Continental terroirs

Continental terroir

By and large, the climate of the Greek geographical area is typically Mediterranean. Still, in the interior of mainland Greece, especially in the parts distant from the coastline and other large water masses, the climate has features which are strongly continental. Even if it can be said that Greece has no such thing as purely continental terroirs, there are vineyards in areas with continental climatic characteristics, notably the sharp temperature fluctuations during the vegetation season, with sharp daytime fluctuations and sharp falls in temperature during the night.
Continental terroirs receive little rainfall during the summer and so irrigation of the vineyards beomes necessary the vineyards during the crucial months of ripening. Lowland vineyards in Central Greece, including those of Attiki (Attica), and some on plateaus far from the sea and other water masses (such as those of Mantinia and the Nemea uplands in the Peloponnese) are found in terroirs with continental climatic features. The vineyards of the continental terroirs are normally planted in deep, fertile soil on smooth terrain. The long vegetation season at low altitudes favors late harvested varieties, primarily red. At higher altitudes, by contrast, the lower night temperatures favor the white varieties, intensifying their aromatic characteristics (Mantinia). Due to the greater variations in the climate, the harvests from continental terroirs differ more widely than those from the coastal areas.