Greece is a wonderful country to visit for all sorts of reasons – from those who want to explore the birthplace of famous myths to those who want to visit the iconic locations seen in modern pop culture.
However, Greece is also a fantastic destination for wine lovers and there are some great islands in Greece for wine tasting on a romantic vacation. The country’s diverse landscape and climate make it ideal for growing a wide range of grape varieties, which in turn produce some delicious wines.
Greece is also home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, with many vineyards dating back to Roman times. As a result, wine lovers can enjoy not only the finest wines Greece has to offer, but also learn about the country’s rich viticultural history.
If you are a wine lover, it’s easy to tailor your Greek vacation around the many incredible wines that Greece produces. Whether you are looking to sample some of the world’s finest wines or to discover a new favorite, Greece is the perfect destination.
So where should you begin your wine-inspired trip to the Greek islands? Keep reading to find out.
Which Greek Island is Known for Wine?
If you’re looking to explore Greece’s wine country, then you’ll want to head to one of its many islands. Here are three of the best islands in Greece for wine lovers.
Ikaria is a small Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, its relaxed lifestyle, and its world-class wines. The island’s climate is perfect for growing grapes, and the volcanic soil adds to the wines’ flavor.
Ikaria is home to several small wineries, each of which produces unique wines that reflect the character of the island. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing white wine or a full-bodied red, you’re sure to find something to your taste on Ikaria.
And with its stunning views and friendly locals, Ikaria is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the island’s natural beauty.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, as the home of the Greek god of wine, Dionysus, this island of Ikaria has a rich and storied history of wine production. With vineyards across the island, the wine mentioned in ancient Greek texts might be deep red, but today the wines are white, both semi-dry and semi-sweet red, and even rose wines – truly something for every aspiring sommelier.
The most authentic Ikarian wines are created using Begleri grapes (white), and Fokiano grapes (red). You can even enjoy wine tasting at the world-renowned Afianes Winery, with wine tours being offered here and at other wineries, giving you a much closer look at the art and dedication behind each glass of wine.
Picture perfect Santorini is a truly romantic island and a must-visit for any Greek vacation – especially popular with honeymooners. Santorini is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, and it’s easy to see why. The island is home to stunning volcanic beaches, picturesque villages, and some of the best sunsets in the world.
However, Santorini is also an excellent place to sample some of Greece’s finest wines. The island’s volcanic soils are perfect for growing the indigenous Assyrtiko grape, which produces dry, mineral-rich white wines.
With a volcanic landscape, hot springs, and the sun bouncing off the whitewashed, blue-capped buildings, Santorini also has a solid history of winemaking.
With many wineries on the island, you can sample wines using the grapes of the island, the most popular of which is the Assyrtiko, which creates delicious white wines, and the sweet Visanto.
Best enjoyed overlooking the lapping blue waves with some of the island’s beautiful seafood. You will truly feel as though you are living inside a postcard while expanding your wine knowledge.
The hottest vacation spot and the largest island of all, Crete is world famous for a number of reasons – and this includes leading the way in teaching the world how wonderful Greek wine can be.
Crete, which has a 4,000-year history in winemaking that dates back to the Minoan era, is an excellent spot for wine enthusiasts. There are currently around 35 wineries on the island, ranging from tiny family operations to multi-million dollar properties.
This island has a reputation for serving up delicious food, but it has an equally robust winemaking history, with a wide variety to suit every palate and meal. White wines are especially well known, with Romeiko being one of the most beloved wines.
If you are seeking a rich red, then Liatiko or Mantilari might tempt your taste buds. Visit Manousakis Winery to see how the local wines are produced, or you can enjoy wine tasting in the bustling port city of Heraklion.
Some tours include the history of wine in Crete, which is the ideal way to combine learning about Greek culture and history while sipping on a glass of Malvazia di Candia.
It couldn’t be easier to take a wine-inspired trip while island hopping. As a top vacation spot for any traveler, Greece is the best place to enjoy the unexpected treasure of Greek wine. Which of the islands will you be heading to first?
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FAQ of Islands in Greece for Wine Tasting
Q: What are the top wines of Greece?
A: The top wines of Greece include whites such as Assyrtiko and Malagousia, reds such as Mavrodaphne and Xinomavro, and rosés such as Moschato.
Q: What is the best time of year to visit Greece for wine tasting?
A: The best time of year to visit Greece for wine tasting is in the spring or autumn, when the weather is cooler and more conducive to enjoying a glass of wine.
Q: What should I expect on a Greek wine tour?
A: A Greek wine tour will typically include a visit to a winery, with a tour of the facilities and a wine tasting. Some tours may also include a visit to a vineyard or an olive grove, as well as educational components on the history and production of Greek wine.