Vineyards have been planted along the endless stretches of coastline in both continental and island regions of Greece since ancient times. The favorable influence of the sea on coastal terroirs is owed to the great thermal inertia of seawater, that is, to its considerable capacity for heat storage. Thus, the vineyards’ proximity to the sea blunts the daytime temperature peaks and creates meso-climates which are gentler to vines than those of continental areas of the same latitude and altitude. Additionally, the cool and moist sea breezes permanently blowing through coastal terroirs during the hot hours of the day mitigate the heat the grapes are subjected to and improve the light they receive, thus facilitating their gentle ripening. The beneficial impact of these breezes can reach areas hundreds of kilometers away from the coastline if they are not obstructed by mountain massifs.
The coastal terroirs of Thrace (Avdira, Maronia), Kavala and Halkidiki in northern Greece, Anchialos and Fthiotida in Central Greece, Patras and Trifilia in the Peloponnese, Crete and virtually all the islands of the Aegean and Ionian Seas, owe many of their vine growing attributes to their proximity to the sea. Equally beneficial to viticulture is the effect of lakes and rivers. Nevertheless, due to their smaller water mass, it is limited to short distances from the water. Examples of Greek vineyards near lakes and rivers are fewer, the most characteristic ones being those of Amynteo in Florina district which are near four lakes (Vegoritida and Petron are the two largest), and those of Messenikola, near the artificial Lake Plastira in Thessalia (Thessaly).