In Macedonia, the beginnings of viticulture are lost in time, as confirmed by the archaeological findings (calyxes, craters, amphorae, wine cups).
Today, in the vineyards of Macedonia, which continues producing well known wines, we can count 4 V.Q.P.R.D.: Naousa, Goumenissa, Amyndeo, Plagies Melitona (Slopes of Mt Meliton) and 20 Regional Wines: the Regional Wines of Macedonia, Mt Pangeo, Drama, Agora, Adriani, Serres, Halkidiki, Sithonia, Mt Athos, Thessaloniki, Epanomi, Slopes of Mt Vertiskos, Messimvria, Pella, Florina, Kastoria, Imathia, Velvendos, Grevena and Siatista.
A series of legends and traditions connects Mt Pangeo to Dionysus and the dark Orphic tuition. Viticulture and wine production characterize the area -which the old villagers call ‘vine land'- till 1920, when most traditional cultivations are replaced by tobacco.
In the nineties, the vineyards of the area, with vitis vinifera varieties were expanded considerably, especially on the southeast slopes of Mt Pangeo. The vines there are favoured by the breeze coming from Strimonikos bay, while the mountain protects them from the cold northern wind. The soil is stony, thin and well strained, creating favourable conditions for the viticulture. Considering all the above, local wine makers planted cosmopolitan grape varieties, as well as some Greek ones: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sémillon, Ugni Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Roditis, Assyrtico, Limnio. The wines produced are distributed as Regional Wines of Mt Pangeo.
Nowadays, Drama is one of the Northern Greece areas with intense viti-vinicultural activity. Vineyards are situated in the valley and the low hills on the East of the town. The red and white grape varieties planted suit the clay soil and the continental climate of the area: Roditis, Assyrtico, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Ugni Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Limnio. The wines produced are distributed as Regional Wines of Drama, Adriani and Agora.
In ancient Halkidiki, famous wines were produced. Today, grapevines are cultivated in central Halkidiki, in Sithonia and in Mt Athos.
On the sunny slopes of Mt Meliton, the dry-warm climate and the beneficial humidity coming from the Aegean Sea, favour the production of select wines. So, Limnio, an old Greek variety together with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc gave birth to the red V.Q.P.R.D. ‘Slopes of Mt Meliton'. Under the same Appellation of Origin a white wine is produced as well, from the successful blend of the varieties Assyrtico, Roditis and Athiri.
Nowadays, in quite some monasteries of Mount Athos, there is a revival of viticulture and wine making. In this blessed stretch of land, with the mild climate, the sufficient sunlight, the mountain freshness and the sea breeze, the Regional Wines of Mt Athos are produced, from a wide range of vines: Roditis, Athiri, Assyrtico, Sauvignon Blanc, Limnio, Xinomavro, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache Rouge.
In central Halkidiki, vineyards neighbour with the sea, whose breeze balances the high summer temperatures. The grape varieties cultivated, both white and red, are many. The varieties Roditis and Sauvignon Blanc produce the fruity white Regional Wine of Halkidiki and correspondingly, the varieties Xinomavro, Grenache Rouge and Cabernet Sauvignon produce the deep-red Regional Wine of Halkidiki.
In the county of Thessaloniki, a lot of famous wines are produced.
Along the coastline of Thermaikos bay, in the vineyards of Epanomi, the white varieties Assyrtico, Malagousia, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier and the red Syrah, Merlot, Grenache Rouge, Limnio, Mavroudi, Mavrotragano are cultivated. In this area, the beneficial influence of the sea breeze averts the abrupt maturation of the grapes. The wines produced are the Regional Wines of Epanomi.
In the highlands of the county, the vineyards are stretched on the slopes of Mt Vertiskos. The red varieties Xinomavro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are cultivated together with the white varieties Athiri, Assyrtico, Malvazia, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to produce the Regional Wines of Slopes of Mt Vertiskos.
In Nea Messimvria, most inhabitants brought the experience of viticulture from Eastern Romylia, when they emigrated to their new homeland. Today, they grow the grape variety Roditis, which is vinificated together with Zoumiatiko, to produce the white Regional Wine of Messimvria.
Finally, from the grape varieties cultivated all over the county, the Regional Wines of Thessaloniki are produced.
The vineyards of Goumenissa are stretched on the eastern slopes on Mt Paiko and the gentle-sloped hills on the south of the town, at an altitude of 150-250 metres. The climate is continental, with cold winters and dry summers. The grape varieties found in this area are Xinomavro and Negoska, a local red variety. The vineyards are planted with both varieties, at an analogy 3 to 1 approximately, that -vinified together- produce the fine and supple red V.Q.P.R.D. wie of Goumenissa.
In the highlands of Gianitsa, the soil is full of clay and lime, with rich organic materials. The north and south winds alternate beneficially. The grape varieties found in this eco-system are Roditis, Xinomavro, as well as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Merlot, Cinsault and they produce the Regional Wines of Pella.
The red V.Q.P.R.D. Naousa is made exclusively from Xinomavro. In Naoussa, the ecosystem is particularly conducive to the Xinomavro grape, which here manifests a dynamic range of aromas from fermentation and aging, as well as a balance of sugars, tannins and acid. The vineyards are in a very favorable position on the south-eastern slopes of Mt Vermion, at an altitude beginning at 150 meters and reaching 350 meters. Here, the grapes are protected from cold northern winds and benefit from warming afternoon sun, which help the fruit reach a point of ideal maturation very easily.
The Regional Wines of Imathia are made from Roditis, Prekniariko, Xinomavro and the other red varieties that are cultivated in the region, mostly Merlot and Syrah.
In the zone of Amyndeo, the main variety cultivated is Xinomavro, the well-known red variety of northern Greece. At an altitude of 600 to 750metres, it is an ideal area for the production of excellent red, rosé and sparkling V.Q.P.R.D. This is where we can find the unique Appellation of Origin rosé wine, distinguishable from its fragrant quality. However, the ground and climate conditions of the area are also ideal for the cultivation of white varieties. Roditis, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer produce the white Local Wines of Florina.
The wine grape cultivated at Amyndeo, around Lake Vegoritis, in the most continental vineyards of Greece, is the Xinomavro, the well-known red variety of northern Greece. At an altitude of 600-750 meters, we're in an area ideal for producing red, rosé and sparkling Appellation of Origin of High Quality wines. The sole Greek Appellation of Origin rosé -sparkling and stil- is produced here, and it stands out for its aromatic character. The soil and climate here are also ideal for the cultivation of white varieties. The Regional white Wines of Florina are produced from the Roditis, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer.
The climate in the area of Velvendos is continental, yet, it is influenced considerably by the neighbouring lake and the constant presence of winds, which -during summer- are a source of freshness for the vineyards. Here, Roditis, Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Batiki, Xinomavro, Moshomavro, Merlot, Cabernet and Sauvignon produce the Regional Wines of Velvendos.
In Siatista, viniculture has been present since the 15th century. In the 19th century, the wine makers of Siatista exported wine very successfully. Today, there are approximately 100 hectares planted with Xinomavro and the local variety Moshomavro. These grapes, dried under the sun or in interior places, produce the famous ‘liasto' (sun-dried) wine of Siatista.