Cretan wines are some of the most unique and delicious wines in the world. With a long history of winemaking dating back thousands of years, the island of Crete is home to a diverse range of grape varietals and wine styles.
There are 11 indigenous grape varieties certified.
One of the most popular grape varietals grown on Crete is the Vilana grape, which produces crisp and refreshing white wines with notes of lemon and green apple. Another popular white grape is the Malvasia di Candia, which is used to make aromatic wines with hints of honey and jasmine.
For red wines, the island’s most famous grape varietal is the Mandilari, which produces full-bodied wines with a rich, fruity flavor and firm tannins. The Kotsifali grape is also commonly used in red wine production, producing wines with a deep red color and spicy notes of cinnamon and clove(kloov)karafil.
One of the most unique wines produced on Crete is the fortified wine known as “raki” or “tsikoudia,” made from the distilled pomace of grape skins and stems. This strong and aromatic spirit is often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink and is a staple of Cretan culture.
Overall, Cretan wines are known for their high quality and distinct character, with each varietal offering its own unique flavor profile. Whether you prefer red, white, or fortified wines, there is sure to be a Cretan wine that will delight your taste buds.
Cretan wines are a true hidden gem of the Mediterranean. With a rich history that dates back over 4,000 years, the island of Crete is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. The Cretan vineyards are mainly located in the central part of the island, in the regions of Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, and Lasithi.
The most widely planted grape varieties in Crete are the white varieties Vilana, Vidiano, and Malvasia di Candia, and the red varieties Kotsifali and Mandilari. These grape varieties produce wines with a unique character and flavor that reflect the island’s terroir.
Cretan white wines are known for their crisp acidity, refreshing aromas of citrus and herbs, and their mineral-driven palate. Vilana is the most widely planted white grape variety, and it is known for producing light and aromatic wines with a subtle floral character. Vidiano is another popular grape variety that produces wines with a fuller body, more pronounced aromas of ripe fruit, and a long, complex finish.
Cretan red wines are characterized by their deep color, full body, and rich, ripe fruit flavors. Kotsifali is the most widely planted red grape variety, and it is known for producing wines with a soft, elegant structure, and flavors of red fruit, spices, and herbs. Mandilari, on the other hand, produces wines with a bolder character, more tannins, and flavors of black fruit, chocolate, and tobacco.
One of the most unique aspects of Cretan wines is the traditional winemaking techniques that are still used on the island. Many wineries use clay amphorae to ferment and age their wines, a technique that has been used on Crete for thousands of years. This method allows the wines to develop a unique character and flavor that cannot be replicated with modern winemaking techniques.
Overall, Cretan wines are a true expression of the island’s terroir and culture. Whether you prefer white or red wines, there is a Cretan wine out there that will suit your taste. So, if you’re looking for a new wine to try, be sure to give Cretan wines a chance.
Cretan wines are a hidden gem of the Mediterranean, offering a unique taste of the island’s terroir and history. Made from a variety of indigenous grape varieties, Cretan wines are known for their depth, complexity, and balance.
One of the most famous grape varieties in Crete is the red grape variety called Kotsifali. This grape is used to produce bold and full-bodied red wines with notes of dark fruit, spices, and herbs. Another popular red grape variety is Mandilaria, which produces wines with a rich and velvety texture, and flavors of blackberries, chocolate, and leather.
Cretan white wines are equally impressive, with the white grape variety Vilana being a favorite. Vilana produces crisp and refreshing white wines with notes of citrus and herbs. Another noteworthy white grape variety is Vidiano, which produces aromatic and full-bodied wines with flavors of ripe fruit, herbs, and flowers.
One of the unique features of Cretan wines is their production method. Many wineries in Crete still use traditional methods, such as fermenting the grapes with their skins and stems, resulting in wines with a distinctive taste and texture.
When it comes to food pairings, Cretan wines are versatile and can be enjoyed with a wide range of dishes. They pair particularly well with traditional Cretan cuisine, such as grilled lamb and goat, stuffed vegetables, and hearty stews.
Overall, Cretan wines are a must-try for wine enthusiasts looking to discover something new and exciting. With their unique flavors, rich history, and traditional production methods, Cretan wines offer a truly authentic taste of the island’s culture and terroir.
The oldest wine-press was discovered in nearby Archanes, aged over 3500 years.
700 wineries in Greece only a few can produce enough to export
Crete has a long history of wine production, more than 80 wineries, 8 000 hectares under vine represent 12% of the country’s current wine production.