Table of the Gods | June 13 - 24, 2021

The cuisine of modern Greece traces its origins to the ancient past and draws its inspiration from it. Travel in the company of Eric Asimov, the esteemed wine critic of The New York Times. Asimov’s discussions will trace the history of Greece’s wine making dating back thousands of years, and shed light on its contemporary oenological achievements.

No other country in Europe can claim such a long and uninterrupted culinary tradition. Greece’s extraordinarily large variety of fragrant herbs and other products of nature, the impressive landscape, the ever-present sea, and the favorable climate have inspired chefs and ignited their imagination for generations.

By the time of the Bronze Age Mycenaean civilization (c. 1600 – 1100 BC), wine played an integral part in Greek culture. As Greeks established colonies throughout the Mediterranean, beginning in the 8th century BC, they introduced vine cultivation and wine making in the lands they settled. During the Middle Ages, Greek wines were traded in all parts of Europe, some of them becoming the favorites of the continent’s royal courts. Continuing on this tradition today, Greece produces award-winning wines from indigenous ancient and modern varieties. In all, over 300 varietals of wine-making grapes are grown.

Begin your adventure in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. Renowned for its magnificent monuments dating from late antiquity and the early Byzantine period, this storied city is also recognized as the culinary capital of the country. Sample its delectable food, see its monuments, and visit wineries considered to be among the best in the country, including the internationally esteemed Alpha and Gerovassiliou Estates, and Kir-Yianni, the latter in the heart of the Xinomavro country.

Your exploration of northern Greece will also include the area around the town of Drama, where gentle hills are planted with vineyards that produce excellent wines from centuries-old indigenous and international varieties. Your itinerary includes several of the country’s most impressive and important historic places, such as the Athenian Acropolis, Marathon, Pella, Philippi, and Vergina, where the temple-like royal Macedonia tombs were discovered. Conclude your adventure in fabled Athens, the dynamic capital of Greece, the oldest city in Europe, and the birthplace of democracy.