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PGI Attiki: the unique wines of Greece’s heartland

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Exploring the singularity of PGI Attiki (ΠΓΕ Αττική) and the diversity of its terroirs

Few places in the world boast the same historical weight and natural beauty as Attica, the region which, embraced by the Aegean Sea, has Athens as its epicentre and the Greek soul in its very sinew. Attica embodies the adventurous spirit of its people, as well as the vocation to enjoy food and wine as a natural extension of life itself.

Gastronomy and oenology are indeed such a fundamental part of how the people of Attica live, grow and experience life – each meal and sip of wine an expression of craftsmanship and a way to relate to others and oneself, sharing laughter, tears and music  around a full table. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that Attica is home to multiple treasured appellations: the eponymous PGI Attiki (ΠΓΕ Αττική), PGI Retsina of Attiki (ΠΓΕ Ρετσίνα Αττικής), PGI Markopoulo (ΠΓΕ Μαρκόπουλο) and PGI Slopes of Kithaironas (ΠΓΕ Πλαγιές Κιθαιρώνα). These produce distinctive PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) wines, known for their quality, consistency and gastronomic appeal.

A singular, diverse terroir

Named after its parent region, PGI Attiki covers the area in and around the city of Athens, including its outskirts and the atmospheric countryside that embraces the metropolitan area. All wines produced under PGI Attiki must be produced with fruit hailing from vineyards planted at a minimum altitude of 30 metres.

Terroir diversity plays a fundamental role in the character and singularity of the appelation’s wines. With the exception of its west-northwestern part, the whole region is surrounded by the sea, with cool breezes (Meltemis) blowing inland and mitigating the hot summer temperatures. Topography, however, prevents some areas from receiving significant sea influence, creating a myriad of microclimates determined by proximity to the coast, aspect and altitude. There is, thus, significant climate and therefore terroir variation leading to different expressions of the grapes grown in Attica.

Historical grapes, many styles

Of such grape varieties, Savatiano is the most strongly linked to the region, both historically and culturally –  the region’s stock of old bush-trained vines is an impressive and strong component of the local landscape and has shaped how growers relate to their land. Among white varieties, Roditis and Malagouzia are also widely grown, with Agiogitiko and Mavroudi as the dominant red counterparts. These varieties provide the raw material for dry wines known for their crisp acidity, bright fruit flavours and savoury appeal. Attica’s sweet wines, on the other hand, harness that same acidity to balance the lusciousness of ripe, sweet fruit.

One of the most renowned and distinct wines produced in Attiki is PGI Retsina of Attiki, a traditional, historical Greek style produced with Aleppo pine resin, added during fermentation. This lends the wine a unique aromatic profile, with notes of pine, rosemary and wild oregano, as well as a beautiful refreshing lift to the palate, making a perfect pairing companion to traditional local dishes. Somewhat forgotten and underestimated in the past couple of decades, Retsina is making an exciting comeback, with renewed interest both from consumers and winemakers.

In both its uniqueness and diversity, Region of Attica offers a fascinating journey of discovery across an amazing winemaking heritage. It is also, however, an appellation for the future, with a vibrant community of winemakers making the most of deep-rooted traditions to produce authentic wines, perfect for the generation of wine lovers.

Discover more about the PGI wines of Attica

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