WINERIES IN CRETE

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The history of European wine starts much further south, in Heraklion, Crete, about 4000 years ago. There, where the Minoans grew and sold their wine famous throughout the Mediterranean, where they found the oldest wine press in the world, in the region of Vathipetro away from Archanes. Though in Roman times aristocrats drank only wine of Crete at their banquets, in the Middle Ages throughout Europe swore in the name of the famous sweet Malvasia, which apart from Monemvasia produced and Venetian-Crete


 WINERIES TO VISIT IN HERAKLION


1.Mediterra Winery-Creta Olympias
Established: 1973

Best of: Two wines deep aging: Red Pyrorago (deep purple color, complex and aromatic character with aromas of fresh and dried red fruits on a background of spices, tobacco and leather). White Anassa (bright golden color, aromas of candied fruit, white flowers and citrus fruits).

Fast info: Opening hours: daily 9.00 - 17.00. Weekend after contact. Tour with tour of the winemaking facilities and underground wine cellar, wine tasting Cretan delicacies and documentaries for its long history of Crete in viticulture.
Contact: Kounavi Heraklion, 2810 741383, www.mediterrawines.gr



2.Alexakis
Foundation Year: 1977

Best of: White Vidiano Alexakis (bright yellow color, intense aromas, fruity flavor, balanced acidity).

Fast info: It is the closest winery to Heraklion and remains the largest private winery in Crete. The facilities of the winery are open by appointment throughout the year. Each visitor can taste exceptional quality wines from local and foreign varieties and to tour the world of wine and Cretan cuisine.

Contact: Peridis Glebe, Heraklion, tel. 2810 252019-20, www.vinobonsa.gr


3.Douloufakis
Foundation Year: 1930

Best of: Red White Hare (matured in French oak barrels for 12 months and then bottled, deep red color, complex aromatic bouquet, fruity aromas with hints of wood and spices).

Fast info: The vineyards are located at an altitude of 350 meters on slopes with argylopilodi recommendation from the beginning of 2000 have been included in Organic Agriculture program. The winery can be visited all year from Monday to Saturday 11:00 a.m.-14: 00pm.

Contact: Dafnes Heraklion, tel. 2810 792017, www.cretanwines.gr




4.Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Heraklion
Foundation Year: 1927

Best of: Vinissimo: red sweet from raisined grapes aged

Fast info: Factory Fresh winery in Paliani hosting and artwork dedicated to wine. Bronze, metal, glass, Porous stone and marble are just some of the materials used. To winery you can visit on weekdays by appointment, from 7.30 PM. Until 2.30pm. The central rooms of the building used for tastings, presentations of the Union's new wines Heraklion and training seminars on wine issues.

Contact: Kouskoura Palianis, tel. 2810 791250, www.agrunion.gr


5.Peza Union
Foundation Year: 1933

Best of: Cretan red (produced by the traditional red varieties Kotsifali-Mandilari-Liatiko, velvety flavor, bright color and aromas), Vilana white (bright yellow color and characteristic aromas of the variety).

Fast info: The Union has a winery, bottling and quality control laboratory. Also, the old bottling plant, 15 km from Heraklion, turned into museum-exhibition space, which you can visit free of charge Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm. You will watch 10 minute display for the EU area, the production process and its products, you will be guided at 4 different rooms of exhibits, where there is a collection of old equipment, containers, tools which were used before the war the production of the two main products of the region (wine-oil). Series is the testing ground where wine will taste different types of wine accompanied by dakos while you can buy Union wines at cost price.

Contact: Kalloni Heraklion, tel. 2810 741945-7, www.pezaunion.gr


6.Estate Michalakis
Foundation Year: 1962

Best of: Gold Cuvee white (golden color, intense muscat aromas with pineapple and peach dominate, balanced acidity, nervous and lasting in the mouth), Gold Cuvee Red (dark red, aromas of ripe fruit with blackberry, cherry and fruits of the forest stand, rich structure, slightly tannic, full-bodied and long finish).

Fast info: The winery is located inside the estate, at the highest point and surrounded by vineyards. The tasting room is located at the highest point of the building complex and the large windows provide plenty of natural light and a panoramic view of the vineyards. The winery is open Monday to Friday 9 am-4pm and weekends by appointment.

Contact: Metaxochori Heraklion, tel. 2810 381303, www.michalakis.gr


7.Lyrarakis
Foundation Year: 1966

Best of: Big White Hill (color greenish clear, with fine minute floral aromas and fruit, where the pear and exotic fruit dominates), white Plyto and Dafni from rare varieties in danger of being lost.

Fast info: The winery can be visited upon request. The tour program includes a visit to the medieval wine-presses of the area, tour the vineyard and in the cellar where you will taste five wines accompanied with a selection of cheeses and bread or nut. Since 2011 the estate offers lunch and dinner with authentic Cretan cuisine, cooked by the women of the local cooperative. The plus and the possibility to organize events in the cellar or in front of the vineyard.

Contact: Alagni Heraklion, tel. 2810 284614, www.lyrarakis.gr

8.Boutari
Foundation Year: 1879

Best of: White Fantaxometocho (glowing with yellow color and greenish reflections, a complex aromatic character from lime blossom, pineapple and honey notes), red Skalani (deep red wine with an intense bouquet which is dominated by aromas of red berries, fresh fragrances aging such as cinnamon, clove, cocoa harmoniously married scented oak barrel and roasted nuts).

Fast info: The new, Boutari Winery was completed in early 2004 and is one of the finest and most modern wineries in Europe. The visit to the winery premises includes tour of the cellar, the production areas and the estate.

The impressive spectacle, which has won prizes in international competitions, offers a unique journey through the history of Crete. In the tasting room guests deserve to enjoy the wines of the estate, with accompanying recipes rich Cretan cuisine and views of the magnificent Cretan vineyard. Visit the winery daily 10pm.-6pm.

Contact: Skalani Heraklion, tel. 2810 731617, www.boutari.gr


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