Which Greek islands have the best vinicultural reputation?

W h i c h G r e e k i s l a n d s h a v e t h e b e s t v i n i c u l t u r a l r e p u t a t i o n ?

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Whether you like the odd glass after a day at the beach, or enjoy taking a deep dive into an area’s vinicultural history, wine and holidays go together like champagne and caviar. And whilst historically it has fallen behind some of its neighbouring vinicultural heavyweights, Greece and its surrounding islands are gaining an ever-growing reputation for producing some of Europe’s best wines.

But where in particular should be the focus of your wine-inspired island hopping adventure, and what can you expect from the region’s best wines? In this post, we take a look at three of the best destinations for wine-loving travellers, to perhaps help inspire your next sojourn in the Greek Islands.

Crete

Crete is famous for many things: its mouth-watering gastronomy, its stunning sandy stretches, and its picture-perfect scenery, which continues to feature on movie screens all around the world. As if all of that wasn’t enough, this magnificent Grecian jewel is also known for its vinicultural excellence. Home to Europe’s oldest vineyard, and boasting a wine tradition that stretches back 4,000 years, it’s little surprise that the island of Crete consistently produces world class vintages.

Following suit with their neighbours, Cretan producers pride themselves on their white wine, but red varieties are also produced and are by no means inferior. Vilana is the island’s flagship grape, and it’s used to produce dry whites which pair perfectly with local cuisines, particularly seafood. But if you find Vilana isn’t to your liking, there are 11 varieties in total grown across the island, so you’re sure to find a bottle or two to suit your tastes.

Santorini

The beautiful and inimitable island of Santorini has gained burgeoning popularity in recent years amongst honeymooners and holidaymakers alike. Its interesting geological makeup not only makes it a fascinating place to explore, but the conditions are conducive to creating some truly unique wines.

The distinctive flavours of Santorini’s wines have cemented the island as a mainstay amongst Europe’s elite wine-producing nations, with its produce attracting global attention. The volcanic, arid soil produces grapes that are naturally high in sugar and acidity, with the most popular varieties offering mineral and citrus scents. Again, white grapes take precedence on Santorini, even though a large portion of the island’s vineyard areas grow red varieties.

Paros

The Cycladic island of Paros is perhaps the least well-known of these three Greek islands, but its reputation is growing amongst different groups of visitors. It offers a slightly more authentic and affordable escape for holidaymakers looking to experience the Greek islands away from the hustle and bustle of the most popular spots.

With tourist numbers continuing to grow, producers have had to move with the times and adapt their processes – commercialisation has limited the amount of space available for vineyards. Despite this, Paros is one of the few islands in the region to produce PDO wine, with both red and white varieties sharing the acclaim. With an approach to wine production that blends tradition with contemporary techniques, this enchanting island could soon become a serious player in the global vinous landscape.

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