A huge amount of research and work goes into each map. In this example, you can see how we plot just one of Greece's 153 regions, Patras, in our Wine Map of Greece.
When I first started making wine maps, I was under the naive impression that it would be easy. Just plug in the data or copy the maps provided by the different wine regions. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case: often the information provided isn't completely clear, especially in countries where there isn't a big tradition of mapping wine regions.
One of the first things we do is to look at the other maps available, especially those made by professional organizations in their respective countries. The Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food (the agency responsible for wine regions) provides this map that is sketched over a map of Greek communities:
At first glance, this looks very good as it uses the communities that were around when Patras PDO was first legally defined in 1971(pre Kapodistrias). But looking at a map provided by The New Wines of Greece, they have a much different idea of Patras' boundaries:
At this point, the only thing to do is to use the original legal text describing the boundaries. Here it is in Greek:
After having the text professionally translated, we have a very good idea of how the region is defined:
The PDO Patras zone covers the following sub-mountainous municipal districts and communities that belong to the Achaia Prefecture:
a) The municipal districts of Aegae, Vella, Monastiri, Oasi, Seliana (Kolokithianika settlement), Sinevro and Chrisabeloi of the Municipality of
b) The municipal districts Dafnes, Koumaris, Kounina, Mavriki, Melissia, Paraskevi, Pteri (settlements of Achladia, Agios Andreas, Selitsa), Selinountas (over the settlement) and Chatzis of the Municipality of Aigio.
c) The municipal districts of Akrata (over the irrigation ditch), Ampelos, Valimi (Lithopetra settlement), Voutsimos, Kalamia, Paralia Platanou and Platanos of the Municipality of Akrata.
d) The municipal districts of Ano Diakopto, Diakopto (Kalivitsa, Kernitsa, Niamata and Lofos settlements), Zachloritika (over the National Highway), Keryneia, Mamousia and Trapeza (over the National Highway) of the Municipality of Diakopto.
e) The municipal districts of Erineos, Damakini, Neos Erineos (over the railway line), Salmeniko and Arravonitsa of the Municipality of Erineos.
f) The municipal districts of Agios Konstantinos, Alsos, Verino, Gkrekas, Grigoris, Dimitropoulo, Doukaneika, Krini, Lakka, Longos (over the National Highway), Mageiras, Mirovrisi, Nerantzies, Rododafni (over the National Highway), Selianitika (over the National Highway) and Toumpa of the Municipality of Simpolitia.
g) The municipal district of Plataniotissa of the Municipality of Kalavrita.
h) The municipal district of Elaiochori of the Municipality of Dymi.
i) The municipal districts of Velitses and Michio of the Municipality of Larissos
j) The municipal districts of Elikistra, Moira, Patras (settlements of Ano Sichena, Charadro, Sikossa, Mpalas) and Souli of the Municipality of Patras.
k) The municipal districts of Ano Kastritsi, Argyra, Kato Kstritsi, Pititsa and Sella of the Municipality of Rio.
l) The municipal districts of Agia Varvara, Agia Marina, Drosia (settlements of Agrapidia, Koumperi), Erimanthia, Kalfas, Manesi, Roupakia, Skiadas, Skouras, Spartia (Kiparissi settlement) and Chiona of the Municipality of Tritaia.
m) The municipal districts of Vasiliko, Elliniko, Kritharakia, Mirali, Starochori and Chalandritsa of the Municipality of Farres.
n) The municipal districts of Mazaraki (settlements of Galaneika, Gkaneika, Kato Mazaraki), Mitopoli, Portes, Santomeri, Flokas and Charavgi of the Municipality of Olenia.
o) The settlements of Avrami, Agios Georgios and Mponteika of the Community of
p) The settlement of Ano Mazaraki of the Community of Leontio.
We plot this using the pre Kapodistrias community boundaries:
And place the region in the final map:
It's a great deal of work, especially since that's only one of 153 regions. For more information, you can also see how our wine maps compare to others.