The island of Crete is one of the places in Greece where you will taste “memorable wines” that will offer new thrills to your palate!
In Crete you will find the oldest wine-producing area in continuous use on the European continent which dates back to Minoan times.
Archaeologists have discovered one of the oldest vineyard in Europe, which dates back to 4000 years ago, unearthed in the area of Kato Zakros (south-eastern Crete) and the oldest wine-press aged over 3500 years which was discovered in nearby Archanes.
In the history of Crete, wine has always been linked to daily life and participation to viniculture events and wine festivals is part of centuries-old tradition that has lived on to our times.
Today the tradition and love for wine-making is aided by accumulated knowledge and technology.
Favourable soil features and climate conditions help grow outstanding grape varieties from which wonderful wines are produced.
The new generation of Cretan wines stands as a fine complement to the well-known local gastronomy. Try them as an accompaniment to local dishes which are world famous for their variety of healthy ingredients. It will be a delight for the palate!!!
Crete has many indigenous varieties as well as foreign ones which have adapted very well to the local terrain with very positive results.
Cretan red grape varieties
Kotsifali: Kotsifali is low in colour, intense on aromas, relatively high in alcohol, soft in tannins and acidity. For these reasons it is usually blended with numerous red grape varieties. It is full of sweet flowers, dried black fruit and complex spices. It is perfectly suited for rich meat dishes, casseroles, sausages and roasts.
Liatiko: Liatiko has a relatively low colour intensity. It is intense with rich ripe red fruit and sweet spices. The palate is full, with high levels of alcohol, low and very soft tannins. It is a grape that can produce very fine dry red wines but it reaches it apogee in the sweet wines.
Mandilari: Mandilari acquires a dark red colour, it has aromas of vine-ripened fruit and fleshy aromas for example leather. It has a medium body with unrestrained hefty tannins.
Romeiko: Romeiko is a red Cretan variety. It has a high alcohol content, low in acidity and few colouring agents. It is mainly used in the production of the traditional wine marouvas which is similar to Olorosso sherry.
Cretan white grape varieties
Vidiano: Vidiano is a white Cretan variety. It produces wines with lemony green colour. It has intense , individual and very complex aromas of ripe peach and apricot, hints of aromatic herbs and minerality. On the palate it is full and has elevated levels of alcohol but the moderately high acidity keeps it in balance. It pairs beautifully with seafood or charcoal grilled fish.
Vilana: Vilana is indisputably the queen of the white varieties of Crete. Owing to the long wine history of our island, Vilana is the bridge between the archetype white wines of Ancient Crete today. It has a medium deep yellow colour. It has hints of lemon, orange, pear and flowers such as jasmine and different herbs. It is shapely fresh in the mouth and has moderate acidity and alcohol. Vilana gives soft, fresh, attractive and drinkable white wines ideal for warm summer nights and can accompany both a full yet different course meal, simple or complexed, just like Cretans like to eat!
Daphne: Daphne is an almost extinct white grape variety of the island of Crete. Daphne in Greek means “laurel” and it is evident why that name has been given to this full flavoured grape. Its aromas of laurels, wet leaves and pungent herbs coupled with ripe yellow and white fruits. The palate is highly particular in structure – although it possesses extract, power and soft acidity, its alcohol levels are surprisingly modest rarely being above 12.5%. Daphne is a variety which pleases people that enjoy rich wines but dislike high alcohol levels. It is a great match for intense yet light summer dishes like pasta and salads.
Thrapsathiri: Thrapsathiri is a vine perfectly suited to even the warmest spots of Crete, being resistant to drought. It has a pale lemon green colour, a moderately intense nose, fully dominated by primary fruit, mainly melon and peach. On the palate it has a relatively full body, notable alcohol and a soft acidity. It is an excellent option for rich food and it is perfect for relatively cold weather days.
Muscat of Spina: Muscat of Spina is an aromatic variety with a thinner skin than white Muscat. It gives us fresh and vivid dry wines with complexity in aromas as well as sweet wines. It has light greenish colour.
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