The new face of Greek wines has led to a change in the profile of many native varieties. One of the least known is Debina, used in the production of dry whites as well as superb sparkling and semi-sparkling wines. Due to its high susceptibility to oxidation, its consumption had remained until recently the privilege of those residing in the areas of its production. Fortunately, contemporary vinification, bottling, and transport methods allow any wine lover open to new horizons and journeys of exploration to delight in the distinct freshness of Debina.

The vineyard of Zitsa, in the greater Ioannina area, is the main cultivation hub of this especially sensitive grape variety. The region’s cold climate endows Debina with a unique fresh character; those tasting the wine crafted from this variety have the impression that they have just bitten into a freshly-picked Granny Smith apple. This feeling holds true when the wine is the mild, low-alcohol PDO Zitsa white. The semi-sparkling and sparkling wines share the same geographical indication and are available in their bottled, dry or semi-dry form. Here, the aromas of brioche and biscuits come to fortify as well as “sweeten” the variety’s main primary aroma.

Careful maintenance and thorough chilling before serving are the only things wine lovers should be mindful of before starting their forays into the Debina variety’s treasure trove. If dutifully maintained and properly chilled, one thing is certain: Debina will enthrall in each and all its forms!