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Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. The earliest evidence of Greek wine has been dated to 6,500 years ago 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; The wines of Greece had especially high prestige in Italy under the Roman Empire. The Ancient Greeks introduced vines such as Vitis vinifera and made wine in their numerous colonies in Italy, southern France and Spain.

Grape VarieitiesRegionsAppellation System
Among the most widespread of Greece’s grape varieties are Agiorghitiko, Xinomavro, Limnio (or Kalambaki), Mandilaria and Mavrodaphne which are used in the production of Greek red wines. Greek white wine production involves varieties such as Assyrtiko, Athiri, Debina (popular for the production of Greek sparkling wine), Lagorthi, the aromatic Malagousia, Robola, Roditis and Savatiano – the predominant variety in the region of Attica.
The main vineyard areas in Greece are: The Aegean Islands, Crete, Central Greece (Anchialos, Attica, Rapsani and Thessaly), Epirus, Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands, Macedonia (Amyntaion, Epanomi, Goumenissa and Naoussa), and the Peloponnese (Mantineia, Nemea and Patras).
A system of appellations is in place to assure consumers the origins of their wine purchases. The appellation system categorises wines as, in decreasing levels of quality: Onomasia Proelefsis Anoteras Poiotitos (O.P.A.P.), Onomasia Proelefsis Eleghomeni (O.P.E.), Topikos Oinos, (similar to a vin de pays) and Epitrapezios Oinos (similar to vin de table), which includes Retsina – a wine flavoured with pine resin.

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