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Fostering the Drink of Greek Gods

Photographer: Orestis Panagiotou

 

Quoted in the Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey as the sweet and soft wine of Santorini and Crete, the light wines of Rhodes or the aromatic wines of Lesbos, wine has survived throughout the centuries, playing an important role in the life of Greek society, both in joy and sorrow.

 

The Greeks learned the cultivation and production of wine from the Egyptians and Phoenicians and later developed a trading network in all countries of the Mediterranean where wine was exchanged among others items for cereals and gold from Egypt, copper from Syria, ivory from Africa. In ancient Greece the ships transporting Greek wines were also transferring the Greek culture; nowadays, the Greek wine can help to promote and showcase the Greek brand name.

 

Thanks to the passion of professionals in the wine industry, wine is an integral part of Greek daily and economic life of the country. According to a report dated 04 February 2014 by The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foreign Agricultural Service, Greece’s wine exports reached 78.4 US million dollars in 2013, having as main destinations Germany and the United States.

 

The average vineyard in Greece is 0.5-0.6 hectares, like small gardens bordering with groves and orchards, but this is expected to change after 2015 when the European Commission will remove the ban on planting new wines.