The history of Greek viticulture began, so to speak, with the supreme god Zeus with the beautiful Seméle (daughter of Harmonia, goddess of unity), who was born Dionysos led, the god of wine, joy, grapes, fertility and ecstasy. The antiquity Greece, and especially the island due to archaeological finds Crete is considered one of the "cradles of European wine culture". Already in the Mycenaean culture in the 16th century BC (Mycenae = northeastern Peloponnese ) there was viticulture, whereupon found amphorae Clues. Wine was an important part of the drinking culture of everyday life. The Greeks are among the very first to have wine as a valuable commodity.
Already the poet Homer (8th century BC) reports in the Iliad about wine as a house drink for the heroes described. The historians also dealt with wine and viticulture Hesiod (~ 750-680 BC), the philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC), the naturalist Theophrastus (370-287 BC) and the doctor Galen (129-216). The Greeks brought their vines and wine-growing culture on their colonization trains in the Mediterranean Sicily, after the as Oinotria designated southern Italy, to southern France and to the Black Sea. Many methods have been adopted by the Celts and Romans. The Roman poet Virgil described the variety of grape varieties: "It would be easier to count the grains of sand in Greece than the different grape varieties."
The famous port city Monemvasia on the Peloponnese peninsula was under the rule of Venice a widely used transshipment point for Sweet wines from the Aegean that have been shipped from here to many European countries. The Ottomans ruled the country from the 15th to the middle of the 19th century, during which time lost to the Muslims alcohol ban the wine's importance, it was only continued on a relatively small scale on most islands. It was only a long time after independence in 1830 and the repressing of Turkish influence that people began to deal professionally with viticulture as an economic factor and reactivated numerous vineyards.
Among the pioneers were also some Germans such as Gustav Clauss, who in 1861 was the huge winery that still exists today Achaia Clauss founded. The area under vines doubled until the end of the 19th century, but when in 1898 the phylloxera finally reached Greece, much was wiped out again. The rebuilding was relatively slow, because in the meantime the demand for Greek wine had also decreased significantly. Greek viticulture only experienced a renaissance with the end of the military dictatorship in 1974 and the accession of Greece to the European Union in 1981.
Despite its strong maritime character, Greece has a very high proportion of mountains. The soils made of lime, granite and volcanic rock and the prevailing Mediterranean climate with short, humid winters and dry, hot summers have a favorable effect on viticulture. The often dry autumns usually produce fully ripe grapes with relatively little acidity. The majority of the wine-growing regions are close to the coast with moderating sea breezes. In order to give the wines more structure, vineyards are deliberately created at great heights. The vines can be extended by the growth cycle Build up more extract and achieve higher acid levels. Another effective way to slow down the Maturity date consists in the conscious creation of vineyards on northern slopes. Viticulture is carried out, often on a small scale, all over Greece on the mainland and all larger islands. The appellations ( POP, earlier OPAP and OPE) in red:
In 2012 the vineyards covered 110,000 hectares with a downward trend (in 2000 there were 131,000 hectares). 3.115 million hectoliters of wine were produced from this (see also under Wine production volumes ). There are around 300 different ones autochthonous Grape varieties that make up 85% of the area. Only in a few cases are foreign varieties permitted in the quality wines. There are also large amounts of table grapes and raisins produced; is the most important variety for this korinthiaki,...