Grape Varieties

Guide to the Greek Grape Varieties

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  • Agiorgitiko
    Known alternately as St. George that is the principal grape of the Nemea region. It is full-bodied, assertive, and can be blended with other varieties. It is Greece’s second most planted red grape.
  • Amorgiano
    A rare, red grape grown in the Aegean islands and Crete. A fruity taste, soft aroma and rubycolor with violet reflections characterize the rose wines. It is also called Mandelaria and Kountoura Mavri. Brisk intense aromas with a spicy and dark warm red color characterize the reds.
  • Assyrtiko
    A top quality vine that is originally from Santorini. The grape produces white wines of substance that has the ability to age. It produces wines with honeysuckle and citric aromas with good acidity.
    Click to see pictures of the Assyrtiko grapes as cultivated in Santorini.

  • Athiri
    The Athiri grape has a bright, golden green color and is small and juicy. Its wine’s, with a fruity and fresh taste, have a soft aroma and vibrant color and caress all the senses. Because of the type of vine and climatic conditions, yield per acre is small. Athiri is by far the most widely planted white variety on the island. Aside from Rhodes it is also cultivated in other parts of Greece such as Santorini and Halkidiki.
  • Debina
    A light and refreshing variety that is responsible for making the white wines of Zitsa, in the northwest corner of Greece. It is grown at a high altitude and retains a high level of acidity.
  • Liatiko
    An ancient vine from Crete that produces a soft wine that is usually blended with the Madelaria grape.
  • Limnio
    An ancient vine originally from the island of Lemnos, but is now grown throughout Greece. It is a red grape that produces a full-bodied wine with a good level of acidity. It is commonly blended with other wines.
  • Mandelaria
    A thick-skinned black grape that is high in tannins which is commonly blended with softer grapes.
  • Moschofilero
    A deep pink-skinned grape that is used to make a strongly perfumed white wine. The Moschofilero grape is grown primarily on the plateau of Mantinia in the Peloponnese and is the only grape allowed in the Mantinia appellation wine. Conditions are usually good enough to warrant a harvest in October. This grape can also be used to make fruity and spicy rose wines, as well.
  • Robola
    A white grape that produces a powerful and lemony dry white wine. The grape is grown throughout Greece, and is the grape variety for the Cephalonia Appellation. The Robola grape is early ripening with high acidity levels. It can be made into a single variety wine or used in a blend.
  • Roditis
    A slightly pink-skinned grape traditionally grown in the Peloponnese. The vine is susceptible to powdery mildew. It ripens late, yet retains its acidity even though it is primarily grown in the hotter climate of central Greece. The wine can be made either white or rose, and is often blended with Savatiano to make retsina.
  • Savatiano
    Greece’s most widely planted white wine grape variety. It is particularly resistant to drought and is the primary ingredient in retsina. Naturally low Guide to the Greek Grape Varieties Continued in acidity, Savatiano is commonly blended with Roditis or Assyrtiko. If picked early and vinified carefully, Savatiano can produce well-balanced dry white wines.
  • Xinisteri
    Cyprus’ most commonly planted white grape. It is commonly used to make the dessert wine Commandaria, as well as the island’s white wines.
  • Xynomavro
    The most common red grape variety planted in Greece. Its name literally means “acid black”. The wines, when young, can be harsh, but age very well. It is grown throughout northern and central Greece. Once produced, the wines tend to be soft with good acidity and spicy aromas.