to distinguish it from its dark-skinned variant Aidani Mavro (in Greek, aspro means white and mavro means black).
Large bunches of thick-skinned berries, drought-resistant, high yielding, late budding and late ripening.
Athiri is a white grape variety of ancient origin grown natively in Greece. It is best known for its use in blends, particularly as a foil for the bold Assyrtiko grape variety in the Santorini PDO wines (up to 25%) and Vinsanto (up to 49%), normally combined with Aidani. It has also a PDO designation on the island of Rhodes, where it produces different styles of sparkling wines. Athiri’s freshness, softness and low alcohol potential make it well suited to these purposes.
Thin-skinned large berries in long bunches, vigorous, drought resistant and adaptive. Mid-budding and mid-ripening.
Avgoustiatis is a little known red grape variety found originally around the Ionian islands (more notably on Zakynthos) and the western part of the Peloponnese peninsula, from where it has made its way to a further two Aegean islands about 15 years ago. Following this purposeful and creative migration of the grape, we now have distinguished bottlings coming from these two most recent plantings on the islands of Tinos and Samos. The variety ripens relatively early in the growing season and harvested typically in August, where the name of the grape comes from the grape of August.
This grape variety is mostly cultivated in the Aegean Islands of Samos, Ikaria and other Dodecanese Islands. Fokiano has a solid nature, it is resistant to dry weather conditions and infections. It is used in red, rose and sweet wine production. It can produce well-balanced wines in wide spectrum of red colour, fruity scents and tastes.
Vostilidi or Gustolidi is a UNIQUE ancient Greek variety, which has survived from Homeric times under the name of the divine, to take its present name from time to time, from its vintage in August. Its many exotic tannins for white grapes lead us to the theory that his old ancestor was a red variety or that it is an ancestor of red varieties! Bottled wine has grown generations and generations of producers in Lixouri and the wider Kefalonian land, who drank it at home or in the tavern (and still drink it) oxidized! His mixing – until today – of some with drinking water, restores and answers the question of why the ancients drank their wine well!
Even though Katsano is a local variety of Santorini, it has a very limited production, less than 1%, due to the dominance of Assyrtiko in the island. This very expressive rare gem offers rich flavours and aromas with distinctive acidity, thanks to the minerality of the volcanic soil of Santorini.
Koniaros comes from Serres, Macedonia, in the far north of Greece, close to the Bulgarian border. Currently, Domaine Nerantzi is the only producer of a varietal Koniaros. Koniaros is an ancient variety that had been left behind due to low yields. Nerantzi Mitropoulos came across vines in 1998. He had them DNA tested, registered Koniaros with the authorities, preserved and cultivates it.
It has not been long since the all but forgotten PDO Mavrodaphne of Cephalonia zone of sweet red wines acquired its own advocates, and it remains too early to tell with any certainty how it will fare. Still, the clone planted on the island point toward the fact that the sweet wines bearing the “Mavrodaphne of Cephalonia” appellation seem to have more body and a deeper colour than those under the “Mavrodaphne of Patras” appellation. The character exhibited is further highlighted in this case by the exclusion of Mavri Korinthiaki with the end result that the bittersweetness of Mavrodaphne appears in its unmitigated, accentuated form. Ref: Wines of Greece.org
Mavroudi is a dark-skinned grape variety of Bulgarian origin. Its precise provenance is generally accepted to be Asenovgrad, an appellation in the West Thracian Valley of southern Bulgaria. The low-yielding, late-ripening vine produces small, almost black fruit with thick skins. The grape’s name is derived from the Greek mavro, meaning black, which is appropriate, as the wines it produces usually are of an inky colour. They also have pronounced tannins and excellent acidity, with an abundance of stewed-fruit flavours on the palate, which gives a glycerol mouth-feel. It also has a herbal characteristic, giving the wine a medicinal finish. It certainly does not lack character.
Monemvasia takes its name from the breath-taking Monemvasia town in Locania, Pelopennese. Despite its origin, today Cycladic Islands and mainly Paros produces most of this ancient grape variety. Monemvasia yields in moderate to high alcoholic but low-acid white wines with fruity tastes and aromas.
This Muscat variety with its small blackberries was first grown in the vineyards of Greece. It is also referred to as Moscatello Nero or Black Frontignan. It reaches maturity in the “second period” (i.e. 12 days after the Chasselas Doré grape, which is taken as the “baseline” in the Pulliat system of classification). The averagely vigorous vine is easily recognised by the bronze colour and cobweb-like appearance of the young leaves. The white, downy young shoots are edged with crimson, while the limb (blade) of the adult leaf is smooth in appearance. The grapes grow in compact, cylindrical clusters, bearing berries of a middling size.
Muscat of Alexandria is an ancient grape variety used both for table grapes and wine production. Despite its long history, the variety remains rather undistinguished and lies in the shadow of its finer, more aromatic cousin Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains. Nevertheless, there are a handful of wine regions that make high-quality wines from Muscat of Alexandria, most often sweet or fortified styles.
Few attempts at the cultivation of this variety have been made in our country. However, they are particularly interesting, since the same variety, of French origin, usually gives wines with distinctive temperament, with rich tannins, colour and taste. The fresh and fruity aromas evolve interesting in scents of violet and leather while it ages.
Robola, the variety’s Italian-sounding name, together with its cultivation in the Ionian Islands located close to Italy, have led some to claim that the Robola grape variety is actually the same with the Ribolla Gialla variety cultivated in northeastern Italy. Whatever the case may be, striking differences between the two do exist, rendering Robola a truly unique and highly promising variety both in terms of morphology and taste. If properly cultivated and vinified, the grapes of Robola reward the effort in the best way imaginable, yielding dry white wines of refined character and expressing beautifully their terroir of origin. Overall, Robola is elegant and capable of offering a sophisticated “goût de terroir” character which, at a time of globalized tastes, will certainly strike a sensitive chord with lovers of culture and wine.
This pink-skinned grape is one of the most cultivated white varieties of Greece. Though traditionally from Peloponnese region, now it garnishes vineyards in different regions such as Epirus, Patra, Attica and Peloponnese. It can produce well-structured wines with lemony color, fruity aromas and stimulating acidity. Winemakers have been recently exploring new styles, offering premium quality Roditis based wines.
Sklava is a rare and old vine variety from Argolida and Nemea in Peloponnese. This near-extinct variety was saved by the efforts of some local producers and today in addition to be blended with other grapes, a good number of Sklava varietals are produced. Sklava yields in wines with fruity aromas such as lemon and pear, with low to medium acidity.