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The Greek history of winegrowing began, so to speak, with an affair of the supreme god Zeus with the beautiful Seméle (daughter of Harmonia, goddess of concord), who gave birth to Dionysos the god of wine, joy, grapes, fertility and ecstasy. The Greece or on the basis of archaeological finds, especially the island is considered one of the "cradles of European wine culture". Already in the Mycenaean culture in the 16th century BC (Mycenae = northeastern ) there was viticulture, whereupon found point out. Wine was an important part of the of everyday life. The Greeks are among the very first, where wine as a valuable commodity acquired great importance.
Already the poet Homer (8th century BC) reports in the Iliad of wine as a home drink of the heroes described. Furthermore, the historians dealt with wine and viticulture Hesiod (~ 750-680 BC), the philosopher (384-322 BC), the naturalist (370-287 BC) and the doctor Galen (129-216). On their colonization moves in the Mediterranean, the Greeks brought their vines and viticulture culture after , after the as Oinotria designated southern Italy, southern France and the Black Sea. Many methods have been used by the and Romans. The Roman poet described the variety of grape varieties: "It would be easier to count grains of sand in Greece than the different grape varieties."
The famous port city Monemvasia on the peninsula Peloponnese was in the late Middle Ages under the rule of a large-scale transshipment center for from the which were shipped from here to many countries in Europe. From the 15th to the mid-19th century, the Ottomans ruled the country, at that time lost by the Muslim the wine its meaning, only on most islands it was continued to a relatively small extent. Only a long time after the gained independence in 1830 and the pushing back of the Turkish influence, one began again to deal professionally with the viticulture as an economic factor and reactivated numerous vineyards.
Amongst the pioneers were some Germans, such as Gustav Clauss, who in 1861 was the still existing huge cellar Achaia Clauss founded. By the end of the 19th century, the vineyard doubled, but when in 1898 the finally reached Greece, many things were destroyed. The reconstruction was relatively slow, because in the meantime, the demand for Greek wine had declined sharply. Greek winegrowing experienced a renaissance only with the end of the military dictatorship in the year 1974 and the accession of Greece to the in 1981.
Greece, despite its strong maritime character, has a very high mountain range. The soils of limestone, granite and volcanic rock and the prevailing Mediterranean climate with short humid-mild winters and dry-hot summers have a favorable effect on viticulture. The often dry autumns usually produce fully ripe grapes with relatively little acidity. The majority of the wine regions is located near the coast with moderating sea breezes. To give the wines more structure, vineyards are deliberately created at high altitudes. The vines can be extended by the build more extract and reach higher acid values. Another effective method of slowing down the consists in the deliberate creation of vineyards on northern slopes. Viticulture is practiced, often on a small scale, throughout Greece on the mainland and all major islands. The appellations ( POP , earlier OPAP and OPE) in red:
In 2012, the vineyards covered 110,000 hectares with decreasing trend (in 2000 it was 131,000 hectares). Of these, 3.115 million hectoliters of wine were produced (see also under ). There are around 300 different ones Grape varieties that make up 85% of the area. Only in a few cases are foreign varieties permitted in quality wines. There are also large quantities and produced; which is the most important variety Korinthiaki , Viticulture is still characterized by original flavors. Around 60% are high-alcohol white wines. 90% of the wines are dry. Of the 2010 (Statistics Kym Anderson ):
Following the French example, from 1971 to 1972, the Ministry of Agriculture introduced controlled designations of origin for the best growing areas: maximum yields per hectare, certain with preference for Varieties, minimum must weight, aging regulations and Exams. On Of the must with sugar is generally allowed, but may increase the alcohol content by a maximum of 2.5% vol. A may be added before and during fermentation to a maximum of 25% of the sugar contained in the must. Also one is allowed and is often practiced because of the rather low-acidity of the grapes. Controls are exercised by the KEPO (Central Committee for the Protection of Wine Production).
In August 2009, the EU wine market regulations became valid for all member states with fundamental changes of the wine designations and quality levels (see also under ). Although the traditional terms OPAP, OPE and OKP can still be used alternatively, most winemakers use the new term POP:
Oinos (formerly Epitrapezios Oinos or ) =
PGE = Topikos Oinos or
POP or alternatively OPAP, OPE, OKP =
Oinos / Οίνος : wines without a denomination of origin. This lowest quality level is mostly blends from different growing areas.
PGE / ΠΓΈ (Prostatevomenis Geografikis Endixis / Προστατευόμενης Γεωγραφικής Ένδειξης) : A country wine with protected geographical indication. There are around 80 rural wine areas that can span an entire region, district or municipality. One of the most famous areas is Agioritikos on the "Holy Mountain" Athos (Chalkidiki Peninsula).
POP / ΠOΠ (Prostatevomenis Onomasías Proelefsis / Προστατευόμενης Ονομασίας Προέλευσης) : A quality wine with a protected designation of origin. Alternatively, however, the old names or quality levels OPAP, OPE and OKP are possible.
OPAP / ΟΠΑΠ (Onomasía Proelefséos Anotéras Piótitos / Ονομασία Προελεύσεως Ανωτέρας Ποιότητος) : For these quality wines with the " denomination of origin of higher quality" maximum yield, minimum alcohol content, maturing time in cask and bottle etc. are required. The OPAP wines were up to the year 2015 with a red Banderole characterized.
OPE / ΟΠΕ (Onomasía Proelefséos Eleghoméni / Ονομασία Προελεύσεως Ελεγχόμενη) : These quality wines with "controlled designation of origin" are subject to the same conditions as OPAP wines. In addition, however, there are higher requirements in terms of , This is from the historical areas Kefallonia . Limnos . Patras . and Samos declared. Either they are "natural sweet wines" fortified with wine spirit or pressed from dried grapes " natursüße Wines, "one of them Trockenbeerenauslese correspond. The OPE wines were marked up to the year 2015 with a blue banderole.
OKP / ΟκΠ (Onomasía Katá Parádosi / Ονομασία κατά παράδοση = Traditional Appellation) : A special predicate for origin protected wines produced using traditional winepress methods. There are only two of them, the Retsina and on the island Zakynthos produced Verdea ,
Kava (cava) : name (ie cellar or, appropriately, "encased") for a longer-stored wine of the highest quality. White wines must be stored for two years (at least 6 months in barrel and six months in bottle), red wines must be stored for three years (at least 6 months in new oak or 1 year in used oak and 2 years in bottle).
Reserve (Epilegmenos) and Grande Reserve (Idika Epilegmenos) : Only allowed for quality wines (OPAP and OPE). Reserve is valid for white wines with two years (for 6 months in barrel and 6 months in bottle) and for reds with three years of storage (same minimum). Grande Reserve is valid for white wines of at least three years (for 1 year in barrel and 1 year in bottle) and for red wines with at least four years of storage (for 2 years in barrel and 2 years in bottle).