Wine & Ratings

St. George

About St. George

St. George, more commonly known as Agiorgitiko (or Aghiorgitiko), is a red wine grape variety native to Greece. There are over 200 indigenous grape varieties in Greece, and St. George is the most widely planted and one of the most commercially successful. The grape originally hails from the region of Nemea in the Peloponnese peninsula, though it is widely grown elsewhere, too.

In general, St. George wines have a deep color, complex aromatics and generous, plummy fruit flavors. The St. George grape has soft tannins and well-balanced acidity, making it incredibly versatile from a winemaking point of view.

Due to this versatility, St. George can produce various wine styles. Three particularly popular styles in Greece are rosé wine, light red wine made using carbonic maceration and full-bodied red wine. St. George is sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, as is the case in the Metsovo region. St. George wines tend to be spicy, and can be a bit peppery, with plum flavors and low acidity.

Like many native Greek varieties, St. George is well-suited to the country’s hot and dry growing conditions that see very little rainfall. In the vineyard, St. George is highly susceptible to numerous diseases, such as downy mildew and powdery mildew. Careful vineyard management is thus required to ensure that infections do not affect the grape’s quality or yield. Greek wine growers and authorities are working towards addressing this problem by developing St. George clones that are resistant to viruses and replanting vineyards with them.

In the Nemea region, wines are produced exclusively from the St. George variety. Here, the wines boast a deep, dark ruby color, with highly concentrated red-fruit aromas. The versatility of the St. George grape shines through, and Nemea wines can range from light- to full-bodied. Weightier examples may be aged in oak, are well structured and spicy in character. The best Nemea reds, from grapes grown in the region’s higher vineyards, have excellent ageing potential. All styles are food-friendly and will pair very well with a broad range of Greek and international foods.

Learn more about St. George wines—including our favorite staff picks and information on tasting and pairing this varietal—using our extensive, easy-to-use database.

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