Greece was the birthplace of wine, well over 6,500 years ago. So why is this no longer the go to place for after work and date-night treats? We all know Greece to be the reliable, budget holiday: with cultured, family getaways in Santorini or blurred tours with the girls to Kavos. You can bet the sun will be shining, not a cloud in the sky and the culture is vibrant with plenty of sea, sand and nightlife to keep you entertained. No one really thinks there may be a vineyard just down the road…
Being a fair skinned Brit I can only imagine and sympathise about how the grapes must feel in the baking heat. Even in the shade, temperatures can soar to over 40oC. Great for a tan, but baffling as to how this ancient culture could ever cultivate huge areas under vine.
The secret is in choosing the ideal site. Huge areas are planted in the cooler north around Macedonia and Thessalia, also, on the Islands of Crete and Santorini where the wind moderates this hot Mediterranean climate. The wine industry has advanced dramatically since the 1980s, with the introduction of state-of-the-art technology, permitting temperature control for more desirable flavours. International grape varieties have been introduced including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to blend with indigenous varieties and creating some interesting and delicious wines.
If you are taking a trip to Greece this summer, give a local wine bar a try. You can start your journey with us by tasting wines from our award winning producer Ktima Gerovassiliou from Macedonia. With all of the economic issues that have revolved around Greece recently, let’s give a big shout of to the country that introduced wine to the world by supporting the industry!