Halkidiki is one of Greece’s most distinguished landscapes: three finger-like peninsulas extending into the Aegean sea. The vineyards of Halkidiki are typified by that on the slopes of Mount Meliton, in Sithonia, which is one of the largest single vineyards in Greece. In the early 1970s, Émile Peynaud supervised the planting of Greek and foreing varieties in the area’s poor soil and occasionally steep terrain soil. They were in goblet formations as well as linear, non-irrigated vineyards. There was a remarkable acclimatization of varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah -helped by the direct impact of the sea breeze- but also of native varieties such as Assyrtiko, Roditis, Athiri and Lemnio. The variety which thrived most, however, was Malagousia, a rare white from central Greece, which has since developed into one of the most dynamic local cultivars. On the slopes of Mt. Meliton, at an altitude of 800m (2600 ft.), two PDO wines are produced, both called Plagies Melitona, which translates as ‘slopes of Meliton’ in English. One is white, made from Athiri, Assyrtiko and Roditis, while the other is red, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Limnio.

Another major pole of  the vineyards of Halkidiki is Mount Athos, the semi-autonomous monastic district,  with new, linear planting, while the coastline areas of Epanomi and Agios Pavlos, near Thessaloniki, with their more fertile soil, have proven to be perfectly suitable for the growing needs of white varieties such as Malagousia and Assyrtiko.