Archaeological evidence suggests that wine has been produced in some parts of Greece for more than 4,000 years. Evidence of ancient traditions in winemaking is also found in Homer's Iliada and Odyssey, which confirm that viticulture was predominant here in the 8th century BC. The importance of wine is shown in Greek mythology, where Dionysus (the Greek god of wine) appears in legends from every part of Greece, from the plains of Attica to the Aegean island of Chios. After passing within the Roman Empire, winemaking in Greece did not flourish as in neighbouring Italy, as the country remained part of Byzantium. As a result, the importance of Greece in the modern world of wine is far less than might be expected.
At the end of the 20th century, however, Greek winemaking showed a new face, supported by modern winemaking techniques and a generation of motivated, quality-focused producers. This new face combines the traditional with the modern and local Greek grape varieties such as Assyrtico, Agiorgitiko and Xynomavro are found together with such famous international (French) varieties as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The 21st century Greek wine portfolio includes everything from fresh white aromas with citrus nuances and light and pale rosé to thick red wines and the sweet Vinsanto.