The influence of site on grape and wine composition was investigated for Vitis vinifera L. cv. Agiorgitiko in the Nemea appellation area in southern Greece. Three nonirrigated plots were studied during the 1997 and 1998 vintages, which were typically very hot and without summer rainfall. Vines were subjected to different water regimens as a result of the variation of soil water-holding capacity and evaporative demand. Vine water status was determined by means of predawn leaf water potential. Differences in vine water status between sites were highly correlated with the earliness of shoot growth cessation and veraison. Grape composition was monitored during fruit ripening. Water deficit accelerated sugar accumulation and malic acid breakdown in the juice. Early water deficit during the growth period was demonstrated to have beneficial effects on the concentration of anthocyanins and total phenolics in berry skins. A similar pattern was observed for the phenolic content of wines elaborated after vinification of grapes harvested on each plot, in both seasons. Limited water availability seemed to increase glycoconjugates of the main aromatic components of grapes as a quantitative increase in levels of bound volatile compounds of the experimental wines was observed under water deficit in both years. Wines produced from grapes of stressed vineyards were also preferred in tasting trials.