Greece boasts the world’s longest recorded history of winemaking (6,500 years) and is credited with being the first area to develop sophisticated techniques for the cultivation and production of grapes.
The Greek 4th-century BC writer Theophrastus left a detailed record of some of the Greek influences and innovation in the realm of viticulture and grape growing. One important technique was study of vineyard soils and matching them with specific grapevines. Homer wrote that Laertes, father of Odysseus, had over 50 varieties planted in different parts of his vineyard. Another way to control yields for the better concentration of flavors and quality, rather than increased quantity; contemporary economics favored high yields for most crops, and intentionally limiting agricultural output was far from common practice in the ancient world. Theophrastus also detailed the practice of using suckering and plant cuttings for new vineyard plantings. The Greeks also practiced vine training with stacked plants for easier cultivation and harvesting, rather than letting the grapevines grow untrained in bushed or up trees.
Those techniques, along with Greek indigenous grapes, were the seed that spread to the rest of Europe and ultimately led to today’s development of the art and science of winemaking.
Ancient Greeks had a rich wine culture not found anywhere else, centered around Dionysus, the God of the grape harvest, wine and love for life.