The history of wine in Greece is especially rich, originating as early as the 7th century BC and on throughout Classical Greece and the Roman era. The expansion of viticulture to the rest of the Mediterranean is credited to the Greeks. While other cultures at the time of the Ancient Greeks drank wine, beer or "wine" made from dates or the lotus plant was the norm. In Greece, however, wine formed the culture's identity and was worshiped in the form of the god Dionysus. Wine was so significant a factor in the trade of ancient Greek cities that many featured wine-related images on their coins.
The Greeks had many uses for wine besides as a beverage. Numerous medical uses, religious ceremonies, and social occasions like the symposium, made wine an integral part of life.
Despite its noble wine history, the growth of modern Greek viticulture was stunted well into the 1900's by centuries of Ottoman rule. It wasn't until after the Second World War and Greece's bitter civil war that the wine industry began to emerge from the dark ages. Investment in technology in the 1960s and the widespread move to bottle sales, versus bulk, ushered in a new era.