Wine in Ancient Greece

Wine in Ancient Greece

Wine is a product inextricably linked with Greece. In ancient Greek Mythology, there are many stories about the origin of the vine. The most known are the story derived mainly from the followers of the God Dionysus.

According to the tale, Titans sliced ​​the younger immortal son of Zeus and Semele, Dionysus and threw the pieces into a cauldron and boiled. After the cooked pieces of Dionysus buried in the earth. This is the origin of the vine according to the ancient Greeks.

Nowadays we know that the production of wine was not born in Greece, but the Greeks were the ones who developed wine making and vine cultivation. The process of wine growing has its roots in the Agrarian Revolution and the permanent settlement of populations to the culture, that dates from around 5000 B.C.. The first known winegrowers were considered to be the Ancient Persians.

Subsequently, the knowledge of viticulture and wine making were transferred to the Egyptians, the Asians and the Greeks. Therefore, in Greece, cultivation began around the middle of the 3rd Millennium B.C. in Crete and then spread the rest of the country. During the Classical Era, the Greeks had a well-regulated wine trade. They had created an early origin system to protect the value and to confirm the authenticity of high-quality wines from specific regions.

Through the years the ancient Greeks also established colonies in the Mediterranean and entering the viticulture and wine production in southern Italy, Sicily and France - thus creating the basis of wine production in Western Europe. They used to drink wine by mixing it with water (a part of wine to 3 parts water). They had special vessels for both mixing and for cooling.

Drinking wine which was not mixed with water was considered barbaric and customary only used by the sick or during travel as a tonic. Widespread was still the consumption of wine with honey and herbs. The way of wine production in former times did not differ substantially from current practices. It is noteworthy to know that survived to the present day are the writings of Theophrastus (philosophers of antiquity), which contain information about their forms of cultivation. With the rise in living standards, the Greeks sought a better quality.

The result was winemakers investing and restructuring their vineyards with new plantings and cultivation methods, but also in technology and knowledge in the production of wine. This led us to the revival of the production of quality wines in Greece starting in the 1970's to our enjoyment of them till present day!

Today about 40 million people are engaged in the vine and its production. In Greece, this has continued without interruption from antiquity, the Byzantine times, during the Turkish occupation and until now - perpetuating the tradition of Greek wine.

In Greece, the main wine regions are Peloponnese, Crete, Evia Island, Central Greece, Macedonia, and Thrace. Major growing areas are also in the Aegean and the Ionian Sea, the Dodecanese, and Thessaly.


▶︎ History of the Olympic Games
▶︎ History of Greek Theater
▶︎ Weddings in Ancient Greece
▶︎ Wine in Ancient Greece
▶︎ History of the Kiosk
▶︎ Military Junta & 17th November


▶︎ More: Ancient Period of Athens, Figures of Ancient Period, Byzantine Period of Athens, Figures of Byzantine Period, Modern History of Athens, Figures of the 19th Century, Figures of the 20th Century, Greek Mythology, Historical Specials