The history of Greek wine

Giving an account of the history of Greek wine can well amount to a fascinating journey down the passage of time, being such a multi-faceted and complex endeavor that can only be compared to giving an account of Greek history itself!

The mere mention of the key points of the history of Greek wine would require an inter-disciplinary study that would take many years and tens of volumes to cover the innumerable sources: the archeological finds, the historical references, the research, studies and publications on viticulture, winemaking, the wines themselves and their importance for Greece and its people over the centuries.

Still, every true wine lover stands to gain much even from a brief overview of the history of Greek wine that will initiate him into the exploration of a "magical" wine world; even though it would concern the most ancient part of the “old world” of wine, it can steer wine lovers into an experience of discovery and exploration by proposing something even newer than “New World” wines: the new wines of Greece.

Throughout the age-old history of Greek wine, the association of vine and wine has been inextricably linked with the inhabitants of this corner of the world, in every nook and cranny of the country. And so, inevitably, any account of the history of Greek wine will encompass elements relating to Greece’s culture, economy, religion, social as well as everyday life, and include the regions where viticulture, winemaking and wine consumption flourished.

The history of Greek wine spans a remarkably long period of time in the annals of History. When it comes to vine cultivation and wine production on an uninterrupted basis that period is the longest one worldwide. The beginnings of winegrowing in the Greek domain lay behind recorded history and are lost in the mists of time. Since time immemorial, vine and wine have faithfully traveled together with Greece and its inhabitants on their historical journey, time after time, insouciantly moving forth without ever pausing or ceasing! There have been times when both vine and wine have received their due and have been touted. Yet, there have been other times when they have remained in obscurity, cast in the shadow by the momentous events occurring in the much-tormented land they have been born of. In each and every case, plunging into the unchartered depths of time undoubtedly indicates the degree of maturity behind Greek terroirs and winegrowers in the creation of the new wines of Greece.