The PGI Wines of Greece (“Protected Geographical Indication”) comprise the Greek “Local Wines” category and some wines of “Traditional Appellation”. Both European and Greek wine legislation stipulates that local wines are a sub-category of table wines which have been experiencing considerable growth both in Greece and other European countries. The introduction of the PGI Wines of Greece designation aimed at reinforcing the concepts of authenticity and typicality. Specific geographical boundaries and varietal compositions are set and producers can display vintage years of wines. Depending on their geographical breadth, PGI zones are divided into three levels:
- PGI Regional Wines
- PGI District Wines
- PGI Area Wines
PGI Regional Wines
The PGI Regional Wines constitute the broader, overall level of the PGI wines of Greece. Eight of the country’s nine winegrowing regions produce designated PGI Regional Wines, with the exception of the Ionian Islands. Provisions foresee that all of the regions may establish production of white, rosé, and red wines that may be dry, medium dry or medium sweet. However, not all regions produce all wine types as Greek winegrowers engage in wine production depending on the goals they set, on consumer preferences, on relevant trends and, of course, on their area’s winegrowing tradition.
Grapes going towards vinification of PGI Regional Wines must originate in a PDO wines of Greece zone or zones or even in the area or areas of each region. They may be vinified anywhere within the boundaries of the delimited region. The PGI Regional Wines are PGI Aegean Sea, PGI Epirus, PGI Thessalia, PGI Thrace, PGI Crete, PGI Macedonia, PGI Peloponnese and PGI Central Greece.
PGI District Wines
The geographical boundaries of a PGI District Wine zone are usually the same as those of a district (i.e., those of a specific former prefecture, and only in two cases such a zone is only a part of a former prefecture). Grapes used for the vinification of PGI District Wines have to originate in areas within the boundaries of the district and must be vinified within those boundaries. However, wineries located in neighboring districts (former prefectures) are also entitled to producing these wines.
The stipulations governing varietal compositions of PGI District Wines are on the whole stringent, and this is one reason why Greek wine producers occasionally use the broader indications of the PGI Regional Wines. As a result, wine types that can be produced at that level are rather limited. The 37 PGI District Wines that have been established are: PGI Argolida; PGI Arkadia; PGI Attiki; PGI Achaia; PGI Grevena; PGI Drama; PGI Dodecanese; PGI Evros; PGI Evia; PGI Zakynthos; PGI Ilia; PGI Imathia; PGI Heraklion; PGI Thassos; PGI Thessaloniki; PGI Ioannina; PGI Kavala; PGI Karditsa; PGI Kastoria; PGI Corfu; PGI Kozani; PGI Korinthos; PGI Cyclades; PGI Lakonia; PGI Lasithi; PGI Lesvos; PGI Lefkada; PGI Magnissia; PGI Messinia; PGI Pella; PGI Pieria; PGI Rethymno; PGI Serres; PGI Florina; PGI Chania; PGI Halkidiki; and PGI Chios.
PGI Area Wines
In terms of geographical boundaries, the PGI Area Wines constitute the most restrictive designations. The boundaries of each PGI wine area usually form a section of a district (a former prefecture) or, in a few cases, comprise parts of two districts. There are also cases when those boundaries are those of a single community/village. Varieties and types of wine must comply with equally strict specifications.
There are 58 PGI Area Wines designated in 28 districts of Greece. There are several cases where the right of use of the indication belongs to a single producer who accounted for the designation of the local wine (current PGI wine) in question. The PGI Area Wines are as follows: PGI Avdira ; PGI Mount Athos; PGI Agora; PGI Adriani; PGI Anavyssos; PGI Velventos; PGI Vilitsa; PGI Slopes of Pendeliko; PGI Gerania; PGI Elassona, PGI Epanomi; PGI Thapsana; PGI Thebes; PGI Ikaria; PGI Ilion; PGI Ismaros; PGI Karystos; PGI Kissamos; PGI Klimenti; PGI Valley of Atalanti; PGI Koropi; PGI Krania; PGI Krannonas; PGI Kos; PGI Letrina; PGI Lilantio Pedio; PGI Mantzavinata; PGI Markopoulo; PGI Martino; PGI Metaxata; PGI Meteora; PGI Metsovo; PGI Nea Messimvria; PGI Opountia Lokrida; PGI Pangeon; PGI Peanea; PGI Pallini; PGI Parnassos; PGI Pisatis; PGI Slopes of Egialia; PGI Slopes of Enos; PGI Slopes of Ambelos; PGI Slopes of Vertiskos; PGI Slopes of Kitherona; PGI Slopes of Knimida; PGI Slopes of Paiko; PGI Slopes of Parnitha; PGI Slopes of Petroto; PGI Pylia; PGI Ritsona; PGI Siatista; PGI Sithonia; PGI Spata; PGI Syros; PGI Tegea; PGI Trifilia; PGI Tyrnavos; and PGI Halikouna.
Wines of Traditional Appellation
Wines of Traditional Appellation comprise Verdea and all types of Retsina.
Verdea became entitled to the appellation “Verdea, Traditional Designation of Zakynthos” in 1992. It is a white wine that can be produced in Zakynthos only but can be bottled off Zakynthos as well under specific requisites regarding, for example, its varietal composition, yields per 0.1 hectare, etc. As a result, wines bearing that title are included in the category of PGI District Wines of Greece.
Since 1979, some retsina wines, apart from being considered Wines of Traditional Appellation, have become entitled to bear a geographical indication of origin as well and now fall in the category of PGI wines of Greece. There are three types of retsina which bear the indication PGI District Wines:
- Retsina Attiki
- Retsina Viotia
- Retsina Evia
A further 12 retsinas are entitled to the indication of PGI Area Wine.Those are: Retsina Mesogia; Retsina Kropia or Koropi; Retsina Markopoulo; Retsina Megara; Retsina Peanea (or Liopesi); Retsina Pallini; Retsina Pikermi; Retsina Spata; Retsina Thebes; Retsina Yaltra; Retsina Karystos; and Retsina Chalkis.