White grape with the power of a red. Definitely the global ambassador of Greek varieties. Salty, flinty, mouthwatering, full-bodied, high in alcohol. Aromas that bring lemons, green plums, and broken sea-shells to mind. Born on the island of Santorini, but thrives all around Greece.
Traditionally grown in the Peloponnese and on the island of Cephalonia. Legend has it was named after some particularly pretty girl with dark features. Makes famous sweet wines, but is recently being vinified in a dry version. The wine shows aromas of black cherry, prunes, asian spices and laurel or sage. Ages beautifully. Really distinctive.
A variety that lives mainly in Mantinia in the Peloponnese. Produces wines that have a greyish hue with intense, heady aromas of rose petals, lemon blossom, orange zest, pungent spice, and even some minerality. The wines are crisp, light-bodied and fresh with rather low alcohol.
Grown in Northern Greece, with Naoussa considered as its hometown. A capricious variety that needs to be handled with respect. The wines are characterised by their acidity and tannin, with aromas that remind us of strawberries, plums, sour cherries, tomato paste, and black olives.
Grown almost all around Greece, a variety which, like Savatiano, used to go into the production of retsina. Nowadays producers are experimenting with the various clones (Roditis Fox in particular) and some very good examples come from sites at altitude, particularly in the region of Aigialia.
Excels on the island of Cephalonia, but is also grown on the neighbouring islands and parts of the Peloponnese. Makes wines that are elegant and complex. Not very intensely aromatic, reminds us of lemon, citrus fruit, grapefruit, and fennel. Steely, with nice acidity, medium body, and alcohol.
Most planted in the Northern part of Greece, but is quickly taking over the hearts of most producers. Can range from herbal, minty, citrusy, to more peachy and tropical in its aromas, always with a floral signature. Makes wines that have intensity, concentration, medium-full body with highish alcohol, but of medium acidity. Can handle oak.
Attica is its hometown, but is grown widely in the neighbouring Boeotia. Moderately intense aromas of apples, white peach, and even melon when the fruit is riper. Ages well developing a honeyed-toasty character. Very cleverly oaked or resinated will make the wines particularly versatile partners to food.
The most widely grown variety in Crete is on its best manners when grown at altitude, where it manages to retain nice freshness to balance out the rather high alcohol. Usually has medium intensity aromas of orange zest, pears, peaches, and melon. It can give some interesting wines that can age.
One of the oldest varieties planted in all of the Aegean islands. It ripens early and needs to be picked at just the right time, otherwise, the wine can be flabby. Fresh, fruity but not very aromatic, with notes of lemon, grapefruit and lemon blossom. Makes simple, easy-drinking wines, unless grown at altitude.
A variety that is grown mainly on Crete, and makes wines that are not very deeply coloured and tend to turn to brick rather easily. Intensely aromatic, with aromas of red berries like cherry, plum and strawberry, sweet spices and Mediterranean herbs. Rather low in tannins and acidity, but high in alcohol.
Although very dark-skinned it makes fairly pale wines, which have a tendency to turn to brick rather easily. An aromatic variety with aromas of red fruit and spice, sometimes more floral, that also shows aromas of figs and raisins in the sweet versions. Full-bodied, soft tannins and moderate acidity. Like a hug.