The Cretan vineyard is an extremely important chapter in Greek wine production.
The special climate conditions, the unique varieties one cannot encounter elsewhere and the millennia of tradition, allow Crete to claim the spot it deserves!
Geographical Indications for the wines of Crete:
PDO Siteia & Malvasia Siteias – Lasithi
PDO Peza – Herakleion
PDO Arxanes – Herakleion
PDO Dafnes – Herakleion
PDO Handakas – Candia & Malvasia
The most planted white variety of Crete, it has managed in recent years to reveal every aspect of its charm. Modern winemaking retains all the freshness of its character: a delicate aroma and a lemony, refreshing taste.
It is still difficult for one to find wine from this variety, but it is immediately obvious that in a few years this charismatic grape will become Crete’s white protagonist. Unique apricot aroma, rich deliciousness and creamy taste! It is already rightly called the Viognier of Greece and one can only wait for the special experiments of the producers in the aging and the barreling process.
There were many who rightly considered it to be an “endangered variety” a few years ago. Fortunately, however, there are grape growers who persisted and prevented that from happening. Its unique personality named it due to its aroma that is very reminiscent with the Daphne plant (the bay laurel). With its medium body and soft taste, we expect special emotions from it in the future.
It is cultivated all over Crete and produces wine with rich taste and excellent balance. A central element of their personality is the intensity in the aromas of herbs, which make very special white wines (PDO Siteia). Until a few years ago, its tendency to easily oxidize has led many to avoid it; a trend that was once again saved by the modern perception and knowledge of young winemakers, reopening their doors to the market.
Some called it the “Merlot of Crete” because of its soft character. A sweet drink full of, mainly, plum aromas, that finds more and more often its way to single-variety bottling; ideal for mixing with more “astringent” varieties, such as Mandilari.
“Baptized” from the ideal time of year when it matures: July… Juliatiko… Liatiko! Like any red variety with thin bark, Liatiko is of course demanding in cultivation, as well as sensitive to weather conditions. The solution is to keep the acreage yields low and if the grapes ripen properly, Liatiko will be “born” with exceptional perfection: soft character, full of the aromas of dried fruits, herbs and flowers!
A central variety in the famous “Malvazio wine”, it nowadays follows its own independent path, rightly betting on its exceptional aromas and the diversity it contains. In other words, Crete today has another “ace up its sleeve” that represents dry aromatic and sweet wines.
It is also called it “King” in relation to the rest of the varieties of the island. This great, red grape had an innate “wildness”, as a result of its acidity and its strong tannins that characterize it; characteristics ideal enough to make it a wine that can be mixed with others, resulting as a whole in a wine with a solid character.
Muscatel of Spina
One will understand what such a small grape can produce, if they taste this wine even once. The little “brother” of Muscatel, it takes its name from the community of Spina in the province of Selino of Chania. The aroma of the grape is explosive, while its thin skin will give the wine such a delicate and gentle taste, that makes it an exceptional white dry, while avoiding, however, the flavors of sweet and semi-sweet varieties.
Before reappearing, Plyto had remained forgotten for years. With its particularly refreshing acidity and the presence of lemon, it made the producers invest in it, creating light and fresh single-variety wines. It will often pair well with richer varieties such as Vidiano.
Originating from the region of Chania, this grape creates lively red wines, with a high percentage of alcohol and moderate acidity. From this also produced the traditional wine “Marouvas” with a very special taste.