When it comes to Greek wines, the labels can often be confusing and overwhelming to decipher. However, understanding the information provided on a Greek wine label is essential in order to make an informed choice. This article will guide you through the different elements you might encounter on a Greek wine label, including PDO and PGI designations, as well as the different wine varieties.
PDO and PGI Designations
One of the first things you might notice on a Greek wine label is the mention of PDO or PGI. These acronyms stand for Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication respectively. PDO wines are those that are produced in a specific geographical area, using traditional methods and local grape varieties. PGI wines, on the other hand, are wines that are produced in a specific region using local grape varieties, but may not adhere to all the strict production regulations of PDO wines.
For example, PDO Santorini wines are made exclusively from the Assyrtiko grape variety and are produced on the island of Santorini using traditional methods. PGI Attiki wines, on the other hand, can be made from a variety of grape varieties and are produced in the Attiki region, which includes Athens.
Greek wines are made from a wide variety of grape varieties, some of which are unique to Greece. Each grape variety imparts its own distinct characteristics to the wine, so it’s important to pay attention to the variety mentioned on the label.
Popular white grape varieties in Greece include Assyrtiko, Moschofilero, and Malagousia. Assyrtiko is known for its high acidity and citrus flavors, while Moschofilero offers aromatic notes of rose petals and spice. Malagousia is a versatile white grape that produces both aromatic and full-bodied wines.
When it comes to red grape varieties, some of the most well-known in Greece include Agiorgitiko, Xinomavro, and Mavrodaphne. Agiorgitiko produces medium-bodied, fruity red wines, while Xinomavro is often compared to Nebbiolo due to its high tannins and complex flavors. Mavrodaphne is used primarily for fortified sweet wines.
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