Greek winemakers have been using clay amphora for storing and ageing wines for thousands of years. The clay jars ranged from small containers for storage of small quantities, to large vessels able to contain several hundred litres for the ageing of wine in similar fashion to steel tanks or oak casks. It is these larger amphorae that many Greek winemakers employ in their production.
The size, style, method and clay composition varies from winery to winery - some burry the amphora in the soil to take advantage of the earth's ambient temperature, others are stored in more modern warehouses - but all amphora impart flavour and aromas to the wine, giving it distinct earthy minerality. The porous nature of the clay allows for the wine to breathe during ageing and helps soften tannins and develop the wine.