“The wine makes the poor rich in imagination and the rich poor in reality” Plato
The wine in Crete has been produced since the Minoan Years. The Minoans cultivated the wine grape varieties effectively since 4000 years according to the findings of the excavations of Evans in all the Minoan cities. Large quantities of wine are stated in the store rooms of Knosos.
A Minoan wine press about 3500 years old was found in Vathipetro.
The Minoans exported large quantities of wine in all over the world. After the Roman conquest of Greece, the Cretan wine became popular to the whole Europe and the Cretans taught vine-growing to the Romans.
Wine delights the heart
The wine has been a basic ingredient of the Mediterranean diet for many centuries now. Its healing virtues are usually stated in ancient records. It is rich in antioxidants and, according to studies, red wine reduces the possibilities of cancer or heart diseases due to resveratrole. Consuming small wine quantities helps the immune system to protect us from the flu, cold, viruses and bacteria. But consuming very large wine quantities can cause serious damages in our organism.
Wine is divided in various categories and qualities but its choice is subjective. A wine is chosen based on our preferences and what it will accompany.
The weather conditions of the land help the Cretan vineyard in the production of various types of wine and mostly dry, middle-dry and naturally sweet.
The types of wine are based on the glucose remained. So after the end of the alcohol fermentation, the types of wine are: dry, middle-dry, middle-sweet, naturally sweet and sweet (adding glucose after the fermentation).
There are also types of wine based on its Co2 content. The majority of the wines in Crete are still but there are also some semi-sparkling and sparkling wines.
The color of the wine depends on the presence or the absence of stemfila (i.e. the remaining of the grapes after their pressing and without the must) in the fermentation. So if we press a red or a black grape variety, without stemfila, a white or rosé wine is produced.
The types of wine based on the color are: white, rosé, red wine.
The good company is the main ingredient enjoying wine according to the Cretan tradition.
The local varieties give a character to the Cretan wine.
The Vilana lemonati variety has the most perfumes. It is the most popular of the white wine variety. It can be produced alone or in fine combination with other varieties.
Vidiano is very tasteful and with rich perfumes. It can be produced into wine either alone or together with other varieties.
Dafni is preserved due to the insistence of some wine-producers. Its wonderful smells remind the laurel plant and it has an amazing taste.
The delicate Thrapsathiri variety is a white wine with rich taste and herbal smells.
White Moschato or moschato Spinas is very aromatic with exceptional taste but more for dry wine making. Its name came from the Spina community of the Chania prefecture.
Malvazia di Candia is the lively female grape of the Cretan land, with rich perfume and exceptional taste. It is produced mainly in the Heraclion prefecture.
Kotsifali is very drinkable and smelling. The variety is produced alone or in combination with more acrid varieties.
Mantilari is the wild grape with the strongest tannins in the Cretan vineyard. It has a very good acidity and is tasteful.
Liatiko is early in relation to the other Cretan varieties as it ripens in the end of July (from where its name came from, Liatiko-> Iouliatiko, i.e. of July). It is thin and soft in taste with ripened and dried fruit perfumes. It can be used in wine making with naturally sweet and sweet wines.