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Greek Wine Regions

There are about 300 native grapes in Greece, many of them highly local and with distinctive flavours. Just over half the 150,000ha (370,500 acres) planted are for winemaking; the rest are for eating or for the dried fruit industry.

white wine varieties
Important white-wine varieties include Assyrtiko, which holds its acid well, is found on Santorini and is spreading to other areas; Rhoditis, a pink-skinned variety from the Pelo-ponnese, also now being planted further afield; and Savatiano from central Greece and Attica, the basic grape for retsina but now found, on the right sites, to produce good dry white wine. Other white-wine grapes include the pink-shinned, del-Mantinia, the Robola from Cephalonia and the Vilana of Crete.

red-wine varieties
Important red-wine varieties include Agioritiko, or St George, which produces the wines of Nemea; Limnio an ancient variety originally from Lemnos, but now growing successfully in Halkidiki in northern Greece, with ageing capacity; and Xynomavro, native to northern Greece. Mandelaria is widely planted on the islands, giving wine of enormous colour but light in body, while Mavrodaphne, found mainly around Patras, makes a fortified red wine of considerable character.

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