Viticultural Areas of North Greece

North Greece has a complex topography, with a varied natural environment including mountain slopes and hilly landscapes, valleys, lakes and an extended coastline. The large diversity in topographic features creates different local conditions, with meso-climates and soils suitable for the cultivation of both indigenous and international winegrape varieties. The climate of the geographical area of North Greece is typically Mediterranean, but milder than that of Southern Greece, ranging from relatively cool mountain plateaus (Amyndeon) to temperate warm semi-mountainous (Naoussa), coastal (Kavala-Pangeon) or continental (Drama) areas. Soils are generally deeper than in the rest of Greece and suitable for the implementation of a wide range of training systems.

During the 21st GiESCO Meeting, the following vineyard areas will be visited.




NaoussaThe viticultural zone of Naoussa lies at an altitude ranging between 100 and 400 m,  on east-exposed slopes on the foot of Mount Vermion in Central Macedonia. PDO Naoussa has a total area of about 500-600 ha, planted almost exlusively with cv. Xinomavro, a late-ripening indigenous variety of North Greece, producing a red dry wine with a long aging potential. Vineyards are cordon-trained. Best terroirs are associated with calcareous clay soils leading to good drainage and root aeration and medium vine vigor. The central zone of the PDO region contains some of the best crus like 'Stranza', 'Ramnista' and 'Gastra' with trademark wines of tannic Xinomavro.





amyndeon1The viticultural zone of Amyndeon is situated at the cooler edge of North Greece, on a plateau of 550 to 700 m, and is dominated by 4 connected lakes moderating its soils and mesoclimate. PDO Amyndeon has a total area of 650 ha planted mostly with cv. Xinomavro, producing a red dry, a rose sparkling and a rose still wine. Climate of the area is among the coolest in Greece with a Winkler index of 1600-1700 GDD. Best vineyard soils for Xinomavro red wines lie in proximity to the lakes on sandy alluvial deposits while deeper soils are more suitable for white varieties. PDO Amyndeon Xinomavro wines are more fruity and with a leaner tannic structure that those of Naoussa. Most vineyards are cordon-trained but pre-phylloxera old bush vines also exist.





Kavala-Pangeon area is localized in Eastern Macedonia, at a narrow valley between the 'Pangeon' mountain (culminating at 2500 m) and the small mountain 'Symvolo', in proximity to the coast of the North Aegean Sea. Initially dedicated exclusively to table grapes, Pangeon area is today one of the most notable viticultural zones in Greece for the cultivation of international winegrape varieties. Soils are generally deep, on calcarous bedrocks. PGI Pangeon wines are dominated by Sauvignon blanc and Assyrtiko blends. The area has also been a leading area in viticultural management with training systems ranging from classic cordon VSP to V-shaped trellis. 





DramaDrama PGI zone, located north of mount Pangeon, benefits from a continental climate with warmer summer temperatures than the neighbouring Kavala. Most of the region is situated on a plateau isolated by mountains, which moderate the climate and offer protection from the cold north winds. Many of Drama's vineyards are found on north facing footslopes with deep red clay soils. Because of the area's continental climate, red varieties are more suitable (Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are dominant, with small areas of indigenous Agiorgitiko and Limnio). Where necessary, viticultural practices are adapted to assure optimum ripening and avoid excessive water and heat stress.