The Thrace wine region locates in the northeast part of Greece, comprising the districts of Evros, Xanthi, and Rodopi. Boarded by the Aegean Sea to the south and Bulgaria and Turkey to the north, Thrace has an ancient enology scenery. Here several millennial paintings and pottery motifs related to viticulture are spread into caves and ancient buildings. The winemaking in the region took severe withdraws throughout history -especially with the Ottoman rule, the two world wars, and the phylloxera outburst. Besides that, the modern enology with local varieties such as the reds Pamidi and Mavroudi might offer incredible wine experiences.
The Thrace wine region is part of northeast Greece and home to ancient wine culture. Historical periods changed the Thrace agriculture background causing severe vineyard damages throughout time. The viticulture scenery started to grow again in the 20th Century.
The wines of Thrace are usually medium dry and medium sweet. The main red grapes varieties under vine here are the internationals Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, while local or indigenous Mavrud (native Bulgarian Grape Variety), Xinomavro, Karnachalades, and Pamidi. In the white side, the vineyards grow Chardonnay, Muscat of Alexandria, Roditis (pink-skinned grape), Malagousia
Meditarraean Greece – Wines of Argean Sea Terroir
Thrace wines are under the influence of a Mediterranean climate. When growing in south-facing hills, the vines get protected from cold winds from the north. Aegean Sea breezes contrast the hot sunshine in the summer, allowing a slow ripeness of the berries while keeping some acidity.
In addition to the weather, the Chromic Luvisols complete the terroir. Generally made from red clay, these soils are very porose and well developed to water infiltration. The vine roots can grow in depth, keeping the plants hydrated during summertime and preventing berry drought.
Different Sub-Zones of Thrace
Thrace wine region is divided into different PGI zones: Avida, Ismaros and and Evros.Thrace itself is also another PGI wine zone.
Dive into Avdira PGI zone in Thrace, Greece
The Avdira PGI zone contains the Avdira, Mandra, Myrodato, and Maggana areas – the last one belonging to the municipality of Topinos. Spread through altitudes not higher than 300 meters, the vineyards of Avdira are amid immense archeological areas. The hot Mediterranean microclimate here provides good ripening development to the berries. Several local varieties such as Athiri, Assyrtiko, Zoumiatiko, and Malagousia can create distinct wines on this site.
Evros PGI zone will catch your attention
Nowadays, the most relevant wine subregion of Thrace is Maronia, comprehended in the Ismaros PGI. Here the vineyards climb the hills growing south-face and advance into plains. Maronia produces wines of usually slow berry ripening and excellent acidity, especially with the Mavroudi grape.
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mavrud (Native Bulgarian Grape Variety), Xinomavro, Karnachalades, and Pamidi
White: Chardonnay, Muscat of Alexandria, Roditis (pink-skinned grape), and Malagousia
Wines of Thrace
The wines of Thrace have a particular style, most of it standing in a range from dry, medium-dry to medium-sweet.
Mavrud and Pamidi, two interesting wines to taste:
Something to try here is the Mavrud, a red grape usually used to produce incredible blendings and distinct varietal wines. This variety generally grows in low-yielding vines, which receive a late-ripening harvest. This framework allows the development of near-black berries with thick skins. The post-harvest stage in oak barrels promotes complex aromas and a full body to these wines.
Pamidi wine also catches attention. This orange-red-skinned grape variety produces wine of high alcohol content, low acidity, and faint color. For this reason, the grape is usually used in blends of a bright and refreshing palate, resembling fruits like strawberries and pomegranate.
The Estate Manolesakis locates in the small town of Adriani Drama, in the Thrace wine region of Greece. Here, the Manolesaki’s started working with viticulture and winemaking in 1989. This family business recaptured the long and rich wine tradition in Thrace, providing incredible wine experiences with the Drama PGI.
Visit Estate Manolesakis to discover the wines of Thrace, experiencing excellent moments in the land that carries history and tradition.
Art of Silk Museum – Top Choice Museum in Thrace, Greece
Have you ever imagined how did people work with silk in the past? The city of Soufli in Evros holds the fascinating Art of Silk Museum in the Tsiakiri House. This beautiful neoclassical architecture exhibits what a daily silk industry routine of the past would be, with all the machinery from processing to weaving the product. Educative videos will teach you a lot about this centennial work, preserving a rich Greek tradition. A multilingual staff will be ready to provide you a rich experience, so don’t miss this opportunity!
Archaeological Site of Abdera – Abdera History
The Thrace wine region carries a rich history. The Archaeological Site of Abdera locates around 6 km from modern Abdera city, in Xanthi Prefecture of Thrace, Greece.
Here, a museum holds diverse artifacts from the 7th Century BC to the 13th century AD, where once inhabited colonists from Clazomenae and Teos. This site was abandoned around the 4th Century AD, after several invasions. Incredible tours guide people to walk into the excavated perimeter, where is a Roman paved courtyard.
In the museum itself, three different sections tell parts of the Abdera history: public life, private life, and burial customs. So many exciting things await the tourists in Abdera.
Turkish Quarter – A Piece of the Ottoman Era
In the Komotini city, capital of the Rhodope region, the Ottoman-era neighborhood called the Turkish Quarter might please tourists with unique architecture and lifestyle. The old houses, barbershops, and teahouses are something unique to see here! Besides this, the Eski Camii mosque (from 1608) and the Yeni Camii new mosque are symbols of the rich and ancient history of the Thrace region. Another building that stamps the city’s skyline is the 1884 clock tower, high above the surrounding buildings making great pictures.
The narrow paths and pastel-colored houses of Old Xanthi
When visiting the Thrace wine region, some incredible place to be is the Old Xanthi region. The north side of the city of Xanthi is a picturesque place to be, where huge neoclassical mansions and timber-framed houses are distinctly colored mid stairs and windings lanes. An urban lifestyle dominates the old town, where grocery stores, schools, and mosques spread out. Those looking for something energic might gladly find a lively bar scene here, so don’t miss this exciting city!
Explore the Nature of Thrace
From rocky mountains to picturesque islands, Greece provides diverse sorts of nature explorations. The beautiful countryside of Thrace makes it a paradise for exploration and outdoor recreation.
Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli National Park – Home to Diverse Fauna and Flora
The protected area of the Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli National Park is something to see! Extensive forests are home to diverse fauna and flora, where three of Europe’s four vulture species live, the Black, the Griffon, and the Egyptian Vulture. One of the first Greek parks to be declared a protected area, this site owns gorgeous landscapes composed of oak and pine forests, pastures, and open fields. Did you know that this national park is part of an extensive route to bird migration? Countless beauties will gladly surprise you in the must-see attraction.
Evros Delta – A Santuary of Birds
An exciting wildlife spot in eastern Greece is Evros Delta, a natural sanctuary full of biodiversity. Close to Alexandroupoli, in the conjunction of the Evros River with the Aegean, the Evros Delta is a natural reserve with lagoons, coastal lakes, and swamps spread throughout 188 km². A beautiful thing to see here is the diversity of birds flying in large groups, just as if they were dancing altogether. Here, already 325 bird species were observed immersed in a particular fauna. Especially in the spring, bird migration transforms the landscape into something unique! Take a chance at this breathtaking experience.
Samothrace – Enigmatic Island in the Northern Aegean Sea
Samothrace is a municipality and mountainous island in the northern Aegean Sea. With few local inhabitants, the 178 km² large land holds an established fishing industry and a strong touristic scene. This iconic rugged island rises into granite and basalt rocks, where the 1 611-meters-high Mt. Saos stands out. This place is involved in a mystical ambiance, with gorgeous waterfalls, wild nature, and rich culture of ancient rituals. History says that Homer tells about Poseidon watching the fall of Troy from Samothrace. The energic and enigmatic island offers you something never seen elsewhere!
The Cuisine of Thrace Wine Region
The Thrace wine region doesn’t have great flavors only in beverages, the local cuisine offers outstanding dishes and delicacies. Board into this exciting gastronomy experience.
Kavourmas is a Thracian cooked sausage that the name stands for “roasted”. Traditional product from Northern Greece, this sausage can be made from different sorts of meat, such as beef, pork, mutton, buffalo, and goat. The characteristic taste is due to its manufacturing process, which starts when the meat pieces are salted and left to simmer, seasoned with nutmeg, cinnamon, oregano, and cloves. The fat of the meat is added to increase the flavors and give a particular texture. The result of this is flavored meat, which is packed and stored in a cylindrical form.
Soutzoukakia – Greek Baked Meatballs
Are you looking for tasty dishes of the Mediterranean? The Soutzoukakia is your right choice! With Greek and Turkish roots, this dish contains minced meat mixed with garlic, onions, fresh herbs, and unique spices. The oblong meatballs bring the perfume of cumin and garlic, baked in exceptional red sauce. Was brought to Greece by Asia Menor refugees, the Soutzoukakia became a hearty Greek dish and is a perfect whole meal.
Pastourma – Traditional Cured Beef from Greece
The Pastourma is a traditional cured beef from Greece. This dish, usually made with beef or water buffalo meat, is highly seasoned and air-dried. Initially, the meat pieces are salted and rinsed to later being dried and pressed. The laborious process of making Pastourma includes a cold-press period of up to 16 hours. After the press, the meat is left to dry for several days melting its fat. Then, the operation continues with a second press, this one being hot. Finally, the result of the pressing meat is cover with a spice paste called çemen. It takes one whole month to obtain this product, but the outcome is mouth-watering!
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Soil: Chromic Luvisols, clay with high porosity and water infiltration capacity
Climate: Mediterranean climate generally mild and warm, warmer microclimate in lower elevations, humid with high rainfall