Grape Varieties in North Greece

Explore the homegrown and international varieties, some of them grow in these lands for thousands of years. Rare vine varieties of unique character, coming from the terroirs of Macedonia and Epirus with their individual natural conditions, soil and climate.

18 grape varieties that produce the most iconic wines of North Greece

Remarkable homegrown and international grape varieties that produce sophisticated wines.

Explore them below!


An exceptional, multifaceted white local variety from Santorini. It is widely used to create vineyards all over Greece due to its high acidity, its aroma and the ease with which it adapts to different soils and climates. Assyrtiko wines are known for their lively, robust palate and distinctive nose, very food friendly, especially with grilled fish and seafood.

Grapes from Assyrtiko variety
Grapes from Athiri variety


A Greek old, white variety perfectly suited to arid and warm Aegean conditions, today cultivated in a number of regions in the country. It produces wines with fruity aromas, average alcoholic content and acidity and a pleasant, smooth and full flavour. Pair it along with fish, a summer salad or some stuffed tomatoes.


A remarkable indigenous white variety from Epirus, grown mainly in Zitsa and sporadically in other regions. It produces dry wines with medium alcoholic strength, a distinctive fruity aroma and crisp palate as well as semi-sparkling wines of note. It can accompany mom's spinach pie, or maybe some spicy food and aperitifs.

Grapes from Debina variety
Grapes from Cabernet-Sauvingon variety

Cabernet - Sauvignon

An international red variety originating from Bordeaux. In Greece it was first grown in Metsovo, however due to its relatively low productivity -when compared with Greek varieties- it has not been widely cultivated. Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with the Limnio and Cabernet Franc varieties to produce the dry red P.D.O. "Côtes de Meliton".


An ancient, indigenous variety referred to as ‘Limnia Staphyli’, which was grown originally in Limnos island and is mentioned by Homer, Hesiod and Polydefkis among others. Today it is cultivated also in Halkidiki, Rodopi, Xanthi, Kavala and other places. It yields relatively high-alcohol wines of medium acidity and with a light, distinctive aroma, medium colour and body.

Grapes from Limnio variety
Grapes from Malagouzia variety


A white variety originating from Etoloakarnania and cultivated in Macedonia, Central Greece and Peloponnese. Malagousia may yield barrel-fermented or barrel-aged wines that have a high alcoholic strength, a distinctive, rich aroma, medium acidity and a full and well-rounded palate. It is used in making certain P.G.I. (Epanomi, Sithonia). When dry, it can be an exquisite match to greens and salads.


The Mavroudi variety owes its name to the colours of its grapes, mavro (black). The unexplored territory of this variety’s wines reveals a somewhat heavy aroma, a sweet and rich taste, and rather hefty tannins. Ulysses is said to have offered wine from this variety to the Cyclops! Try it with lamb or Giouvetsi and you wont be dissapointed.

Grapes from Mavroudi variety
Red grapes close up


A red variety grown over a small area in Western Macedonia and sporadically in Thessaly. It is a vigorous, robust, prolific, productive variety susceptible to botrytis and acid rot and relatively resistant to periods of drought. The Moschomavro yields high-alcohol, balanced-acidity wines that are mildly aromatic and have a medium colour. It is used in making the PGI Grevena.


A red variety from the greater Macedonian region, taken from Naoussa and today grown mainly in the region of Goumenissa. It is usually blended with the Xinomavro variety to produce aged dry red P.D.O wines "Goumenissa". Being dark and fruity, Negoska produces high-alcohol wines with a vivid red colour, medium acidity and smooth palate.

Grapes from Negoska variety
Grapes from Pamidi variety


A red variety originating from Eastern Thrace and grown throughout Macedonia and Thrace. It ripens in early to mid-September. The Pamidi yields high-alcohol, low-acidity, light-coloured red wines. It is blended with other varieties to produce certain red and rosé PGI wines (Avdira, Thrace, etc.) and Table wines.


A very old, indigenous, gris and extremely diverse variety. When cultivated in suitable soil in mountainous areas and at low yields per vine, Roditis produces noteworthy dry white wines with a fruity aroma, average to high alcoholic strength, a well-rounded, fresh and balanced palate that can be barrel-aged. Enjoy it as an apéritif or with appetisers.

Grapes from Roditis variety


The noblest of red varieties in Northern Greece, it demonstrates great diversity, augmented by the different soil and climatic conditions under which it is cultivated. The wines can age gracefully, are bright red in colour, with firm tannins, tight structure and bright acidity. It can also produce white wines (blanc de noirs) with a distinctive colour and aroma.


A cosmopolitan white variety of French origin. The wine produced has a rich, fresh to crisp, well-balanced and full-bodied palate with a long finish. In Greece it is grown in 24 prefectures spread over all the geographical departments in the country. Chardonnay is used in making certain P.G.I wines (Plagies Aegialias, Pylos, Adriani, Drama, Messinia, Ismaros, Epanomi, Peloponnese).

Grapes from Xinomavro variety
Grapes from Chardonnay variety


A red variety of French origin, in Greece is grown in 23 prefectures in Macedonia. The wine of this variety is high in alcohol, with a balanced acidity, a characteristic aroma, a supple, full-bodied and well-balanced palate, and it ages well. In Greece it is often blended with Xinomavro, which softens its aggressive tannins and adds captivating flavours of red and black fruits.

Muscat Of Alexandria

A white variety grown all over the world, in Greece is cultivated mostly in Limnos. It yields high-alcohol dry wines with a typically delicate Muscat nose, medium to good acidity and pleasant mouth as well as wonderful sweet wines with a rich aroma and full taste. It is used in making the sweet P.D.O. "Muscat of Limnos" and the dry, semi-dry and semi-sweet P.D.O. Limnos.

Grapes from Merlot variety
Grapes from Muscat of Alexandria variet

Sauvignon - Blanc

A white, aromatic variety of French origin, grown all over the world. In Greece today it is grown in 21 prefectures all over the country with the most successful recipe being the marriage of Sauvignon Blanc with Assyrtiko. It can be fermented and aged in oak barrels. It is used in making a number of P.G.I. (Florina, Halkidiki, Drama, Epanomi, etc).


A red variety that is well-known and today grown in many regions worldwide. It is grown as a recommended variety in 16 prefectures throughout the country. The wines are high in alcohol content, dense structure, powerful tannins, medium acidity and mellow aromas of black fruits and spice, It is used in making a number of red and rosé P.G.I. (Epanomi, Sithonia,etc).

Grapes from Sauvignon Blanc variety
Grapes from Syrah variety


Although its presence in Greek vineyards accounts for a very small percentage of total production, Viognier, nonetheless, has its loyal devotees – wine producers and consumers alike. It is encountered as a varietal wine and -commercially speaking- can be classified as a wine of superior quality.

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