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.
Its hometown is Nemea, but it is also grown in other regions of the Peloponnese and beyond. It can produce a range of styles. These are heart catchers with aromas of red cherries, strawberries, raspberries, sweet spices, and dark chocolate, with a velvet touch. The better examples are complex and worth ageing.
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.
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.
White variety grown on the Cyclades, and mainly on Santorini, Naxos and Paros. Used to be a blending partner for Assyrtiko and Athiri, but in the last few years, some excellent varietal wines have been put on the market. Expressive and elegant on the nose, with jasmine, peach, kumquat and tropical fruits.
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.
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 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.
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.