10 of the Best White Wines in Greece

Lighter in style and more refreshing in taste, white wine in Greece boasts some of the best grape varieties in the world. Here's our very own top 10.


You may be familiar with Assyrtiko, the leading Greek white grape variety of Santorini, but did you know that the rest of Greece also produces very good white wine grape varieties that, in the hands of very capable producers, become vinification gems? Crete, Kefalonia and the Cyclades are known for some exceptional indigenous varieties, and many international varieties have acclimatized themselves throughout Greece, from Macedonia to the Peloponnese, and are delivering fantastic wines. So, when we asked leading Greek sommeliers to make a list of their top 10 Greek white wines, they found it difficult to choose.

Other than Santorini, which Cycladic islands would have their products on the list? Could the vineyards of Thrace be left off? Are any Kefalonia wines among the top 10? Which outsiders made the cut? Below is a list of the top 10 Greek white wines the sommeliers chose and the reasons why they picked them. Take it with you next time you head to a wine and spirits store or a restaurant, and enjoy what you discover. 

Aspros Lagos 2022, Vidiano, Douloufakis Winery, Crete (approx. €19)

 

The experience and the passion of winemaker Nikos Douloufakis, in combination with one of Crete’s most promising grape varieties, have helped to create an exceptional white wine. Aspros Lagos is the wine that introduced the wine world to the Vidiano variety and turned everyone’s attention to Crete. It’s a wine with aromas of white flowers and citrus and tropical fruits, along with a rich and complex palate with a refreshing acidity and a pleasant vanilla aftertaste. It is best served with stewed cuttlefish with lemon juice and fennel. 

Nostos Roussanne 2022, Manousakis Winery, Crete (approx. €32)

Manousakis and Roussanne are two words that go hand in hand because this particular winery is responsible for bringing the Roussanne variety from the Rhône wine region of France to the vineyards of Hania on Crete. This wine boasts a strong and mature tropical bouquet, with earthy undertones and notes of dried flowers. Well structured, with a creamy texture and discreet acidity, it has a flavor profile with notes of banana, apricot, sweet spices and pastries, and delivers a long finish. Enjoy it with a creamy pumpkin soup made with cured meat from the region of Mani and chestnuts. 

Ovilos 2022, Semillon – Assyrtiko, Ktima Biblia Chora, Kavala (approx. €28)

Consistently ranked among Greece’s best wines (and the recipient of many international awards from 2004 onwards), Olivos is a white wine that you can enjoy right away, but it also ages well in the cellar. Bright yellow with green hues, it has a strong aroma of nectarine and peach, as well as notes of green pepper. On the palate are citrus and tropical fruits, rosemary and baked bread, all balanced between a rich texture and refreshing acidity, giving it a long aftertaste. Enjoy it with a vegetarian mushroom version of moussaka. 

Lacomatia 2022, Robola, Sclavos Wines, Kefalonia (approx. €34)

 

Keeping Kefalonia’s wine legacy alive while always adding his own personal style, Evryviadis Sclavos has created an outstanding and unusual wine. Lacomatia, a high-elevation region characterized by steep mountain slopes, is the ideal place for the cultivation of the Robola variety, and that’s why its name is on this premier single-vineyard label. The wine features discreet aromas of citrus fruits, fresh lemon and herbs, a refreshing taste with high acidity, hints of a mineral mouthfeel and an exceptionally fine aftertaste. It goes well with pork schnitzel and a side dish of coleslaw with horseradish. 

Sitia 2015, Vilana – Thrapsathiri, Domaine Economou, Crete (approx. €70-100 – due to limited qualities, prices may vary)

This Greek wine has been in demand from the moment it hit the market, but that was only after winemaker Giannis Economou, who doesn’t rush things, decided that it was ready. Notes of ripe and dried stone fruits are followed by flavor of nuts, dried laurel, and honeycomb in a wine of elegant acidity. Enjoy it with an aged 18-month-old feta, Crème de Napoléon cheese from Evia, xerotyri cheese from the island of Samothraki, or peach chutney. 

Nykteri 2021, Assyrtiko, Hatzidakis Winery, Santorini (approx. €39)

Overmatured grapes, harvested in the cool of night before being crushed in a wine press, deliver one of Greece’s most interesting wines. Nykteri has a faint gold hue and intense aromas of ripe apricot, honey, honeycomb and minerals. The presence of nuts, sesame and vanilla attest to the fact that the wine is fermented in barrels, where it ages for 12 months. It has a crisp acidic mouthfeel and a full body. It pairs wonderfully with sardine sashimi with roasted sesame seeds. 

Clos Stegasta Assyrtiko 2022, Tiniaki Vineyards, Tinos (approx. €79)

 

One of the most noteworthy Assyrtiko wines produced outside Santorini comes from a vineyard worth visiting for its unique boulder-strewn terroir. Aromas of citrus fruits, vanilla, unripe peach and grape give this wine a sense of freshness and it has a strong mineral mouthfeel, too, as well as high acidity, a full body and well-integrated alcohol. Combine it with stuffed cabbage leaves served with an egg-and-lemon sauce. 

Gramina 2021, Assyrtiko, Vassaltis Winery, Santorini (approx. €65)

A rich Assyrtiko wine that has managed to blend fruit, minerality, salinity, intensity and character, this one is hard to forget. It is fermented in steel tanks, aged on the lees for a year, and remains in the bottle for another seven months before it leaves the winery. Enjoy it with grilled grouper with spiny chicory and salsola soda, and savor the wine’s crispy acidity, lemony aftertaste and smoky character. 

Viognier Eclectique 2022, Skouras Winery, the Peloponnese (approx. €31)

The grapes that produce Viognier Eclectique come from only one area called Spilitsa in Argolida. The wine is fermented in French oak barriques where it remains for 12 months and another three months in the bottle before it is sold on the market. It is a particularly rich, buttery wine, with sweet aromas of apricot, peach and jasmine. It has a full body and balanced acidity. It pairs well with pork casserole cooked with dried apricots and plums and accompanied by parsnip purée. 

Deka 2015, Sauvignon Blanc – Semillon – Ugni Blanc, Oenogenesis Winery, Drama (approx. €20)

 

Deka is a blend of three French varieties aged in new American oak barrels for a year and then in the winery’s cellar for another five. The result of the aging can be seen in the glass; the wine is gold-yellow, with a complex bouquet and palate, and aromas of coconut, vanilla, stone fruit marmalade, bread crust and tobacco. It has an earthy character, balanced acidity and a full body. This is a gastronomic wine that’s ideal with a savory mushroom pie with flaky filo pastry. 

The wine tasters:

Eleftherios Hanialidis, ms

Aris Sklavenitis, Head Sommelier – Owner, Oinoscent Wine Restaurant

 

Tilemahos Papandreas, Head Sommelier, Delta Restaurant

Lilly Halikia, Sales Manager, AweSomm Imports

Vasiliki Galani, Head Sommelier, Materia Prima

Takis Mavros, Head Sommelier, Soil Restaurant

The photo shoot was held at Oinoscent (45-47 Voulis Street, Athens). We would like to thank everyone there for their hospitality.



Read More

Santorini

Why Santorini Wine Is So Special And Other Questions Answered

Soil, sea and soul have conspired to establish this small...


GASTRONOMY

Peloponnesian PDOs of Greece’s Grapeland

In the hands of very capable viniculturists, indigenous grape varieties...


WINE

Emerging Trends in Wine Production

The Greek wine industry is currently one of the most...


WINE

Ask a Sommelier: a Beginner’s Guide to Greek Wines

Greece's Best Sommelier for 2016, Aris Sklavenitis, pours out some...


Greece Is Blog Posts

An Ode to Local Products

BY Yiouli Eptakili

No more avocado toast and croque-madames. From Thessaloniki to Crete...

read more >

How Can Greece Become a Gastro-Tourism Destination?

BY Yiouli Eptakili

It’s about more than just taking a trip...

read more >

Leaving Room in Greece for Everyone

BY Greece Is

Labor Day, this year September 5, marks the...

read more >