Greece has a long rich history of wine production dating back thousands of years. Wine was important in Greek society from the earliest times, forming part of the Greek cultural identity. The Greeks were the first society to make wine available and acceptable to all classes of people, as well as for use in medicine and religious ceremonies.
Wine was probably first used medically as a pick-me-up or a tonic, and later, by experience it became clear that certain wines helped digestion or could be used as a diuretic.
In religious ceremonies wine was used to quench the altar fires during sacrifices and was also poured on the ground as an offering to the dead.
Early Greek colonization took the vine throughout the Mediterranean and later through many parts of Europe. Most modern day European wine regions owe their existence to the Greeks. Technological advances were also developed in Greece including: Pruning techniques, Drying of grapes on mats, Pigeage to extract color from grape skins, Torsion press to separate skins from juice, and also the idea of matching grape to soil and climate.
Unfortunately this booming wine culture did not continue during the Ottoman occupation from 1444-1832. During this time the Greek wine industry was basically halted and remained in the dark ages while the rest of the world moved ahead.
Modern day Greece was founded in 1913, but the wine industry did not really have a chance to modernize until the 1960’s. It now boasts excellent diverse climates and soils for grape growing, as well as a host of young well-trained winemakers. The modern style is a blend of clean winemaking and international varieties with native grapes and traditional know how.