Cretan wine and wineries in Chania
Crete makes an ideal destination for wine lovers. For over 3.500 years, Cretans have been cultivating the vine and producing wine with love and passion. Here, one has the opportunity to taste exceptional varieties, not only in a restaurant, but also at the actual place where it is produced: the winery.
The island's geography and rich soil favor viticulture. Thanks to the special relief, different altitudes, temperatures and soil, all varieties obtain new characteristics.
The world's most popular varieties are successfully grown in Crete. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc develop a special aroma, thanks to the temperature, without losing their initial characteristics and vivacity. The kings of red, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, grow under ideal conditions and give an exceptional balance, whether bottled alone or blended with other local, smaller varieties.
These local varieties, which are difficult to find outside the island, are real treasures. Some of them are used to produce PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) wines, such as the aromatic Thrapsathiri, the sweet Kotsifali, the fruity Liatiko and the popular Mandilari. Other, rarer varieties, such as Dafni and Vidiano, enrich the island's tasting palette. Finally, a unique variety produced only in Chania, the Spina Muscat, is famous for its amazing and delicate taste.
Cretan wine makers make full use of experience and skills obtained through the centuries and produce very particular wines. There are numerous opportunities to taste them. Each summer and autumn, the opening of the harvest season is celebrated with music and singing, while the first grapes are pressed in traditional winepresses. The custom is very ancient. Wine feasts are organized everywhere in Crete.
The annual wine exhibition of Chania, "Oinokritika", takes place on February. Professionals and lovers have the opportunity to taste a plethora of labels and become acquainted with Cretan wines through numerous events. Cretan wine makers have taken important initiatives towards the development of wine tourism. Wine lovers can visit the www.winesofcrete.gr website and learn information on all the varieties and labels, as well as the open wineries. Many of those organize guided visits in foreign languages and wine tasting events all through the year.
In Chania region, one has the possibility to visit the Loupakis Estate, the Dourakis Winery in Kissamos, the Karavitakis Vineyards in Kolymvari, the Manoussakis Wineries, famous for their Nostos label, the Aghia Triada Tzagarolon Monastery, the Anoskeli Winery in Platanias and the Pnevmatikakis Winery in Drapanias. Tasting unique wines in the heart of the vineyard, at walking distance from next year's harvest is a magical experience one mustn't miss.