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Northern Greece

Northern Greece

Forming Greece’s northern border with Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey, are three Greek regions: Epirus, Macedonia (not to be confused with the country of North Macedonia), and Thrace.

Few places in the world combine wine and culture as well as the wine roads of Northern Greece. Pick any road, and discover not just unique wines and indigenous grapes, but spectacular nature, historic villages, and the wonders of the ancient world.

Main Regions

There are many unique appellations that make up the wine region of Northern Greece. Characterised by higher elevation, slightly cooler weather, and a variety of soil types and terroir, the regions of northern Greece produce a multitude of wine styles. Some of the most important regions that make up this are are PDO Amyndeon, PDO Naoussa, PGI Macedonia, PGI Florina, and PGI Imathia.

In 1971, Naoussa became Greece’s very first wine region to be given its own official appellation title (PDO Naoussa) and served as a model for the Greek appellation system.

Main Grapes

Top quality xinomavro ranks among Greece’s very finest red wines with the best expressions inspiring comparisons with the Nebbiolo-based reds of Piedmont, which are both are high acid, age-worthy styles which are aggressively tannic in their youth.

Other indigenous varieties include assyrtiko, debina, malagousia, roditis and limnio. In fact, limnio was mentioned by both Aristotle and Homer, making it an ancient variety, offering an aromatic profile full of fresh herbs and red berries.

Terroir & Climate

Characterised by higher elevation, slightly cooler weather, and a variety of soil types and terroir, the regions of northern Greece produce a multitude of wine styles. In mountainous northern Macedonia, winters are cold and snowy, but the summers tend to be mild.

While xinomavro is king, there is so much diversity in the viticulture and terroir of northern Greece.

In northern Greece, there is no dominant soil type, so each vineyard has a difference in terroir. This biodiversity creates even more subtle nuances from wine to wine.

Fun Fact

Oringally born in Athens, the great playwright Euripides moved to Macedonia in 409 BC. Archelaus I of Macedon had invited him to Pella, where the king had gathered many notable artists in his court. Tradition has it that, while there, Euripides intervened to save some hunters from severe punishment for having killed a hunting dog from the royal pack. In an ironic twist, it was the king’s hunting dogs, starved before a hunt, that killed Euripides, mauling him to death in a forest not far from Pella in 406 BC.

Join us on an upcoming wine tour

Northern Greece wine tour

Northern Greece

June 2024

Follow the footprints of ancient civilisations as we explore the lesser-known north of the country. Discover diverse wine regions, off-beat classical sites, mystical mountain-tops, monasteries and stunning scenery. We’ll be visiting two main wine regions: Naoussa near Thessalonika, and Drama close to the town of Kavala and exploring some of the best Greek wineries including Gerovassiliou, Alpha Estate, Biblia Chora and Kir-Yianni. We’ll also visit the ancient sites of Vergina, Philippi and Dodoni as well as the stunning Vikos Gorge, as well as the extraordinary mountain-top monasteries of Meteora near the beautiful town of Metsovo. Truly a classic wine tour, in every sense.

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