The Golden Age of Athens (5th century BC) is part of the Classical period (480-323 BC). It was an age which has become interwoven with perfection and timelessness; with the birth of democracy and philosophy; with the building of the Parthenon, and with Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine” and so much more; it was the age of great classical writers, tragedists, and philosophers whose works and deeds sang the praises of Greek wine; it was the age of the greatest wines of antiquity; it was a time when, by the standards of that time, international wine commerce experienced its most remarkable growth ever. Transactions were often carried out with “wine” coinage as payment and advanced viticultural and winegrowing means and techniques were being firmly established.

Above all, during the Classical period, the growth of a significant winegrowing culture laid the foundations for today’s winegrowing culture and legislation as those have been expressed through: the establishment of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications; the safeguarding of winemaking activities of unique and singular terroirs; the promotion and distribution of Greek wines abroad; the formulation of special terminology applying to the description of wines; and, most importantly, by establishing wine at Attica’s symposia as a part of everyday life and social interaction. It was during those symposia that wine played a leading role and contributed to Greek philosophy as expressed by Socrates, Plato, and other seminal minds of the time. It also contributed to an unrivalled wine culture in terms of wine knowledge, wine reviewing, wine pouring, and the art of wine in moderation, in other words (Greek ones at that!), enjoying wine in a wise, measured manner.
In the Classical period, wines that had made a name for themselves were Ariousios from the area of Ariousia in Chios; Lesvios; Peparithios; Samios, Thassios -the world’s first PDO wine; and Mendeos from Halkidiki, perhaps the world’s first famous and brand-name, white wine.

In the 4th century BC, which is also part of the Classical period, with Athens still clashing with Sparta and other Greek city-states, the leadership of the Greek realm would pass to another Greek region, Macedonia, and its king Philip. As both he and Alexander the Great, his son and successor, were great admirers of Greek wines, Greece’s important winemaking and wine commerce hubs would be joined by those in northern Greece: Pella (capital of the kingdom of Macedonia); Vergina; Amphipolis; and Philippi. Wines produced in those areas were also destined to become as famous as their Aegean counterparts, which continued to enjoy high acclaim. The highly developed art in Macedonia would produce pottery masterpieces such as vessels and wine vessels while, Aristotle, the major philosopher and teacher of Alexander the Great, would become not only an inexhaustible source of wisdom but of information as well on the vineyards and the wines of his time.