The Great Wines of Mount Athos

The Great Wines of Mount Athos

The monastic wines of Mount Athos are known for their quality and bring to your table thousands of years of heritage in viticulture and winemaking.

The monastic wines of Mount Athos are known for their quality and bring to your table thousands of years of heritage in viticulture and winemaking.

The Great Wines of Mount Athos

Washed by the Greek sun and blessed with a misty environment, the land of Mount Athos has always been ideal for viticulture. And so, the history of winemaking in Mount Athos is long and goes back thousands of years.

The difference is that today all the hard work is done with advanced machines, although viticulture and winemaking keep the monks of Mount Athos very busy. Today, Mount Athos is known as one of the most important wine-producing areas in Greece with excellent varieties.

The wine of Mylopotamos is one of the best of Mount Athos

The Athonite wines are distinguished for their rich aroma and full body aftertaste. The excellent climate made the vineyards fertile and allowed the production of some of the finest Greek wines, with that of Mylopotamos taking the lead. Mylopotamos is the name given to the Holy Cell of St. Efstathios.

The region boasts of its great vineyard and the quality of the local wine thanks to the hard work of the monks too.

The varieties of Mount Athos wines

The wines of Mount Athos are red, white, and pink. The PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) wines produced here are called Agioritikos (i.e., from Mount Athos). The varieties range from Assyrtiko, Limnio, Athiri, and Xinomavro to Cabernet, Sauvignon, and more.

Winemaking has always been a tradition in Mount Athos. When the monks are not fasting, they accompany their food with a glass of wine. And then, wine is used for the Holy Communion. Naturally, all monasteries on the Holy Mountain produce wine, while viticulture and wine production are also the means for survival.

The wines of Mount Athos are rich in flavor & aroma

At one point, most vineyards in Mount Athos were abandoned. Since the 1980s, things have changed drastically. All thanks to the initiative of father Epifanios of Mylopotamos and the intervention of wine producers beyond the borders of the holy land.

Athonite wine production has increased immensely. Once the visitors leave behind Ouranoupolis, they come across the vineyards of Hromitsa, St. Dionysios, St. Paul – just to name a few.

A large number of labels, the great taste, and the numerous varieties all make the wines of Mount Athos a legacy of such a blessed land.

 

Photo Credits: Visit Halkidiki 

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Mount Athos is the easternmost peninsula of Halkidiki. It is usually known as the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity since medieval times. Its 20 monasteries scattered throughout the peninsula are popular pilgrimage sites. Yet, Mount Athos is unique in other ways, too. Take its splendid nature as a reference. It features hills, forests and the sea crashing against the mount's rocky base. In short, Mount Athos is a place unlike any other. Flora of Mount Athos Mount Athos has delightful nature, which is the reason for its "Garden of the Virgin Mary" epithet. There are many endemic plant species inhabiting the region because of many reasons. The uniqueness of the terrain and a variety of micro climates are a few of them. Kassandra and Sithonia, the nearby peninsulas, have the Mediterranean climate. Athos combines elements of the Mediterranean and Continental climates among some others. Due to the fact, you can find a wide variety of plants there. The olive tree, holm oak and the lentisk are some representatives of the Mediterranean vegetation. Some sub-continental species found in the area are the chestnut, fir and the pine. Even semi-desert plants inhabit the Holy Mountain, such as the arboreal euphorbia. And so on. Wildlife of Athos Since around 90% of Mount Athos's surface is untouched, there are many animal species inhabiting the region. While wandering around, you may find traces of various mammals and spot birds. Some mammals found on the Holy Mountain are jackals, red foxes, gray wolves, weasels and monk seals. The Garden of the Virgin Mary is also an excellent destination for birdwatching. Among other birds, you may see golden eagles, black storks, eagle owls, short-toed eagles and gulls. Landscapes of the Holy Mountain Pilgrims constitute the biggest part of Athos's visitors. Getting from one monastery to another is usually carried out on foot via stone-paved paths. Along the way, pilgrims traverse wooded areas with occasional clearings revealing magnificent landscapes. Fields and grooves encircle some monasteries, while others boast forested settings. Some of them are true islands in the sea of greenery.

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