Sweet wines of Greece


2.5 million hectoliters of wine are produced in Greece on average per year from the grapes of the approximately 61,500 hectares of the five Greek wine-growing areas: Northern Greece, Central Greece & Attica, Peloponnese & Ionian Islands, Crete and the Aegean Islands. 300 autochthonous grape varieties can be found in the 34 regions with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and in around 100 areas with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Forty of the 134 designated wine-growing regions produce sweet wines. However, only a few Greek sweet wines are known, such as the Samos, from the island of the same name, the Vinsanto from Santorini, the sweet, red Mavrodaphne from Patras and one or the other Muscat, be it from Rhodes, Lemnos, Cephalonia or Patras.

In Greece, sweet wines are basically only allowed to be produced in two ways: either by adding alcohol from grapes to the must or partially fermented must, or by concentrating the sugar and aromas of the grapes through drying, be it in the sun, by remaining on the vine, or drying in air after the harvest. Wines fortified with alcohol are called vin doux naturel, wines made from dried grapes are called vin naturellement doux. Wines made exclusively from sun-dried grapes are sometimes referred to as straw wine or vin liastos. It is absolutely forbidden to add any kind of sweetness.

There are more than 300 autochthonous grape varieties in Greece, and sweet wines are also produced from some of these varieties, for example the red sweet wines from the Liatiko grape variety in the Cretan wine-growing regions of Sitia and Dafnes. The sweet wines are also often produced in different degrees of sweetness – from semi-dry to medium sweet and to sweet. There are also sparkling wines in some areas from semi-dry to sweet, such as on Rhodes, in Mantinia in the Peloponnese or in Amynteo in northern Greece. You can find a tabular overview of which types of sweet wines are available where in Greece in the table.

More about sweet wines from  France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

AreaClassificationRegionTypeGrape varieties
Malvasia SitiaPDOCretesweet sundried and sundried fortified white winesAssyrtiko 85%, Thrapsathiri, Athiri, Liatiko, White Muscat and Malvasia di Candia Aromatica
SitiaPDOCreteSweet red from sun-dried grapes, Sweet red fortifiedLiatiko 100%
DafnesPDOCreteSweet redLiatiko 100%
NaoussaPDONorthern GreeceMedium-dry red, Medium-sweet redXinomavro 100%
AmynteoPDONorthern GreeceMedium dry rosé, Medium sweet rosé
Sparkling medium dry rosé, Medium sweet red
Xinomavro 100%
ZitsaPDOEpirusSemi-sparkling/sparkling, medium-dry white, Sparkling, medium-sweet whiteDebina 100%
AnchialosPDOMagnissiaMedium dry white, Medium sweet whiteRoditis min 80% , Savvatiano
Muscat of LemnosPDONorth Aegean IslandSweet fortified white from sun-dried grapes
Sweet white from sun-dried grapes, naturellement doux 
Sweet fortified, vin doux naturel – vin de liqueur
Muscat d’Alexandrie 100%
LemnosPDONorth Aegean IslandMedium-dry white, Medium-sweet white, Sweet red fortified
Sweet red from sun-dried grapes
Muscat d’Alexandrie 100% for white wines, 90% Limnio und 10% Muscat d’Alexandrie for red wines
Muscat of CephaloniaPDOIonian islandSweet fortified white from sun-dried grapes
Sweet white from sun-dried grapes, naturellement doux
Sweet fortified
Muscat Blanc 100%
Mavrodaphne of CephaloniaPDOIonian island Sweet red fortifiedMavrodaphne min. 51%, Corinthina Black
Muscat of Rio PatrasPDOPeloponneseSweet fortified white from sun-dried grapes
Sweet white from sun-dried grapes
Sweet fortified
Muscat Blanc 100%
Muscat of PatrasPDOPeloponneseSweet fortified white from sun-dried grapes
Sweet white from sun-dried grapes
Sweet fortified
Muscat Blanc 100%
PatrasPDOPeloponneseMedium-dry white, Medium-sweet whiteRoditis 100%
Mavrodaphne of PatrasPDOPeloponneseSweet red fortified
Sweet red from sun-dried grapes
Mavrodaphne min. 51%, Corinthina Black
NemeaPDOPeloponneseMedium-sweet red
Sweet red from sun-dried grapes
Sweet red fortified
Agiorkitiko 100%
MantiniaPDOPeloponneseSparkling white medium dryMoschfilero min 85%, Asproudes
Monemvassia-MalvasiaPDOPeloponneseSweet fortified white from sun dried grapes
Sweet white from sun dried grapes
Monemvassia min 51%, Assyrtiko, Asproudes, Kydonitsa
SantoriniPDOSouthern CycladesVinsanto –Sweet white from sun-dried grapes; Vinsanto –Sweet fortified white from sun-dried grapesAssyrtiko min 51%, Aidani, and small amounts of other grape varieties
SamosPDOEast Aegean IslandSweet white from sun-dried grapes
Sweet white fortified
Muscat Blanc 100%
RhodosPDOWest Dodecanese IslandMedium-sweet white, Medium-dry red
Medium-sweet red, Medium-dry rose
Medium-sweet rose
Sparkling white demi sec, doux)
Sparkling rose (demi sec, doux)
Athiri min 70%, Assyrtiko, Malagousia Weißwein Mandialria min 70%, Mavrothiriko Rotwein
Muscat of RhodosPDOWest Dodecanese IslandSweet white from sun-dried grapes
Sweet fortified
Muscat Blanc, Moscato di Trani
EvrosPGINorthern Greecemedium dry, medium sweet, sweet white, rosé and redAthiri, Assyrtiko, Zoumiatiko (Damiatis), Malagousia, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano, Karnachalades, Keratsouda, Lemnio, Mavroudi, Moschomavro, Bogialamades, Pamidi, Sefka, Grenache Rouge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Merlot, Censaut, Syrah
SerresPGIMacedoniamedium dry, medium sweet
white, rosé and red
Agoumastos, Athiri, Asprouda Serres, Assyrtiko, Zoumiatiko, Malagousia, Muscat of Alexandria, Batiki, Rhoditis, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano, Koiniariko, Lemnio, Pamidi, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Censaut, Syrah
PellaPGIMacedoniamedium dry, white, rosé and redRoditis, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano, Agiorgitiko, Lemnio, Moschomavro, Xinomavro, Negoska, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Censaut, Syrah
PieriaPGIMacedoniamedium dry, medium sweet, sweet white, rosé and redAssyrtiko, Malagousia, Roditis, Savvatiano, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano, Agiorgitiko, Limniona, Xinomavro, Pamidi, Grenache rouge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Censaut, Syrah
KozaniPGIMacedoniamedium dry, medium sweet
white, rosé and red
Malagousia, Batiki, Roditis, Gewürtztraminer, Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Lemnio, Moschomavro, Xinomavro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Censaut, Syrah
GrevenaPGIMacedoniamedium dry, medium sweet,
rosé and red
Roditis, Xinomavro, Moschomavro, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
LesvosPGINorth Aegean Islandmedium dry, medium sweet, sweet white, rosé and redAthiri, Assyrtiko, Savvatiano, Vaftra, Mandilaria, Fokiano, Chidiriotiko (Kalloniatiko)
LefkadaPGIIonian islandmedium dry, medium sweet
white, rosé and red
Vardea, Vertzami, Merlot
ZakynthosPGIIonian islandmedium dry, medium sweet, sweet white, rosé and redAsproudes, Violento, Goustolidi (Avgoustolidi, Vostilidas), Korithi, Koutsoubeli, Lagorthi, Moschatel (Moschardina), Migdali, Pavlos, Rhoditis, Robola, Savvatiano, Skiadopoulo, Fileri, Avgoustiatis, Katsakoulias, Mavrodaphne, Skylopnichtis, Cabernet Sauvignon
CycladesPGISouthern Cycladesmedium dry, medium sweet, sweet white, rosé and redAthiri, Aidani White, Asprouda Santorinis, Assyrtiko, Gaidouria, Katsano, Kritiko, Maloukato, Mandilaria White, Muscat White, Savvatiano, Athiri Black, Aidani Black, Avgoustiatis, Vaftra, Voydomatis, Kotsifali, Mandilaria, Mavrotragano, Fokiano
ChiosPGIEast Aegean Islandmedium dry, medium sweet white
Athiri, Assyrtiko, Muscat White, Savvatiano, Agianniotiko, Mandilaria, Fokiano, Chiotiko Krassero
DodecanesePGIDodecanese Islandmedium dry, medium sweet
white, rosé and red
Athiri, Assyrtiko, Malagousia, Muscat White, Muscat di Trani, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano, Mandilaria, Grenache Rouge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Murvèdre, Censaut, Syrah, Tempranillo
ChaniaPGICretemedium dry, medium sweet, sweet white, rosé and redAthiri, Vilana, Vidiano, Thrapsathiri, Muscat White (Muscat of Spina), Macabeu, Trebbiano, Kotsifali, Liatiko, Mandilaria, Romeiko, Tsardana, Fokiano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Grenache Rouge, Syrah
RethymnoPGICretemedium dry, medium sweet, sweet white, rosé and redAthiri, Vilana, Vidiano, Thrapsathiri, Muscat White, Kotsifali, Liatiko, Mandilaria, Romeiko, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Rouge, Syrah
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