On the wine map of Lassithi the starring winemaking zone is that of Sitia. Here is found the largest Union of Agricultural Cooperatives that produces wines of both VSOP (registered product of superior quality) and PGI status. Of great importance is the historic monastic site of Toplou, with its organic wines.
In this region the “Wine Roads” go by such major attractions as the ancient city of Itanos, the palm-tree forest by the beach at Vai, and the Minoan palace at Zakros.
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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.
The Union of Siteia uses local varieties such as Liatiko, Mantilari, Vilana, Thrapsathiri that are to be found in the mountainous areas of the region, in order to produce PGI and VSOP dry white wines.