In the wineries of Crete, the tradition of production is still handed down from generation to generation. The traditional Cretan varieties of grapes and wines survived: now they are enjoying a revival, while being enriched with other domestic and international varieties. Modern technology and tradition have been successfully married; contemporary wineries have pulled together to achieve a position of worth for the Cretan wines on both the domestic and international scenes.
Cretan wine-making establishments – with their long winemaking traditions – are open to the public. You can tour the vineyards and cellars, whilst in the more modern set-ups you can taste Cretan wines accompanied with appetizers from the famous Cretan cuisine.
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The Boutaris family has a long history of making wine, beginning as far back as 1879.
Of the seven wineries the company runs, the only one in Crete is located at Skalani, on the estate "Fantaxometocho". This is just 8 km away from Heraklion and 4 km from the archaeological site of Knossos.
This has been the largest private winery of the island since the 1970s, and it still remains a family business. Its founder, Stelios Alexakis, is in overall charge, his wife Sophia takes care of quality control: their two children, graduates of oenology degrees, control the production and plan the future steps of the business.
The Douloufakis winery is located in one of the most important wine-producing areas of the prefecture of Heraklion, at the village of Dafnes. The Douloufakis family has a long association with viticulture and wine production: this began in 1930 and continues until today, with the third generation of the family now in control.
The cooperative holds an important place in wine-making in the Heraklion region. Its wineries are located at Arkalochori and Dafnes villages but there is also a modern bottling facility in the Malades area.
The Idaia winery was founded in 1998 by the oenologists Calliope Volitaki and Vasilis Laderos: at this moment it consists of some 5 acres of vineyard. Its name derives from the ancient name of Crete (Idaia).
The winery was founded in 2007 by the Diamantakis family and is a modern equipped wine-producing unit. Its facilities are located in the heart of Malevizi region, just outside the village of Kato Asites and the Monastery of St. George of Gorgolaeni, at an altitude of 450 m.
The Sacred Monastery of the Panagia Akrotiriani and St John Theologos at Toplou, near Siteia, was built in the 14th century. It has played ever since a key role in the social and wine-making history of the area. Both organic vineyards and olive groves are cultivated, producing wine, tsikoudia and olive oil that are appropriately labelled and distributed to both the local and overseas markets.