The categories of wine of all wine-producing countries in Europe are identified according to their place of origin, that is, their Designation of Origin. This is a classification system which was adopted by many countries and essentially shaped the current wine law of the European Union. The laws and provisions concerning categories of Greek wines were introduced in 1971 and continued to evolve and expand continuously, until today. Since then they follow the regulatory framework of the EU.
Greek law provides two basic categories of wine:
- Designation of Origin Wines or otherwise PDO Wines of Greece, Which includes the wines of the previous applicable law:
o AOQS "Designation of Origin of Superior Quality"
o AOC "Controlled Designation of Origin"
- Table wines, which include:
o PGI Wines of Greece, the former "Local Wines"
o Wines with "Traditional Appellation"
o "Simple Table" wines
Designation of Origin
The place of origin of wines and ensuring their authenticity is something that started in Greece in ancient times. Sought after wines of antiquity, such as Ariousios wine from Chios, the Thassios from Thassos, the Maronite from Thrace, the Pramneios from Ikaria and others surreptitiously suggested their origin. Inscriptions, seals, Stamped amphorae and other findings show us that the ancient Greeks wanted to be sure and confirm the originality and authenticity of wines supplied and sold. The association of wine with their place of origin continued occasionally with sought-after wines from different periods, until finally established throughout Europe with the view that the place of origin of the wine is an important criterion of authenticity, originality and quality.
In addition to this, the commonly accepted meaning of terroir is one that concentrates the following factors that determine final result of a wine:
• Topography, that is the altitude, orientation, exposure to sunlight, trim, etc., and soil composition.
• Macro-Mesoclimate, namely the climatic conditions prevailing in the region or in a specific location in the region, as well as the average annual development.
• Vine Varieties
• Vineyard and Winemaking techniques, namely the way and the traditional cultivation and vinification of each region.
The concept of terroir expresses the authenticity, as well as the recognized characteristics of wines with designation of origin, which determines the consistent standard from year to year (formality).