The land that today is called Central Greece, has always been the epicenter of the ancient Greek wine world.
In his work ‘Iliad’, Homer mentions the tribes of Central Greece that participated in the Trojan war, praising them for their sun-kissed, extensive vineyards.
It is widely known that ancient Greeks worshiped Dionysus as the ‘God of Wine and Joy’ (the Romans named him Bacchus). According to mythology, Dionysus was the son of Zeus and of the mortal daughter of the King of Thebes, Semèli.
The city of Thebes or Thiva, and the land around it, remains up to this day one of the most important parts of Central Greece’s agricultural region. The influence of Dionysus’s culture in ancient Greek world and Thebes as one of its cultural centers was immense, as Thebes was the seat of the legendary king Oedipus and the locale of most of the ancient Greek tragedies.
On the eastern side of Mount Helicon, in Viotia (or Boeotia), archaeologists discovered the foundations of a Sanctuary dedicated to the 9 Musses, in an area called “The valley of the Muses”. According to mythology, this was the birthplace of the Muses, goddesses of the arts, sciences and literature. That same valley has been the birthplace of Hesiod, the first written poet of the Western tradition.
Wine, according to ancient scripts and archaeological excavations, was imported into Ancient Greece from the Middle East. It soon became an integral part of the local economy. Wine, along with olive oil and wheat- the three staples of the Mediterranean diet- not only was the core of ancient Greek nutrition but also evolved into the most widely transferred commodities in the Mediterranean Sea. It is believed that the ancient Greek colonies in Southern Italy, which were considered responsible for the expansion of vine cultivation and consumption in the Italian Peninsula and later to the Roman Empire, originated from the Central Greece region.