by Markus Stolz

Greek wine legislation

byMarkus Stolz
December 13, 2010, 10 Comments

The Greek wine legislation, along with those of the other EU countries, is changing. The European Union has introduced a unified system for all its members.  The implementation was phased and will be concluded by the end of this year. It is important to note that for the time being, both terms, from the old and the new framework, can be used on the wine label.

The new framework is called the Protected Geographical Status (PGS). It consists of geographical indications that are defined by EU law to protect the names and reputations of regional foods.

The PGS consists of the following 3 geographical indications:

1. Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
In Greek this is called Προστατευόμενης Ονομασίας Προέλευσης (Π.Ο.Π.). It replaces the OPAP and OPE categories from the former legislation.

2. Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
In Greek it is the Προστατευόμενης Γεωγραφικής Ένδειξης (Π.Γ.Ε.) and replaces most of the TO’s from the former legislation.

3. Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG)
In Greece these are Ποικιλιακοί Οίνοι that will replace the former OKP’s.

All other wines that do not meet the requirements of the PGS framework will be marketed as Table Wines. In Greece, the term Επιτραπέζιος Οινος (EO) remains.

Please look here for the former Greek wine legislation and its terms.

Greek PDO Wines by regions:

Macedonia: Naoussa, Goumenissa, Amyndeo and Plagies Meliton

Thessaly: Rapsani, Anhialos and Messenikola

Epirus: Zitsa

Peloponnese: Nemea, Mantinia, Monemvassia-Malvasia, Patras, Muscat of Patras, Muscat of Rio Patras, Mavrodaphne of Patras

Aegean Islands: Limnos, Muscat of Limnos, Santorini, Paros, Rodos, Muscat of Rodos, Samos

Ionian Islands: Robola of Cephalonia, Muscat of Cephalonia and Mavrodaphne of Cephalonia

Crete: Peza, Archanes, Sitia and Dafnes

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  1. The Sediment BlogDecember 13, 2010, 6:47 pm

    Frankly, the only legislation we want is to prohibit retsina…

  2. elloinosDecember 13, 2010, 6:58 pm

    CJ and PK, Retsina is an intrinsic part of the Greek culture. While it has certainly played its part in damaging the reputation of Greek wines as a whole, it is quite often misunderstood. Yes, there is BAD Retsina out there, but you can also find very good quality Retsina, I might mention Gaia or Kechri Winery.

  3. Kostas KatsoulierisDecember 14, 2010, 8:42 am

    Mpravo Markus for an informative article and more importantly sticking up for Retsina, it is indeed part of Greece’s wine culture and of course has suffered through atrocious examples in the past. What some may call regional wine “oddities” (eg. retsina, sangria, Corsica’s fruit wines etc etc) should not be dismissed by wine purists but should be viewed IN CONTEXT. Retsina (like Ouzo) is not a “quaffer” it is a food wine and frankly is quite often the perfect wine for some Greek foods. Examples being: 1) Yiannis Boutaris himself has stated that retsina is the perfect match for fried barbounia (unstriped red mullet), 2) the reason why so many foreign wine writers / critics / journalists order retsina when going to a taverna in Greece, 3) is there any better match for fried fish with well known “wine killer” skordalia?

    Anyway would love to see an article on retsina and verdea soon. Keep up the good work!

  4. elloinosDecember 14, 2010, 9:57 am

    Kosta, you summed it up perfectly – context is the key. Thank you very much for adding your view, greatly appreciated.

  5. The Sediment BlogDecember 14, 2010, 11:10 am

    Well, if there are any producers of “very good quality” retsina out there who would care to supply us with some of their product, we would be happy to write about it with our customary verve…?

  6. elloinosDecember 14, 2010, 11:36 am

    I’ll be happy to contact the wineries and see if they are interested. Just in case, email me a mailing address to mstolz at

  7. Chris BadiniDecember 14, 2010, 8:25 pm

    @The Sediment Blog – I understand your resistance to retsina. I work for a Greek wine importer and it took me 5 months to wrap my head around retsina. It was a food & wine experience that turned me into a fan. I love Gai’a Ritinitis Nobilis and Vassiliou Retsina. The aromatics on these wines are fantastic and balanced with bright acidity. If you want to create a tremendous WOW at your next dinner party serve a bottle blind to your guests. It will surely be the talk of the evening.

  8. ioannis GalanakisDecember 23, 2010, 6:38 pm

    Coming from Crete and working with wines I spotted a trivial spelling/typing mistake.
    One of the Cretan PDOs is ” S i t i a ” with a “T” and not an “F”.
    (Although Sifia would be more appropriate. If you come to Crete you’ll see that.)
    I also believe the term “table wine” has been replaced by simple “wine”, in both European and Greek legislation.

  9. elloinosDecember 23, 2010, 6:43 pm

    Ioanni, thanks for spotting and pointing out the spelling mistake, you are of course correct ;)