The History of Wine in Crete
The vine in Crete has been cultivated for over 4000 years. The first wine press was found in the region of Vathipetro and was dated at being 3500 years old! The Minoans were making wine as early as 1600 BC. From the 14th to the 16th centuries vino di Candia (Candia was the name for modern Heraklio) was well known throughout medieval Europe. Today Crete has several appellations including Peza, Archanes, Dafnes and Sitia.
Crete has 10 primary indigenous wine varietals and many more – seven white and three red. The white wines of Crete are perfectly matched to the mainly fish, seafood, vegetable and wild greens based of Cretan diet because of their higher acidity levels.
Vilana is the main varietal and is most often prominent in the house wines. Other indigenous varietals include Thrapsathiri, Kotsifali, Malvazia di Candia, Vidiano, Plyto and Moschato Spinas.
Vilana has a delicate aroma, light taste and a refreshing lemon scented acidity. Vidiano is the new rising star of the Cretan vineyard with its rich body, creamy taste and apricot aroma. Thrapsathiri is a rich balanced white mainly cultivated in Sitia. Kotsifali is a soft and mellow wine full of plum fragrances and its fleshy fruit can be called the equivalent of Merlot and is cultivated mainly in Peza and Archanes. Malvazia di Candia and Moschato Spinas are successful clones of the original varietals and Plyto is also light and lemony.
World Class Wines in the Making
The Cretan wine industry is very tourist friendly and many top wineries of the island are eager to open their doors and their bottles as well. A visit to this island will provide an opportunity to sample what very well might become world-class wines in the making. Cretans are also famous for their hospitality so you simply can not go wrong. The Athens Walking Tours now offers a Chania Wine Tasting Tour, a Chania Food Tour so ask us for more details or go ahead and book your tour today and experience the master wines of Crete, the world famous cuisine and hospitality. Kalo Taxidi!