Wine has played a central role in everyday Greek life for more than 4,000 years. The wine of Kos - also known as Koios Enos - was quite popular in ancient times. Obviously, of course, it did not come from Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc or Malagouzia, varieties that are currently (among others) cultivated on the island. First wines were bottled in 2003, while in 2007 a local winery’s initiative accomplished Kos to be included in the Greek Protected Designation of Origin label (PDO) thus safeguarding the island’s wine-making identity.
Local producers have contributed to the rival of local viticulture and oenology. With nutrient-rich soils in their favour, they are committed to protecting and perfecting both indigenous and international varieties. Assyrtiko for example is a precious variety with a distinctive character, very well tuned to the mild Aegean climate, displaying a fruitier character. Wines made from Malagouzia are representative examples of savoury white wines that stand out for their vividness and complexity. Local red wines coming from grapes of the Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are known for being rich in flavour, elegant, evenly-balanced and ideal to accompany your meat dishes.
Wine tourism experiences offered throughout the island will allow you to try the lesser known indegenous varieties, too. Like Mavrothiliko, a local variety which was nearly extinct until its revival in 2007 by a local winery. Maturation takes place in oak barrels, while all bottles have natural ageing corks, which in the case of Mavrothiliko may reach up to 20 years. Every winemaker’s harvest finds its way to the island’s countles hotels and restaurants making it easy for visitors to discover all the fascinating local wine flavours.