Halkidiki, the peninsula to the south of Thessaloniki in Macedonia has a long wine-making history dating back to the ancient Greece. The peninsula of Halkidiki has three fingers; Sithonia, Kassandra and Mount Athos. The latter is home to a centuries-old monastic community with a celebrated tradition in wine-making.
The most noted vineyard area in Mt. Athos surrounds the Metohi of Chromitsa, part of the St. Panteleimon Monastery of the Russian monastic community and is managed by the company of Evangelos Tsantalis. These vineyards, isolated from other agricultural areas, enjoy ideal conditions for the practice of organic viticulture.
The grape varieties include the indigenous Limnio, Athiri, Roditis, Assyrtiko as well as Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignion, Merlot.
The middle finger of Sithonia is home to one of the largest estate in Europe (450ha), Domaine Carras, near the community of Neos Marmaras. The help of the late Professor Émile Peynaud was enlisted by this renown estate which pioneered and developed the cultivation of a range of French varieties, planted in selected areas along indigenous varieties. In 1981 the area was granted its own AOC designation, Côtes de Meliton.