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Vineyards in the Nemea Region
© Travelgems-Niki Smirni

Discovering the Agiorgitiko Grape

The land where the myths of Heracles once came to life is now home to Greece’s largest wine belt and produces vintages that have distinguished themselves in international markets. Tasting them in the land of their origin after a delightful walk through the rolling vineyards should not be missed.

Nemea is also the home of Ancient Flioundas, the city where the Fliasios oenos was made. Known as the “royal wine,” it was probably a staple for Agamemnon in the palaces of Mycenae. Though the city was destroyed in 1460, the vineyards of Flioundas have been preserved for centuries. According to tradition it was also very popular in the area because of its widespread consumption in the Nemean Games.

The grape variety that has best taken root here is the Agiorgitiko, which can be identified in the late summer by its thick clusters of fat, black grapes. It produces a large range of fine wines that are available at the region’s numerous wineries, and especially those on the outskirts of the village Koutsi, where you can taste the velvety vintages while enjoying a panoramic view over the verdant vineyards.

The Agiorgitiko is a legendary grape, with vintners even today calling the dark-ruby wine it produces “the blood of Heracles.” Some legends, it seems, never die… A unique grape, the Agiorgitiko got its name from the village Aghios Georgios (Saint George), the hub of the region’s wine industry since 1820.

For the town Nemea, the beginning of fall is a celebration—the grape harvest! Every year at the beginning of September, a three-day celebration of Nemea’s wine producers is held, called “Great Days of Nemea”. For wine lovers, this is a great opportunity to celebrate the new harvest with the producers, to smell the scent of freshly-harvested vines, witness the wineries in full swing, and enjoy a meal overlooking the vineyards. It doesn’t matter which label you taste—what’s important is that the wine is Agiorgitiko and you are drinking it in Nemea, its birthplace. A legendary wine in a mythic part of Morea.


Discovering the Agiorgitiko Grape