In the the far north of Greece there are a few scattered wine-growing regions. The tiny region of Epirus, to the west, is one of the poorest regions in Greece. Up in the mountains it is cooler here than elsewhere in Greece and the autumn rains start earlier and this is reflected in the grape varieties grown, such as the white grape Debina, but there are also classic international white and red wine varieties. Epirus is known for its sparkling wine production: from simple carbonated fizzy to sparkling wines from the Charmat method through to high quality sparklers made from bottle fermentation. The region of Macedonia borders Bulgaria to the north and is the third largest region in Greece with approximately 7,100 hectares of vines. The hilly, warm, dry landscape is perfect for red wine, the best of which is made from the noble Xinomavro. As elsewhere in Greece, international red wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon are also farmed. The most famous PDO for Xinomavro within Macedonia is Naoussa. On the central peninsula of the three 'fingers' of Halkidiki is the small appellation of Côtes de Meliton, home to the oldest and largest organic vineyard in Greece, Domaine Porto Carras. In Athos, the neighbouring peninsula to the east, the Orthodox monasteries of Mount Athos have been occupied since 1054. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, the growing of vines and making of wine by the monks remains a tradition to this day. To the northeast lies the small but very up-and-coming region of Drama, further east still is Thrace, which borders Turkey to the east and Bulgaria to the north. This is another tiny wine region, with just under 400 hectares under vine. Its peripheral, far-flung location means it is somewhat behind the curve compared to its more pioneering neighbours.
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