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Retsina is thousands of years old in its kind and is still considered the classic, ubiquitous wine in today's Greece. No taverna could afford not to carry retsina, even in high-class restaurants it can be found on the menu. On the one hand, this self-evidence has earned it the highest degree of recognition of all Greek wines, but on the other hand, it has almost become its gravedigger. Retsina is originally the name for a certain white wine from Attica, Savatianó, which was spiked with pine resin, but mutated into a brand of sorts over 40 years ago.


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The breakaway from the original culture really began when, from the 1960s onwards, the big wineries flooded both the Greek and the Western European markets with cheap resinated wine. This was made possible by the lowered quality consciousness and the changed buying habits of the Greeks themselves, as well as the booming tourism, especially from Western Europe. Naturally, the majority of tourists came in the summer, when the wine - at that time still mostly stored in barrels - was already old, amber-coloured and oxidative. Surprisingly, the wine was accepted and drunk this way, and the off-flavours were even regarded as a characteristic of Retsina. As the eating habits of younger Greeks changed dramatically from the 1990s at the latest, and as tourists wanted standardised food, many an international variety, such as Sauvignon Blanc, became more in demand than the wine typical of the country. This change in demand and acceptance was, however, practically provoked by the agony of traditional Greek wine production in the years before. It was not until the end of the 1980s that some wineries came to their senses again, often in the course of generational change, and realised that tradition is not about preserving the ashes, but about passing on the fire. Today, the Greek wine scene is literally bubbling over. Many wines from the producers who are now so active, whether in the so-called traditional or international style, can already be successfully compared internationally. Or, as in the case of the "new" retsina and the rediscovered treasure of autochthonous varieties, they represent a category of their own with individual expression and special aesthetics.

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