Much of the wine drinking culture in Europe comes from the early Greek settlers. Home to Dionysus, the God of Wine, Greece has long touted the virtues of drinking wine. With over 400 indigenous varieties, you won't find many Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines, although the grapes do grow here and are occasionally blended. The climate of Greece is good for growing grapes, with very warm summers and little rainfall. Most wines exported today are owned by bigger companies, like Boutari and Kourtakis. Smaller wineries are producing higher quality wine, but much of it is drunk in Greece.
The regions of Greece might remind you of reading Homer or studying ancient history. The two main larger grape-growing regions are Macedonia and Peloponnese. Some of the regional grapes to know include the whites, Assyrtico and Moscofilero as well as the reds, Agiorgitiko and Xynomavro. In the Peloponnese, there are a few sub-regions making white wines from the pink-skinned Moscofilero grape. These wines are aromatic, dry and a bit spicy in flavor. The most popular red of Peloponnese is Agiorgitiko, which can make both dry and sweet, port-like wines. Xynomavro is the red grape of Macedonia, where it produced deep, dense, earthy red wines that are often oak-aged.