Wine tourism needs little introduction as a top quality and popular holiday destination. A fact less known is the immense range of wine tourism experiences available around the country. Greece has much to reveal to both the dedicated wine connoisseur and the occasional wine consumer who wants to incorporate wine-related experiences into a general lifestyle. Either way, Greece can truly convert visitors into real wine ambassadors.
An excellent starting point is the Wine Roads initiatives found in many regions. The most notable, but not the only examples include the Wine Roads of Northern Greece, of Central Greece, of Attica and the
Wine Roads of the Peloponnese. These take the visitor to breathtaking destinations, such as the traditional mountainous village of Metsovo or Mt Athos (the “Holy Mountain”), where numerous monasteries, modern or long-established wineries are located. Nevertheless, these wine roads do not deal with wineries exclusively, but encompass restaurants, hotels and even artisan producers of several agricultural products.
Even beyond the established Wine Roads tours, Greece is dotted with wineries offering unique experiences, far beyond the Guided Tour – Tasting – Cellar Door Sales routine. Numerous are the state-of-the-art establishments, bioclimatic wineries or estates providing differentiated hospitality or wellness infrastructure, even allowing visitors and guests to gain hands-on experience by working in the cellar or the vineyard. Other producers are located in impressive natural surroundings and can cater tastings, dinners or even organize events.
Although the credentials of Greek Cuisine –the essence of Mediterranean Gastronomy – are impeccable, excellent restaurants serving other national or international food abound. Most eateries offer a decent Greek wine selection, but there is the next generation of Wine Restaurants, where food and wine are equally important. These establishments, found in Athens, Elounda, Mykonos, Santorini, Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Rhodes, Corfu and several other locations, offer extensive wine lists, containing many rare labels or hard-to-find past vintages. The new breed of Greek Sommeliers are also extremely knowledgeable and very passionate about Greek wine, so selecting the right bottle has never been easier.
A visit to Greece is a trip to real life authenticity. There is an extraordinary range of diverse natural, cultural and social features, largely unknown to the general public, revealing the true contemporary character of the country, reaching far beyond prevalent stereotypical perceptions.
Unknown, intact, unexplored nature offers unparalleled beauty and diverse contrasts, biodiversity, sea parks and natural reserves, among other things. Traditional architecture, on islands or the mainland, is stunning and the visitor must see the mountainous villages of Macedonia, Epirus, Peloponnese or Crete, the medieval fortresses and the underground cave-houses.
The human element is also important: Hospitality in Greece lies at the heart of everyday life and real people, which is the exact place Greeks keep wine…