Native grape varieties

Greek native grape varieties for red wines

Agiorgitiko

Agiorgitiko is one of the two emblematic red grape varieties in Greece and the most important in Peloponnese boasting the most dynamic presence for Greece in international wine markets. Agiorgitiko promises a mythical wine journey starting from the past with the myth of Hercules and his Labors – it is said that Hercules drank Agiorgitiko wine – to our days and has a bright future with many great surprises to come.

What?
Agiorgitiko is multi-dimensional as it produces rosé wines, red tank wines (fresh), short or long-aging red wines, some aged in barrels, semi-sweet and sweet wines.
Where?
The wine-producing zone of Nemea in Corinth is the kingdom Agiorgitiko, which is also planted elsewhere in Peloponnese, in Greece and worldwide. Nemea, with the PDO Nemea wine, is the largest designation of origin zone of red wine in Greece.
Why?
Because Agiorgitiko captivates the senses. It is no wonder why many consider it to be the Sangiovese of Greece, because of its velvet tannins, the freshness and aromas which are evident both in the nose and mouth.
For whom?
Agiorgitiko is ideal for a wide range of wine-lovers and not only, as it produces easily consumed wines, yet evokes prestige and seriousness.
How?
The fresh tank wines from Agiorgitiko are relatively dark red and have an intense aroma of red fruits. Its mouth has medium acidity and its tannins are soft. Those aged in barrels are usually more dark-colored and more complex in terms of aromas, with a quite complex nose. Its rich taste is accompanied by relatively soft tannins, usually of very good quality, while its aging capacity varies from some years to more than ten.
When?
Because of their varietal profile, wines made of Agiorgitiko are great for many occasions, ensuring beautiful social moments and an intimate atmosphere. The fresh red tank Agiorgitikos but also the rosé ones are ideal for everyday meals, even in fast food restaurants or for picnics. Red wines aged in barrels are good for any type of meal, from casual to formal and the sweet wines from Agiorgitiko can be enjoyed at the end of a meal or on their own, instead of a liqueur.
With what?
The variety of foods that can be accompanied by Agiorgitiko wines is very wide. Fresh, red, tank wines and rosé ones are ideal with salads, various meat or poultry-based appetizers, or with even cooked vegetables. Aged red wines are ideal match for white and red meat, as well as game.

Mavrodaphne

It was around the mid-19th century when the German Gustav Clauss vinified the first Mavrodaphne just outside Patras. Nobody knows if he believed that someday its wines would be among the most emblematic of Greece and the most well-known dessert wines (Port type) with a potential for excellent quality. He definitely couldn’t have imagined the potential of this red varietal for dry wines that turned Mavrodaphne one of the most promising cases for red winemaking in Greece.

What?
Mavrodaphne is a red grape variety with a long history in the production of sweet wines and a promising future in red dry wine production.
Where?
Peloponnese and especially its northwestern part feature the largest percentage of Mavrodaphne vineyards. Mavrodaphne is the main varietal producing the wine that bears the same name, i.e. PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras.
For whom?
Those who love Port type wines, also adore PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras. This wine is also ideal for those who want to taste a Greek variety which is currently being widely explored and is going to stand out in the production of dry red wines of high standards.
Why?
Because the sweet red wines PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras are well-known and have the potential to be among the best of this type in Greece – which is famous for its sweet wines. Compared to other Port-type wines, they usually have a tremendously better value for money. Moreover, because red dry wines from Mavrodaphne – although few for the time being – show the great potential of this varietal.
How?
Dark red, almost black, sweet red wines from Mavrodaphne have concentrated the aromas of currants, black berries and prunes. These warm wines have a mouth high in alcohol and probably of average acidity. The sweet sensation of the alcohol and sugars is balanced by the Mavrodaphne’s tannins. Mavrodaphne dry red wines are somewhat similar to the Italian Amarone, which misses the sweet element of Mavrodaphne.
When?
Sweet wine PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras is a perfect match for many moments and occasions. It can be enjoyed as a liqueur, as a dessert wine after a meal, in cocktails, for cooking and patisserie purposes, etc.
With what?
PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras wines, depending on their style, match perfectly with chocolate desserts, desserts with nuts, such as walnut, and with aged cheeses with intense flavor. A nice glass of Mavrodapnhe can also accompany a good cigar.

Avgoustiatis

Avgoustiatis is one of the many rare and “precious” indigenous Greek grape varieties which have survived and are now extensively cultivated. A trip to Peloponnese could be worth just for meeting such varieties and their wine producers who take care and make use of them.

What?
The red variety Avgoustiatis produces impressive, good-quality wines – mostly red and rarely rosé.
Where?
Avgoustiatis is cultivated in a small area in Peloponnese, especially in its western part, near wonderful beaches and ancient Olympia.
For whom?
Experienced wine lovers, who are seeking of a different wine, will spend moments of wine exploration and enjoyment with Avgoustiatis. This wine is easy to drink so it will not be difficult for the rest to enjoy it either.
Why?
Because a wine made of Avgoustiatis pleasantly surprises the palette taking it away from the typical wine world, which – to many – is quite homogenous and sometimes even dull.
How?
Avgoustiatis wines have a dark red color, deep and vibrant, and their aromas are quite intense. They evoke the taste of ripe red fruits, various Mediterranean herbs and leather. The majority of these wines mature in a barrel and obtain a round, medium body, with elegant tannins, while at the same time they have a moderate to high alcohol content.
When?
The quite soft and easy to drink Avgoustiatis accompanies daily meals, but is also excellent for formal meals and special occasions which call for something different, far from the usual and predictable flavours.
With what?
The somewhat rustic character of Avgoustiatis surely matches rustic tastes although passionate wine producers vinify it in a more elegant way. Therefore, it matches with dishes of vegetables and meat, while it can also accompany roast meat and semi-soft cheeses.

Vertzami

Vertzami can be found in Western Greece, and rarely in Western Peloponnese. It is a rare and unexplored red variety, which has produced impressive wines in terms of aromas, taste and color. They are ideal for maturation in barrels, and even for long aging in bottles.

Voidomatis

A red grape variety, randomly planted in Peloponnese, Voidomatis is characterized by its outstanding color dynamics.

Volitsa

One of the most rare Greek varieties, Volitsa can be found occasionally in the mountainous vineyards of Peloponnese. There is red and white Volitsa.

Thrapsa

Thrapsa is a very rare red variety which is planted in very few places in Peloponnese. It shouldn’t be mistaken for the Thrapsathiri variety.

Kolliniatiko

The color dynamics of the red variety Kolliniatiko is rich, yet the variety is not really used. It can be found in central Peloponnese and its name probably originates from the village of Kollines in the area.

Black Kalavrytino

Little is known about the variety Black Kalavrytino, except its origin, which refers to the historic and beautiful Kalavryta of Achaia. Although randomly planted in Peloponnese and unused for many years, today it is among the very promising red grape native varieties.

Black Corinth

Black Corinth is no other than the famous currant, which is usually dried. It is one of the most important agricultural Greek products with a very long history, and one of the best Greek edible souvenirs which, because of its sugars, it can be easily transferred and no fridge is required. The small amount of Black Corinth currant that is not sold for direct consumption, after being sundried for a few days, is blended with Mavrodaphne to produce the famous sweet Greek wine PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras.

Petrokoritho

Petrokoritho is a red variety and when vinified – which is rare – it produces exuberant wines.

Greek native grape varieties for white wines

Moschofilero

Moschofilero is one of Greece’s emblematic grape varieties and the most important in Peloponnese for the production of white wines. It is amongst the four grape varieties that boast a most dynamic presence for Greece in the international wine market.

What?
Moschofilero is a varietal with the color of the rose, yet it is vinified for white wines, some rosé and some fine sparkling ones. There are also a few white Moschofileros that mature in barrels from which they successfully get a noticeable body.
Where?
Peloponnese and mainly Arcadia is where Moschofilero thrives. It is the variety of the white wine PDO Mantinia, still or sparkling, which is cultivated on the Mantinia plateau at 600 meters.
Why?
Because Moschofilero is very exotic, impressive and unexpected, despite its Mediterranean origin. Moschofilero wines quench your thirst and refresh you, and their intense aroma – as intense as that of musk – is pleasantly surprising.
For whom?
For wine lovers who adore aromatic wines with a light bodied mouth, but also for newcomers in the wine world, who will be impressed by the exotic and aromatic intensity of Moschofilero.
How?
It’s better to recall the taste of Moschofilero than describe it. Light-colored, elegant and exotic, with lemon flower, rose and lychee aromas, it has a playful and light-bodied mouth which tickles with its – at times spicy – acidity.
When?
Moschofileros are consumed pleasantly on a daily basis and are great to accompany appetizers in meals that include more than one wine. They are ideal for spring, summer, and for relaxing moments, while they make excellent aperitifs.
With what?
Moschofilero can successfully accompany elegant and fine dishes, from appetizers and salads to main courses. It also matches with dishes from Middle East and Far East cuisines. Its low content in alcohol guarantees a good match with spicy and hot dishes.

Roditis

Possibly the most widespread Greek white wine variety in Greece in terms of planting and production, Roditis produces wines of various levels of quality. Under certain conditions (proper cultivation, without high yields), it produces very good wines, with a good value for money. However, Roditis still remains greatly undiscovered and thrives in mountain vineyards like those at the Aigialia highlands.

What?
A reddish grape variety – possibly the most widely planted in Greece and definitely in Peloponnese – which produces white wines.
Where?
Roditis is cultivated throughout the Greek mainland, and thrives in Peloponnese and especially Achaia. It yields white dry wines like PDO Patras.
Why?
Because it is worth discovering white wines standing out for their very own aromatic and tasteful character, and are affordable too.
For whom?
Wines made from or with Roditis are perfect for restless wine-lovers who enjoy discovering good wines that can also be pleasantly consumed every day.
How?
Roditis when cultivated and vinified with advanced techniques leads to very high quality wines with clear nose, which evoke lemon, lemon flowers and white-fleshed fruits. They have a medium mouth and a refreshing acidity. However, there are some less satisfying samples, due to the high yields the variety offers, so go for good producers and good taste is guaranteed.
When?
Roditis produces dry white wines for daily consumption that are quite affordable.
With what?
Wines made of Roditis can be easily matched. They are great with averagely intense appetizers, salads, and light dishes based on vegetables, pasta, rice, lean fish, white meat, etc.

Muscat

Greece reflects the glory of the sun, and Muscat loves the sun so much. Muscat is at home in Greece, which is considered to be its place of origin. Thus, Peloponnese proves to be an ideal host for this variety, which can adapt to various heights and terroirs. Muscat produces sweet wines of worldwide class, which constantly win awards, medals and high scores in various types of international assessments. Peloponnesian Muscat wines exceed the expectations of demanding wine enthusiasts and are highly appreciated for their affordable prices, compared with their counterparts abroad.

What?
White Muscat is well-known for the sweet wines it produces in various wine-producing countries. Greece produces some of the best sweet Muscat wines in the world, many of Peloponnesian origin.
Where?
Muscat is cultivated in Achaia, Peloponnese and produces two PDO wines, PDO Muscat of Patras and PDO Muscat of Rio Patras.
Why?
Because sweet white Peloponnesian Muscat wines are of top quality and reach world-class levels in some cases. Also their great value for money makes them popular.
For whom?
Wines made of Muscat are for those who love affordable sweet wines with a glorious Mediterranean character.
How?
Muscat wines from the Greek vineyard have explosive aromas. The typical, unique Muscat aroma is evident and, based on the vinification, it can be enriched with exotic aromas (e.g. lychee), aromas of dry nuts, cocoa, etc. In most cases, their taste concentration is adequately or completely balanced by the acidity, giving exquisite examples of sweet wines. Also when there is good use of the barrel, these wines gain even more density and complexity.
When?
Sweet Muscats are perfect when you need a concentrated white wine that will be consumed on its own, as a liqueur or after formal meals. Peloponnesian Muscats are bound to make a good impression since they always seem to be much more expensive than they are.
With what?
Peloponnesian sweet Muscat wines are delightfully paired with chocolate desserts, especially with white and milk chocolate, as well as with fruit tarts, desserts with syrup, dried fruits, etc.

Kydonitsa

“Brevity is the soul of wit”, so to cut a long story short, the white, Spartan variety Kydonitsa makes good wine. This highly aromatic variety took its name from quince (“kydoni” in Greek - “Kydonitsa”) as its flavor evokes quince aromas. Mixed in plantations with other varieties and even though it was known for decades, it revived in the 21st century to be cultivated separately. Nevertheless, it still remains a rare variety.

What?
Kydonitsa produces aromatic and soft white wines with a round taste.
Where?
The relatively few plantations of Kydonitsa are in southeastern Peloponnese (Lakonia), known for the castles of Monemvassia and Mystras. Kydonitsa is also blended to produce sweet PDO wines Monemvassia-Malvasia.
Why?
Because dry wines made of Kydonitsa stand out for their different aroma evoking quince, while the sweet PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia take you back to the Medieval era, when the Malvasia wine was the most famous wine in the world at the time and for the centuries that followed.
For whom?
The aromas and character of Kydonitsa wines enchant those who prefer aromatic white wines with minimum acidity. They are a favorite both of experienced wine lovers who seek of something different and for absolute beginners alike, due to their pleasant taste.
How?
Kydonitsa wines are yellow-green and not too bright. On the contrary, their aromas are strong, with that of ripe quince dominating. They have a round and soft mouth and, therefore, are easily consumed.
When?
When you are seeking of a different and affordable white wine, Kydonitsa is a perfect option, since its characteristics render it a widely acceptable choice far from typical white wines.
With what?
Wines made of Kydonitsa can accompany many different dishes. They are not limited to the typical matching of white wines, that is, fish and sea food – which can prove to be a not so wise choice for fried dishes high in iodine. They pair perfectly with creative cuisine, not too acidic salads, poultry, vegetable stews, white salty cheeses, etc.

Lagorthi

Greek Lagorthi is an elegant white variety that doesn’t really reflect the idleness of Southern Europe. It is one of the very few, if not the only, Greek white grape varieties that defies the Mediterranean sun and yields fresh, dry white wines with a crystal clear and refined character which evokes those of Northern Europe.

What?
Lagorthi produces elegant and fine white wines, with sharp acidity.
Where?
Native of Achaia, Lagorthi is planted mainly in northern Peloponnese.
Why?
Because white wines from Lagorthi are unique in the Mediterranean and they confirm the versatile and unpredictable Greek vineyard as well as the authenticity of Peloponnesian terroirs.
For whom?
Lagorthi wines will satisfy the devotees of North European-style white wines (thin, fine, with high acidity and low alcohol content).
How?
Lagorthi produces wines with a very soft yellow-silver color and a rather discrete nose focusing on elegance, minerality and florality. Their fine mouth is clear, with intense acidity and low alcohol, sometimes even lower than 12%. Lagorthi wines can age in bottles for two-three years to acquire complexity and an even more mineral character.
When?
When you require a fine and elegant flavour, a white wine made of Lagorthi or with Lagorthi in its blend, will greatly satisfy you.
With what?
It can be perfectly paired with shellfish, and in general with elegant, acidic dishes that match the fineness of Lagorthi wines with their sharp acidity.

Monemvassia

Although adaptable regarding the terroir, the Monemvassia variety is not quite so typical. It originates from Peloponnese but it can be mostly found in the Aegean Islands, mainly in Paros. It was only at the beginning of the 21st century that the sweet wine PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia was established after long scientific research. As a result, one of the most famous wines that ever appeared on Earth revived: the Malvasia wine, coming from the Monemvassia variety.

What?
Monemvassia is the only Greek white variety that can be found both in white dry PDO wines and in red PDO wines, as well as in sweet white PDO wines.
Where?
Monemvassia originates from Laconia and has been named after the beautiful Monemvassia castle. In this region we can find the sweet wine PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia, Monemvassia being the main variety in its blend.
Why?
Because the sweet PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia wines are remarkable and take wine lovers back to Medieval times, when Malvasia wine had been the best and most popular wine in the world at the time.
For whom?
The PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia – with all the features obtained by the Peloponnesian vineyard – is for those who love particularly sweet white wines of a Mediterranean character, for which Greek wines are famous.
How?
Monemvassia yields wines with aromas of citrus and white-fleshed fruits. These aromas prevail in the sweet PDO wines Monemvassia-Malvasia, which are also enriched with the quince aromas of the Kydonitsa variety. Their intensely sweet taste often has a mineral character and is balanced due the acidity of the refreshing Monemvassia and the Assyrtiko variety, also in the blend.
When?
When the occasion requires a sweet wine with a special personality and a long history like the one of Malvasia wine, a PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia is an ideal option.
With what?
PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia wines have a balanced sweetness thanks to the aromas of the Monemvassia. So it can be perfectly paired with creamy and syrupy desserts, as well as with cheeses of intense flavour and aroma.

Asproudes

Asproudes is most probably a group of white varieties and not a single one. In fact, Asproudes are white varieties who have not been identified but are used in wine production, possibly along with the variety Tinaktorogos. We can find Asproudes all over Peloponnese, especially its central part. Asproudes are used for PDO Mantinia wines, in which case a small quantity of them is allowed for their production.

Assyrtiko

Originating from Santorini, Assyrtiko is a world-class white grape variety. It has been planted in many parts of mainland Greece and Peloponnese and its high acidity, along with other features, is useful when it is selected for blends, such as the sweet wine PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia.

Volitsa

One of the most rare and unexplored Greek grape varieties, Volitsa is occasioanly found in Peloponnese, mainly on its highland vineyards. There is red and white Volitsa.

Malagouzia

Although it disappeared in the 1970s, Malagouzia revived in the 21st century, showing the dynamics reflected by particular Greek varieties. As a popular white aromatic variety, it was widely planted in Peloponnese too. It produces dry and a few sweet wines, usually with an explosive fruity and herbal nose, with aromatic taste and a moderate to refreshing acidity which fascinates lovers of style.

Petroulianos

A white variety originating from and cultivated in Peloponnese, Petroulianos has a low acidity and thus is mainly used in blends of sweet wines in particular.

Rokaniaris

Rokaniaris has yielded few examples of white wine, all coming from Peloponnese and having a somewhat refreshing acidity.

Tinaktorogos

It is a very rare variety which stood out in plantations in Ilia, in the 21st century. Tinaktorogos possibly belongs to the Asproudes family and can produce wines of a distinct personality.

Fileri

Just like its name suggests, the pinkish-white colored Fileri is related to Moschofilero but is less aromatic, since Moschofilero’s aroma dynamic is one of the greatest. It is cultivated in central Greece and Peloponnese vineyards, with the unique varietal samples of white or rosé wines coming from the latter.

Sklava

White Sklava is another very old vine variety from Corinthia and Argolis, Peloponnese that nearly ceased to exist. It is known for its aromas evoking white-fleshed fruits, some hints of herbs, and mouth of medium acidity.

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