Wines of North Greece

ONE OF THE MOST PRIVILEGED & DYNAMIC VINE-GROWING REGIONS IN THE COUNTRY

North Greece is one of the most privileged and dynamic vine-growing regions in the country. It is a large area which extends from the Ioanian Sea in the West to the River Evros in the East, and from the northern borders of the country with Albania, FYROM and Bulgaria down to Mount Olympus in Central Greece. The history and tradition of vine-growing and wine in this region have their roots in ancient times. On Olympus, the mythical mountain, the Gods enjoyed drinking Nectar, far from the eyes of mortals. According to mythology, on the lush green slopes of Mount Vermion, in Naoussa, lived Semele, mother of Dionysus – the God of vine and wine – who roamed around the foothills of Mount Pangeon in Drama. In the incredible mosaic floor of an ancient villa at Pella, the God Dionysus is depicted riding on a panther. Furthermore, Odysseus got the Cyclops Polyphemus drunk on smooth, fragrant wine from Maronia in Thrace.

The company Wines of North Greece, with its prominent winery members, operates in this region, with its thousand-year vine and wine tradition. Small family-run wineries, modern units equipped with the latest technology, as well as some of the largest winemaking companies in the country are located here, producing their wines and inviting us to discover them. And if every glass of wine tells a story about the place and the people who created it, North Greece and its people have many pleasant surprises in store for us.

PGI Wines in North Greece

The category of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) refers to wines with a special indication of geographical origin made from specific varieties. The indication of geographical origin can relate either to an entire geographical region – which, in the case of North Greece, are Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace – or to smaller areas. The wine producers of the company Wines of North Greece produce wines with different PGIs, depending on the area where each of them is located. Most of them produce wines with labels from the three major geographical regions: white, rosé and red PGI Epirus; white, rosé and red PGI Macedonia; and white, rosé and red PGI Thrace. Along with these three regional PGI wines, the wineries of North Greece also release wines with the following PGI indications:

PGI Krania
PGI Pieria
PGI Metsovo
PGI Ioannina
PGI Velventos
PGI Florina
PGI Kastoria
PGI Siatista
PGI Imathia
PGI Pella
PGI Nea Mesimvria
PGI Epanomi
PGI Slopes of Vertiskos
PGI Thessaloniki
PGI Sithonia
PGI Agio Oros
PGI Halkidiki
PGI Pangeo
PGI Drama
PGI Slopes of Paiko
PGI Ismarikos PGI Avdira.

PDO Vine-Growing Regions in North Greece

In accordance with European Union regulations, the term Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) on a label means that the wine comes from a legally-defined vinegrowing area with a specific name, is produced from the varieties which are indicated by the legislation for that area, is vinified using the area’s traditional technique and has specific organoleptic characteristics. Wines with the indication PDO have typicity and character, that indicate the area from which they originate.

There are 6 PDO regions in North Greece.

  • The PDO region Rapsani lies on the foothills of Mount Olympus.
  • The rich red PDO Rapsani wine is made from the grape varieties Xinomavro, Krasato and Stavroto.
  • The PDO region Zitsa is in Epirus. Two types of the fragrant PDO Zitsa wine are produced from the white grape variety Debina, a still and a semi-sparkling one.
  • The PDO region Amynteo lies in Amynteo, around Lake Vegoritida. The noble red grape variety Xinomavro is grown here, and the wines produced are PDO Amynteo still rosé and red, as well as the only sparkling rosé in Greece with the PDO indication.
  • The PDO region Naoussa lies around the town of Naoussa on the foothills of Mount Vermion. This is an area dominated by Xinomavro, which gives the red PDO Naoussa wine its characteristic rich aroma in two types – dry and semi-sweet.
  • The PDO region Goumenissa extends around the foothills of Mount Paiko, around the town of Goumenissa.
  • The gentle and elegant PDO Goumenissa wine is produced from the Xinomavro and Negoska red grape varieties.
  • The PDO region Slopes of Meliton is located in Halkidiki, on the slopes of Mount Meliton on the Sithonia peninsula.
  • The red PDO Slopes of Meliton wine is produced from the varieties Limnio, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
  • The white PDO Slopes of Meliton wine is produced from the varieties Assyrtiko, Roditis and Athiri.

2018  European Wine Treasures