Retsina is a wine with a history of at least 4,000 years. It was discovered by accident, when using resin, a pine resinite plant, for the practice of sealing amphorae and later glass containers, an interesting taste and new aromas were found in the wine when it was reopened because the aroma of resin had soaked into the wine. It was subsequently found that the wine flavoured with resin increased the wine’s resistance to oxidation and was used as a preservative to extend its lifespan.
Historical sources mention the use of resin in wine, and recent amphorae dating from 2 200 – 2 700 BC discovered in Crete, which have been analysed and found to contain wine with resin.
Over the years, by experimenting with various techniques, the method of mixing resin with the must during the fermentation process was established.
Retsina is one of the most famous and traditional products produced and sold in Greece. It is a wine with a “Traditional Appellation” indication, which means that Greece is the only country that can produce it.
Its flavour makes it an ideal companion to the Greek table with its various appetizers and it was served in abundance in taverns until the mid-20th century. After several years in the background, the systematic efforts of Greek wine producers achieved the total reintroduction of retsina into the Greek wine scene.