Wines of North Greece

The vine-growing region of North Greece

Large open plains crossed by rivers and semi-mountainous areas with low, gentle hills. Tall mountains and enclosed plateaus kept cool by the breeze from large and small lakes. In the background lies the lacy coastline, surrounded by the Aegean and Ionian Seas. The topography of North Greece is complex and interesting, with a varied natural environment. The gentle Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and sunny summers, and the ideal soil composition contribute to the creation of many micro-regions with specific ecosystems.

This is particularly beneficial for vine-growing, and for the production of many different types of wine with character and particularity. Indigenous grape varieties, as well as cosmopolitan ones that have been well acclimatized to the region, enjoy the attention of experienced vintners in the vineyards of Northern Greece. There are approximately 300 native Greek grape varieties. They are a valuable asset for the unique character of Greek wines.

Many of these can be found in the North Greek vineyards. Xinomavro, the finest red grape variety in North Greece, is grown here, and dominates the composition of PDO wines from Naoussa, Amynteo, Goumenissa and Rapsani, being closely identified with these regions. Xinomavro wines have a multidimensional and distinct character. They can be distinguished by their deep red colour and characteristic aroma of red fruits which, after aging in oak barrels, develops into a rich bouquet of spices with typical notes of tomato. This also softens the tannins that give the wine its good structure and richness. They are wines with excellent ageing potential.

Other Greek red grape varieties in the vineyards of North Greece are Negoska, Krasato, Stavroto, Moschomavro, Limnio, Mavroudi and Vlachiko. The main indigenous white grape varieties grown in the region are Debina, Roditis, Athiri, Assyrtiko and Malagouzia. Alongside the Greek grape varieties grow some very well acclimatized cosmopolitan varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gew├╝rztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache Rouge and other, rarer varieties. Topography, soil, climate, varieties: All the necessary ingredients to create a great wine coexist harmoniously in North Greece. The vintners and wine-producers of the region make use of the tradition, their experience and skills to develop dynamically. Their produce, the Wines of North Greece, are Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication wines with identity and character, which honour their place of origin as they travel around the world.

2024  European Wine Treasures