Some wines take time getting onto shop shelves and restaurant wine lists. In the case of fine wines from Greece, made by small producers and showcasing indigenous grapes, it took about 5,000 years.
Ancient Greeks were renowned for vine tending and winemaking, but history dealt repeated blows to production. Byzantine and Ottoman empires prevented the industry from flourishing, but monks and farmers kept winemaking traditions alive. Two world wars and a civil war left wine production hobbled again. Recovery began in the 1960s and ’70s with production of bulk wines and retsina, pine-resin-flavored white wine. A modern appellation system (a requirement for joining the European Union) gave a boost to quality winemaking.