Greece is not only the birthplace of Dionysos (The god of wine), but also the birthplace of the grape harvest and winemaking. Greek wines are produced from various varieties of grapes, many of which are unknown to Western wine lovers.
The four basic distinctive categories are:
- PDO Wines: Wines that bear the designation Protected Designation of Origin. This wine category comprises of Greek wines bearing a Designation of Origin (VQPRD), in other words, all AOQS and AOC wines.
- PGI Wines: Wines that bear the designation Protected Geographical Indication. This wine category comprises all Regional Wines and any of the wines of “Traditional Designation” which, simultaneously, have an established geographical indication i.e., Verdea and 15 retsinas (PGI wines of Greece).
- Varietal wines: A new wine category which includes those table wines complying with all the necessary prerequisites and controls as those stipulated in Article 63, Council Regulation 607/2009. In contrast to ordinary table wines, wines of this category are entitled to bear an indication of their vintage year and varietal composition but not of their geographical indication.
- Table wines: belonging to a wine category which includes all wines
The category “Appellations of origin of superior quality” includes many of the best wines of Greece. Till today, there are 20 designated AOC regions. In Northern Greece there is Zitsa, Amyntaeo, Goumenitsa and Naoussa wines. In Halkidiki, Plagies Melitona wine and in Thessaly, Agchialos and Rapsani wines. Near Athens, Kantzas wine, while in the Peloponnese we have Patra, Mantinia and Nemea wines. The Ionian islands with Robola Kefalonia wine, while on the islands we have wines of Paros, Limnos, Rhodes and Santorini . In Crete the brand names include Archanes, Peza, Siteia and Daphnes wines.
The PGI Wines of Greece “Protected Geographical Indication” comprise of Greek Local Wines category and some “Traditional Appellation”.wines. Both European and Greek wine legislation stipulates that local wines are a sub-category of table wines which have been experiencing considerable growth both in Greece and other European countries. The introduction of the PGI Wines of Greece designation aims to reinforce the concepts of authenticity and typicality.