Wines produced within the EU are divided into two quality categories, Table Wines and Quality Wines. These categories are translated into different national wine classifications for each member state.
Greek Quality Wines come from viticultural areas that are characterised – according to the EU legislation – as VQPRD. These initials stand for the French term “Vin de Qualité Produit Dans Une Région Déterminée”, which translates as “Wines of Quality Produced in Determined Regions.
In Greece, there are two categories of VQPRD wines:
OPE are the Greek initials for “Wines with Appellation of Controlled Origin”. This designation is dedicated solely to sweet wines. 2 red and 6 white wines that come from 6 different regions are included. A light blue paper strip that is placed above the cork distinguishes the wine bottles.
OPAP are the Greek initials for “Wines with Appellation of Superior Quality”. This designation covers mostly dry wines. The vast majority of the permitted grape varieties are indigenous. 14 red, 1 rosé and 11 white wines from 20 different regions are included. A pink paper strip is used to mark the bottles.
The Greek Table Wines are also broken down into two categories:
TO are the Greek initials for “Regional Wines”. This is the equivalent of the French “Vin de Pays”. Some of the finest wines from international grape varieties are included here, and it is not uncommon to find equal or even better quality compared to some Appellation wines.
EO are the Greek initials for “Table Wines“. The French equivalent are the “Vins de Table”. Although this is the lowest quality category, many winemakers choose this to experiment with varieties. A sub-category to the EO is the OKP (Wines of Appellation by Tradition) that includes only Retsina and Verdea.
Although the above wine legislation is straightforward, the consumer gets frustrated as some wineries use the original Greek abbreviations, others the French or English terms on their labels. I sincerely hope that growers will come to a consensus soon.
Greek VQPRD Wines by regions:
Macedonia: Naoussa, Goumenissa, Amyndeo and Plagies Meliton, all OPAP
Thessaly: Rapsani, Anhialos and Messenikola, all OPAP
Epirus: Zitsa, OPAP
Peloponnese: Nemea, Mantinia, Patra, all OPAP. Muscat of Patras, Muscat of Rio Patras, Mavrodaphne of Patras, all OPE
Aegean Islands: Limnos, Santorini, Paros, Rodos, all OPAP. Muscat of Limnos, Samos, Muscat of Rodos, all OPE
Ionian Islands: Robola of Cephalonia OPAP, Muscat of Cephalonia and Mavrodaphne of Cephalonia, both OPE
Crete: Peza, Archanes, Sifia and Dafnes, all OPAP