Central Greece (i.e. Sterea Ellada in Greek), appears to be a natural extension of Epirus and Thessaly to the north, bordering the Ionian Sea to the west and the Aegean Sea to the east, whereas to the south there is the Corinthian Gulf, separating it from the Peloponnese. Central Greece includes 4 main wine regions: Attica, Evia, Viotia and Fthiotida.
The complex topography creates a great variation to the soils, from rich to poor, and there are numerous lakes and rivers, including also part of the Pindus mountain range, resulting in a wide variation of mesoclimates.
Retsina, is in a way identical to the area of Central Greece, where it was mainly produced, in Evia, Viotia and especially Attica. Retsina was traditionally made by the addition of natural pine resin - extracted from «pinus halepensis» - to the wine in the barrel, and was left in it. The addition of the resin, offers an extra sherry-style flavour to the final product, and also serves as a natural preservative from oxidation. Over the years, the amount of resin added has been decreasing and the addition has been taking place during the alcoholic fermentation.
Given the fact that the addition of the resin has a strong impact in covering all the bad smells in faulty wines, it was often used into that direction, which resulted in creating a negative reputation around retsina. Soon enough retsina was basically considered as a faulty, oxidized wine, which was exported in big quantities, a fact that kept on ruining its reputation on a worldwide basis.
Nowadays, winemakers have invested on the new style retsina wines, focusing on keeping the aromas of the variety, harmonically embraced by the pine influence, so retsina has “restored” her reputation and there are great examples bottled in several wineries.
In Central Greece, we find numerous indigenous white grape varieties. Savatiano is a white grape variety cultivated in Attica, Viotia and Evia, and it was also the main variety linked to retsina. Roditis, another white variety was considered to give finest wines, compared to Savatiano. In Central Greece, we find also Assyrtiko, Athiri, Malagousia, and many international ones like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc. As for the red grape varieties, we find indigenous ones, like Mouchtaro, Mandilaria and… as well as international, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah.
In Central Greece, we find more than 36 PGI wine appellations - including the 15 retsina regional denominations - but no PDO wines.
Viotia is surrounded by major peaks, from east to west, like Mounts Parnitha, Pateras, Elikonas and Parnassos. We find also Mount Kitheronas, part of which is shared with Attica, and somehow reflects the cooler climate of the area, and the Muses Valley in the southern sides of Elikonas Mountain, which was supposed to be the birthplace of 9 Muses (goddesses of arts and poetry). The most significant variety - almost extinct, is Mouchtaro, a red variety that gives full bodied wines and was saved and replanted from a few local producers.
Evia, the second largest island of Greece after Crete, is connected to the mainland through a short bridge, linking Chalkida with Athens-Thessaloniki highway. The landscape of Evia shows great variation, with mountains and plains.
In this place we may find a lot of the varieties also planted in Attica like Savatiano and Roditis, but also many international ones, as well as varieties of the Aegean islands, like Assyrtiko, Aidani, Limnio and Mandilaria. A rare variety that grows here and was saved and cultivated mainly by a local producer is Vradiano, a red variety.
Last but definitely not least important wine region of Central Greece is Fthiotida, a valley basin with various microclimates and soils and a wide cultivation of Greek and international varieties.
PGI Evia, PGI Lilantio Pedio), PGI Karystos, PGI Ritsona, PGI Retsina of Evia, PGI Retsina of Halkida (Evoia), PGI Retsina of Gialtra, PGI Retsina of Karystos, PGI Thiva, PGI Retsina of Viotia, PGI Retsina of Thebes Voiotias, PGI Fthiotida, PGI Atalanti Valley, PGI Opountia Locris, PGI Martino, PGI Parnassos, PGI Slopes of Knimida
PGI Attiki (ΠΓΕ Αττική), PGI Anavyssos (ΠΓΕ Ανάβυσσος), PGI Gerania (ΠΓΕ Γεράνια), PGI Ilion (ΠΓΕ Ίλιον), PGI Markopoulo (ΠΓΕ Μαρκόπουλο), PGI Pallini (ΠΓΕ Παλλήνη), PGI Slopes of Parnitha (ΠΓΕ Πλαγιές Πάρνηθας), PGI Spata (ΠΓΕ Σπάτα), PGI Slopes of Kithaironas (ΠΓΕ Πλαγιές Κιθαιρώνα), PGI Slopes of Pendeliko (ΠΓΕ Πλαγιές Πεντελικού), PGI Retsina of Attiki (ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Αττικής), PGI Retsina of Koropi (Attiki) – ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Κορωπίου (Αττικής), PGI Retsina of Markopoulo (Attiki) – ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Μαρκοπούλου (Αττικής), PGI Retsina of Megara (Attiki) – ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Μεγάρων (Αττικής), PGI Retsina of Mesogeia (Attiki) – ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Μεσογείων (Αττικής), PGI Retsina of Paiania (Attiki) – ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Παιανίας (Αττικής), PGI Retsina of Pallini (Attiki) – ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Παλλήνης, PGI Retsina of Pikermi (Attiki) – ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Πικερμίου (Αττικής), PGI Retsina of Spata (Attiki) – ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Σπάτων (Αττικής), PGI Evia (ΠΓΕ Εύβοια), PGI Lilantio Pedio (ΠΓΕ Ληλάντιο Πεδίο),PGI Karystos (ΠΓΕ Κάρυστος), PGI Ritsona (ΠΓΕ Ριτσώνα), PGI Retsina of Evia (ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Ευβοίας), PGI Retsina of Halkida (Evoia) – ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Χαλκίδας (Ευβοίας), PGI Retsina of Gialtra (ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Γιάλτρων), PGI Retsina of Karystos (ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Καρύστου), PGI Thiva (ΠΓΕ Θήβα), PGI Retsina of Viotia (ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Βοιωτίας), PGI Retsina of Thebes Voiotias (ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Θήβας), PGI Fthiotida (ΠΓΕ Φθιώτιδα), PGI Atalanti Valley (ΠΓΕ Κοιλάδα Αταλάντης), PGI Opountia Locris (ΠΓΕ Οπούντια Λοκρίδα), PGI Martino (ΠΓΕ Μαρτίνο), PGI Parnassos (ΠΓΕ Παρνασσός),PGI Slopes of Knimida (ΠΓΕ Πλαγιές Κνημίδας)
WINE TOURISM EXPERIENCES TO REMEMBER
WINERIES YOU MUST VISIT
Where to Stay in Central Greece
BEST ACCOMMODATION FOR WINELOVERS
Eat and Drink in Central Greece
TOP RESTAURANTS FOR WINELOVERS