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The Greek wine history began to speak with a fling of the supreme god Zeus with the beautiful Semele, of the birth of Dionysus led the god of wine. The Ancient wines Greece is considered the "mother country" or "cradle of European wine culture." As early as the Mycenaean civilization in the 16th Century BC (= Northeastern Peloponnese Mycenae), there was wine professionals that discovered by Amphora is proved. Wine was an important part of everyday life, culture and religion, as well as a valuable commodity. The poet Homer (8th century. BC) reported in the Iliad of wine as a staple drink of the matters described hero.
Furthermore, dealt in wine and viticulture, the historian Hesiod (753-680 BC), philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC), the naturalist Theophrastus (370-287 BC) and the doctor Galen (129-216). On their Kolonialisierungszügen in the Mediterranean, the Greeks brought their vines and viticulture to Sicily, for, as they Oinotria called Southern Italy, Southern France and the Black Sea. Many of the Greek wine-growing methods were then of the Celts and the Romans adopted. The Roman poet Virgil described the variety of grape varieties: "It would be easier to count the grains of sand in Greece as the different varieties."
The port city Monemvasia (Peloponnese) was in the late Middle Ages under the rule of Venice a famous trading center for Sweet wine from the Aegean the wine its importance, only most of the islands, he was continued in a relatively small scale. It was not until some time after independence was regained in 1830 and the pushing back of the Turkish influence began again professionally with the wine as an economic factor to be reactivated and numerous vineyards.
Among the pioneers were also German as Gustav Clauss, who in 1861, the still existing large winery Achaia Clauss explained. By the end of the 19th Century doubled the vineyard, but when in 1898 the Phylloxera Greece was also achieved, again much wiped out. Rebuilding was slow because the demand had fallen sharply after Greek wine. A renaissance of Greek wine until the end of military dictatorship in 1974 and the accession of Greece to the European Union in 1981.
Greece, despite its strong maritime character of a very high proportion of mountain. The ground limestone, granite and volcanic rocks, and the dominant in the wine regions with Mediterranean climate creates damp short-mild winters and dry hot summers, a favorable effect on the wine. The most frequently dry autumns provide fully ripe grapes with relatively low acidity. The majority of vineyards situated near the coast. These benefit from the moderating sea breezes acting. In order to give the wines more structure, are deliberately designed vineyards at high altitude. The vines can be extended by the Vegetation cycle Extract build more and achieve higher levels of acidity. Another effective method of slowing Maturity date consists in the deliberate creation of vineyards on north slopes. Wine is often operated on a small scale, all over Greece on the mainland and also on all major islands. The country is divided into the following wine regions / areas:
* Côtes de Meliton (Playies Melitona)
* Nikola Fair
In 2007 were produced by 116 800 hectares 3.511 million hectoliters of wine (see statistics in this regard, a global Wine production quantities ). There are about 300 different indigenous grape varieties are grown increasingly foreign. About half of the vines is for the production of Table grape and Raisins utilized. The most important variety in this respect is the korinthiaki which occupies 44,000 hectares. Only less than 10% for the production of quality wines (OPAP and OPE). Even today is characterized by exceptional wine from the Greek and original flavors. About 60% of the wines are alcoholic white wines, and over 90% of that produced dry. To about 85% native species are used, the international varieties account for only about 15%. The main types of wine (each, first local and then international):
RED WINE GRAPES-/ HECTARE WHITE WINE GRAPES / RA Agianniotiko Aidani Aspro Agiorgitiko (2,300 hectares) Assyrtiko (1,100 hectares) Athiri Mavro Athiri Aspro (1,000 hectares) Karabraimis Avgoustiatis Kotsifali (1,150 hectares) Batiki Krassato Begleri Kypreiko = Mavro (9,000 hectares) Daphnato Liatiko (2,500 hectares) Debina (800 ha) Limnio (100 ha) Malagouzia Mandilaria (1,500 hectares) Monemvasia (Variety) Mavrodaphne (500 ha) Moschophilero (300 ha) Mavrotragano Opsimo Prossotsanis Mavroudi = Mavrud Opsimos Edessis Mavroudi Arachovis Opsimos Soufliou Negoska (100 ha) Plyto Romeiko (2,200 hectares) Robola Stavroto (7,200 hectares) Stavrochiotiko Savatiano (18,000) Vaftra Skiadopoulo Vertzami (500 ha) Thrapsathiri Voudomato Tsaoussi Xynomavro (2,000 hectares) Vidiano Cabernet Franc Vilana (600 ha) Cabernet Sauvignon Zoumiatico = Dimiat Cinsaut Chardonnay Merlot Moscato Aspro = Muscat Blanc Muscat of Hamburg Sauvignon Blanc Syrah Ugni Blanc
The taste for resinated wine, especially the famous Retsina with approximately 10% of the total wine production, is an ancient Greek tradition. On almost all of the Aegean islands sweet, fortified dessert wines are sometimes produced, the best known is probably the Samos . Also well known are the aniseed flavored liquor Ouzo , And flavored with various herbs (such as rose petals) Brandy Metaxa . Among the most important Greek wine producers include Achaia Clauss , Biblia Chora , Boutari , Calligas , Cambas , Domaine Carras , Gaia , Hatzimichalis , Katsaros , Kechri , Kourtakis , Malamatina , Mercouri , Oenoforos , Papaïoannou , Parparoussis , Pavlidis , Skouras , Spiropoulos , Tsantali and Tselepos . More are listed at the vineyard areas.
Following the French model was introduced in the period 1971 to 1972 by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Wine Institute of controlled origin designations for the best growing areas. The guidelines draw on to the AOC: maximum yields per hectare, certain Grape with a clear preference for indigenous species, the minimum must weight, aging and regulations sensory Tests. A Enrich the must sugar is allowed, but must not exceed the maximum 2.5% alcohol content by volume increase. A Sweetening must be accompanied by up to 25% of the sugars contained in the must before and during fermentation. Also, a is allowed and is often practiced due to the rather low-acid grapes. Controls exercised by the Ministry KEPO Department (Central Committee for the Protection of the wine production).
Wine categories: In August 2009, the EU wine market organization with fundamental changes in the levels of quality wine terms and was valid. For the EU countries to allow time for changes, a transition period until end of 2011. The following new names and grades (see also detailed below Quality System ):
* Oinos - equivalent to the now banned as a term Epitrapezios Oinos
* PGE = Prostatevomenis Geografikis Endixis (formerly Topikos Oinos)
* POP = Prostatevomenis Onomasias Proelefsis (formerly OPAP, OPE)
Epitrapezios Oinos: Does the German or Austrian "table wine", the French "vin de table" or the Italian "vino da tavola". These are blended wines from different growing areas without designation of origin.
Kava (Cava): Name (dt basement or in spirit, "cellared") for a table wine stored for long periods (Epitrapezios Oinos) of top quality. White wines should be stored for two years (of which at least 6 months in barrel and six months in the bottle), red wines three years to be stored (including at least 6 months in new oak or 1 year in used oak and 2 years in the bottle).
Topikos Oinos: The Regional Wines must have a label on the bottle originated. Currently there are around 100 defined areas, is a well-known area Agioritikos . Corresponds to the French "vin de pays' or the Italian" IGT ".
OPAP = Onomasia Proelefseos Anoteras Piotitos: In German "original designation of higher (or better) quality." The wine bottle wear a red band, which must be placed over the cork under the capsule. OPAP look similar to the Italian DOC or the French AOC. Although this is often developed for dry red wines and white wines, but this (to be read as often wrongly) is not a requirement. There are 20 appellations (see above).
OPE = Onomasia Proelefseos Eleghomeni: In German "controlled designation of origin" as the increase in OPAP. This highest level of quality equivalent to the Greek Italian DOCG. The wine bottles carry a blue band, which must be placed over the cork under the capsule. Currently there are eight appellations, these are the sweet wines of Kefalonia , Limnos , Patras , Rhodes and Samos .
Reserve (Epilegmenos) and Grande Reserve (Idika Epilegmenos). This is allowed only for quality wines (OPAP and OPE) reserve is for white wines with two years (at least 6 months in barrel and 6 months in the bottle) and for red wines with three years of storage (same minimum). Grande Reserve is true for white wines with at least three years (at least 1 year in barrel and 1 year in the bottle) and for red wines with four years of storage (at least 2 years in cask and 2 years in the bottle) .