What Are the Grapes of Ancient Greece?

When we think of ancient Greece, we often imagine gods and goddesses, philosophers, and epic battles. However, there’s more to ancient Greece than just those iconic images. One of the lesser-known aspects of ancient Greek culture is their grapes.

Grapes have been an essential part of Greek culture for thousands of years. The Greeks were one of the first civilizations to cultivate grapes for winemaking purposes. They believed that wine was a gift from the gods and used it in their religious ceremonies.

The grapes grown in ancient Greece were diverse in flavor, color, and texture. Here are some of the most popular varieties:

Athiri

This white grape variety is grown mainly in Santorini and Rhodes. It’s known for its crisp acidity and citrusy flavor profile. Athiri is often used to produce dry white wines.

Mavrodaphne

Mavrodaphne is a black grape variety that’s grown primarily in the Peloponnese region. It’s commonly used in making sweet fortified wines with a rich aroma and flavor profile.

Agiorgitiko

Also known as “St. George,” Agiorgitiko is a red grape variety that’s grown mainly in the Nemea region. It produces full-bodied red wines with flavors of red fruit, spices, and herbs.

Moschofilero

Moschofilero is a pink-skinned grape variety that’s grown primarily in the Peloponnese region. It produces aromatic white wines with floral notes and a refreshing acidity.

Xinomavro

Xinomavro is a red grape variety that’s grown mainly in northern Greece. It produces full-bodied red wines with high acidity and flavors of dark fruit, spices, and herbs.

The ancient Greeks didn’t just consume grapes for their wine. They also ate them as a fruit and used them in cooking. Grapes were often added to savory dishes to add sweetness and acidity to the dish.

In conclusion, grapes were an essential part of ancient Greek culture. They were used for winemaking, cooking, and eaten as a fruit. The diverse varieties of grapes in ancient Greece contributed to the unique flavors and aromas found in Greek wines today.