If you’ve never heard of Greek wines, you must not be a real wine lover or historian. While there are many countries today that produce wines that are more popular and perhaps more appreciated, it’s thought that winemaking actually originated with the Greeks thousands and thousands of years ago. At that time, wines from Greece were produced in individual homes right along with everything else that was considered everyday foods, including bread, butter, cheese, meat dishes, and so on. Wine was considered a standard staple of the dining table and not something that was reserved for special occasions. It’s thought that during the Roman Empire, these wines were traded extensively as Rome opened up merchant routes all along the Mediterranean regions.
Wines of the Past
There have been many political upheavals and other problems that have kept Greece from competing in the global wine market; however, today they are just as competitive as wines from any other region of the world. This is a necessity as there has actually been a decline in recent years of domestic consumption of locally produced wine. Greek vineyard owners have, out of necessity, found themselves competing on the world market just to stay economically feasible. Those that produce wines have found that they have needed to introduce foreign grape varieties to their vineyards in order to stay competitive. In 1963, their first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard was planted, and the 1960’s and 1970’s saw an ever evolving revolution in the area of wine making.
Reasons for Success in Making Greek Wines
One of the reasons for the success of wines from Greece is of course the climate of the country. With its warm and dry summers and mild winters, it makes for near perfect grape growing conditions. Also, there are literally hundreds of indigenous Greek grapes from which vineyard owners may produce their own unique brand, and foreign varieties do quite well when planted or grafted into existing vineyards.
It’s also interesting that many true wine connoisseurs are always on the lookout for exotic brands and varieties to try, something different than the standard French or Italian fare. In this regard, many upscale wine lovers are turning to Greek wines as they are truly unique in the world of winemaking.
Today you can easily find wines from Greece available in any local wine store or liquor shop. They are also available online from specialty importers. As Greek vineyard owners continue to appreciate the beautiful and perfect climate they are blessed with, it is certain that more and more world class Greek wines will continue to be available and will be competitive on the world market.
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