THE LAND OF DEBINA
Epirus is mainly a mountainous region with most of its terrain reaching high altitudes.
The Pindus Mountains principal range and of mainland Greece, serving as a natural barrier against the humid winds coming from the Adriatic Sea, has an important impact on the high annual level of rainfall as well as the cool climate of the area. Vineyards are planted from lower altitudes, in the plains to higher slopes, where the viticulture becomes more demanding. Soils are mainly clay of a medium lime content and are poorer on the slopes and more fertile on the plains.
The two most significant wine regions are Zitsa and Metsovo, both of them close to Epirus’ biggest city, Ioannina.
There are only a few indigenous varieties the most distinguished of which are the white Debina and the red Vlahiko and Bekari.
Debina gives PDO Zitsa white wines in the homonymous region, a terroir of limestone soils with average altitude of 700m. The wines produced in the area, have in general low alcohol and high acidity and the harvest begins late, around mid-September. Very good quality sparkling wines are also produced with Debina, by méthode champenoise.
Vlahiko on the other hand, gives wines with moderately low alcohol, high acidity, wines with good aromatic profile yet discreet tannins. It is less famous than Debina but some producers make an effort to produce it as single variety.
Apart from the indigenous grape varieties mentioned, there are a lot of international grape varieties cultivated in the area, producing great quality wines.
It is definitely worth mentioning, that the first Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Greece, were planted on the steep slopes of Mount Pindus by Evangelos Averoff, in the late 1950s.
PGI Epirus, PGI Ioannina, PGI Metsovo
WINE TOURISM EXPERIENCES TO REMEMBER
WINERIES YOU MUST VISIT
Where to Stay in Epirus
BEST ACCOMMODATION FOR WINELOVERS