Le migliori cantine di Heraklion - Creta

Le migliori cantine di Heraklion - Creta

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La regione di Heraklion on the island of Crete has some of the best-regarded and most prolific wineries on the island. Wine lovers or those simply curious in exploring the tradition of winemaking in Crete will be spoilt for choice. Winemakers are organized in a network and have set up road signs advertising the ?Wine Roads? in the region. Most wineries are located in the areas of Arcianes, Peza e Dafnoneno, further west the route also passes through Moires e Paliani. Wine tourism offers the visitors a chance to get to know local varieties and learn more about the traditional methods and history of winemaking in Crete.

Along these routes, visitors will find other major attractions such as the Minoan Palace of Knossos, il Museo Nikos Kazantzakis a Myrtia, a Minoan wine press at Vathypetro, il Phaistos (Festos) Minoan palace, il monasteries of Agarathos e St. George Epanosifi etc.


Boutaris Winery

Il Boutaris family has a long history of making wine, beginning as far back as 1879. Of the seven wineries the company runs, this is the only one in Crete and 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. The vineyard is located at an altitude of 200 m and is protected from the hot southern summer winds by the natural lie of the land. The grape-types grown include both red varieties (Kotsifali, Mandilari, Syrah) and also white (Chardonnay, Malvasia Aromatica, Vilana e Muscat Spina).

The winery complex includes a cellar, a screening room and a wine-tasting room; they are open to visitors, with several tour options. The main facilities host the wine-tasting tours conducted by an oenologist and are complemented by examples of Cretan cuisine as prepared by the skilled restaurant chef. Before leaving, make sure you taste (or better buy) the ?Fantaxometocho? Boutari wine named after the estate. It is a special blend of Malvasia Aromatica, Chardonnay e Vilana.

? Skalani, “Fantaxometocho” position, Heraklion
? +30 2810 731617
? boutari.gr

Alexakis Winery

This has been the largest private winery of the island since the 1970s, and it still remains a family business. Its founder and CEO is Stelios Alexakis, and his wife Sophia takes care of quality control; their two children, hold degrees in oenology and control the production and plan the future steps of the business. The winery works with many winegrowers on the island, always selecting the best and have extensive knowledge of the Cretan terrain and vineyards. Since it is the closest winery to the city of Heraklion, it is best suited for a guided tour and wine tasting. Alexakis wines perfectly mix local and international varieties of grapes, producing award-winning wines.

? Eirinis & Filias, 71500, Heraklion
? +30 2810252019
? alexakiswines.gr

Douloufakis Winery

Il 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 vineyards, some 20 acres in total, are located at an altitude of about 300 m. They are cultivated mechanically; several varieties are grown, local as well as international, such as Vilana, Vidiano, Spina Muscat, Malvasia, Mandilari, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Liatiko, Kotsifali, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese e Syrah, while the winery also purchases grapes from other cooperating producers in the region. The wines of the Douloufakis winery have won dozens of awards at international competitions in recent years.

The gem of the collection is the ?White Rabbit? label which you should not miss. The winery is open to visitors and upon request, a guided tour and wine tasting can be organized.

? Dafnes, 70011, Heraklion
? +30 2810792017
? douloufakis.wine

Heraklion Union Winery

The i was founded in 1927 and is one of the largest cooperatives in Greece. 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 construction of a new, modern winery in Paliani has also been completed in recent years. Covering some 12 acres in total, modern methods have been employed as well as traditional winemaking skills. The facility is housed in a modern building with stylish features from European artists. In the basement of the building, there are the wine-ageing cellars, where the wine is stored and aged in oak barrels. The main halls of the building are used for wine tasting sessions, presentations of new wines and training seminars. The winery is open to all visitors.

Il Union of Heraklion bottles a wide selection of wines, red and dry, from selected vineyards of Heraklion.

? Avgeniki, 70011, Heraklion
? +30 2810791250
? winesofcrete.gr

Idaia Winery

Idaia Winery was founded in 1998 by oenologists Kalliopi Volitaki e Vassilis Ladero and currently owns 20 acres of land. It took its name from the ancient name of Crete (Idea). The base of the company is in Venerato (18 km from Heraklion), with an altitude of 305 m, within the OPAP Daphne’s wine-growing zone. Venerato (as well as the whole region of Malevizi) was famous for its sweet wines that were exported throughout the Mediterranean basin during the years of Venetian and Turkish rule.

The calcareous soils and special microclimate have given this area a special viticultural dynamic from the Minoan years until today. The company brings to market five wine labels: the white Idea Earth from the variety Vilana 100%, the red Idea Earth from the varieties Kotsifali 60% ? Mandilari 40%, the rosy Idea Earth from the variety Grenache rouge, a red one from Cabernet sauvignon and the sun-dried OPAP DAFNES from the Liatiko variety. They have won many awards in international competitions with the Idea Land ?Vilana? (White Dry Wine) having won the most awards.

? Venerato, 70011
? +30 2102440396
? idaiawine.gr

Efrosini Winery

Il Efrosini Winery is a small family business which, although new to the field of winemaking, has received several important awards in international competitions. Local and international varieties of grapes are organically cultivated at the Kerasia region near Heraklion (18 km along the national road Heraklion ? Moires). For red wines, the varieties Liatiko, Kotsifali, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, e Merlot are used and for white wines Vilana, Malvasia e Chardonnay.

All the wines and the winery itself are certified by BIO (Inspection & Certification Organization of Organic Products). Upon request, you can visit the winery and watch the wine-making process, as well as learn about the area and its history. Do not forget to try the Orinikon ?Dreamlike? White which won the gold medal at the Berliner Wein Trophy in 2018.

? Kerasia, 70100, Heraklion
? +30 6992 399606
? efrosini-winery.gr

Mediterra Winery

This has been in operation since 1973 in the village of Kounavoi right in the heart of the wine-growing zone of the Peza area. The Mediterra Winery has grown to become a modern and huge winery that can store about 1.900.000 litres in stainless tanks and wine-makers, whilst in its two cellars, more than 500 oak barrels of 225 and 300 litres apiece are stored. The bottling line is totally automated, capable of an output of 4.200 bottles per hour. Their nationally and internationally celebrated wines include Xerolithia, Anassa, e Mirambelos; they are distributed in Greece and overseas in 25 different countries. Visitors can take a tour around the winery and basement cellars. They can also taste the wines together with samples of the Cretan cuisine in the wine-tasting hall.

? Kounavoi, 70100, Heraklion
? +30 210 6009828
? mediterrawines.gr

Titakis Winery

This family business has been in operation for three generations in the village of Kounavoi right in the heart of the wine-growing zone of the Peza area. It has become one of the largest privately owned wineries of Crete. Their 12 acres of land consist of the grape varieties of Vilana, Merlot, Chardonnay e Syrah. They also make use of other varieties that come from the operating network of wine-makers in the Heraklion region.

The winery supplies its goods in PET bottles and in skin-bags, as well as the standard glass bottles.

? Kounavoi, 70100, Heraklion
? +30 2810 743 630
? titakis.gr

Minos Miliaraki Winery

Il Minos Miliaraki Winery was the pioneer winery of the Peza area that first bottled and so commercialized its wine production and distribution in 1952. Soon after the end of the war, they began bulk exports of wine to Europe (France and the UK). It was also the first to use the name Minos! Nowadays in its eighth decade of existence, it is managed by the third and fourth generations of the Miliaraki family. They produce local variety wines such as red Kotsifali e Madilari, and white Vilana, Vidiano e Thrapsathiri, which are bottled in a modern and innovative production line.

They have also experimented in producing white wines from the red variety of Kotsifali. Their total production comes to 350.000 to 400.000 bottles per year and some 15% of the annual production is exported to countries in Europa e Giappone. In the renovated old winery they have created a museum where visitors can observe old wine-making tools, a projection room, a wine-tasting hall in the form of a traditional kafeneio and also a mini-Cretan market room. Visitors can also have a wine-tasting on the Miliaraki?s farm that is full of vineyards to explore. Don?t miss the opportunity to observe the authentic old variety of Malvasia wine that has been brought back into production with very promising prospects for an excellent version of dry white wine.

? Peza & Sabas, 70100, Heraklion
? +30 2810 741213
? minoswines.gr

Cantina Lyrarakis

A family business that started its winemaking course in 1966 and has already passed to the second generation. It is located in the wine zone of Peza, one of the most important in Crete and has a vineyard of 140 acres, at an average altitude of 550 m. Since the mid-1980s, emphasis has been placed on the rare and indigenous varieties of the island and somehow the Lyraraki family saved the white ?DafniePlyto? from extinction. Apart from these, Vilana, Moschato Lefko and the French Sauvignon Blanc are currently cultivated. In terms of red varieties, the local Kotsifali, Mandilari e Moschato black are complemented by the international Syrah, Merlot, e Cabernet Sauvignon.

Other innovations of the Lyraraki winery include an aged red wine from 100% Mandilari, a red variety that had never been vinified before, at least not in Crete. Finally, the Lyraraki family is the first to mix the local variety ?Kotsifali” with the international Syrah, giving an unusually exciting red blend, in the late nineties. The Lyraraki wines have won many international awards and are exported not only to Europe but also to North America (USA & Canada). There is the possibility of a tour of the vineyard and the cellar of the winery and a tasting of five wines accompanied by a variety of cheeses. In addition, the Lyraraki winery offers the possibility for lunch or dinner at the estate with dishes from Cretan cuisine.

? Alagni, Heraklion
? +30 2810 741482
? lyrarakis.gr

Ktima Patergianaki

Il Ktima Patergianaki is considered to be a pioneer in the organic cultivation of wines in Crete being the first to introduce it. In their 40 acres of land local and relatively rare grape varieties are grown and cultivated, such as Thrapsathiri, Vidiano, Moschato Spinas, Kotsifali e Madilari. International varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon blanc e Chardonnay have been added, as the climate and soil conditions allow. They have introduced ecotourism innovative strategies and offer an accommodation complex and guided tours to the vineyards during collecting and producing time, together with wine-tasting opportunities and educational activities in the purpose-designed halls.

? Melesses, 71001, Heraklion
? +30 2810226674
? paterianakis.gr

Stilianou Winery

In the heart of where once Minoan vineyards stood and just a few kilometres south of Cnosso nel villaggio di Kounavoi, Iannis Stilianou cultivates in 7 private acres of organic vineyards the local grape varieties of Vidiano, Thrapsathiri, Vilana, Kotsifali e Mandilari. In a boutique winery on the top of a hill with a panoramic view, in 2003 Stilianou turned his hobby into a full-time profession. The result is a production of more than 20.000 bottles per year. His philosophy states that each place has its own local flavours; he has resisted the immense trend of flavour-levelling and uniformity. Hence he produces wines that highlight the advantages of the Cretan vineyard and blend harmoniously with the tastes of the Cretan diet.

The winery is open to visitors daily, all year long. In the main hall for wine tasting, you will find the opportunity to explore the flavours and aromas of Cretan wines. The winemaker will also guide you around the wine-making tanks, and the cellars that are used for the wine-ageing in their oaken barrels.

? Kounavoi, 70100, Heraklion
? +30 6936430368
? stilianouwines.gr

Peza Union Winery

Il Peza Union is located in one of the most important wine-making areas of Crete, with access to 7,400 acres of vineyards belonging to its members. Fertile land and systematic cultivation produce exceptional grape varieties. In a completely industrialized environment with modern facilities, they process 85% of the region?s output and distribute them on the local and international markets. The Peza Union?s winery has a capability of processing 20.000 tons of grapes, with a bottling line and a quality-control lab. The Union?s winemakers cultivate local varieties such as Kotsifali, Madilari, Mavazia, Vilana, Thrapsathiri, and international varieties such as Syrah and Merlot.

Their wines have won prizes in international competitions, for example, the ?Nisos? wine achieved 88 points on the PAR list, coming third among the Greek red wines in the German competition Wine System AG.

? Kalloni, 70100, Heraklion
? +30 2810 741945
? pezaunion.gr

Mihalakis Estate

The vineyards of Mihalakis Estate are located in the region of St George Epanosifis at an altitude of 550-600 m and cover an area of 110 acres.

This is an area with a long tradition in winemaking; in the Villa minoica di Vathypetro, one of the oldest wine presses of all time has been found.

In the vineyards, both the local varieties such as Malvasia Aromatica, Plito, Dafni, Vidiano, Thrapsathiri, Moschato Spinas, Vilana, Kotsifali e Madilari and also international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris e Sauvignon blanc are cultivated.

Collecting grapes is done by hand and starts in early August with the Moschato Spinas grapes, and finishes in early October with the Madilari grapes. Mihalakis wines have won many prizes in international competitions. While wine tasting in the hall with its views of the vineyards, don?t miss the chance to taste Plyto, a white wine which is almost 85% made from a single and rare Greek grape variety.

? Metaxohori, 70100, Heraklion
? +30 2810 381303
? michalakis.gr

Rhous Winery

Located in the village of Houdetsi just 25 km off from Heraklion, Rhous Winery belongs to the protected Peza wine-making zone.

It is a family business whose main philosophy is to highlight the Cretan vineyard by cultivating local varieties. The 12 acres of land are dedicated to the cultivation of rare white varieties such as Vidiano e Moschato Spinas. This particular vineyard helped to keep the species alive; their cultivation is organic from the start. They also cultivate international varieties. Their total yearly production of 5 different labels and one protected label is about 50.000 bottles. Visitors are welcome all year long and the wine tasting hall can host around 20 people. In the summertime, wine tasting takes place outdoors on the terrace, with beautiful panoramic views of the area.

? Houdetsi, 70100, Heraklion
? +30 2810 742083
? rhouswinery.gr

Domaine Zaharioudaki

On the hill named Orthi Petra at a height of 500 m and only a kilometre north of ancient Gortyn è il Zaharioudaki vineyard, in the village of Plouti. It covers 50 acres and boasts of modern facilities and innovative design. Grapes are cultivated organically and to the highest standards of quality and taste. The varieties that are cultivated are red Kotsifali, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon e Merlot. White varieties are Vilana, Vidiano, Malvasia di Candia, Malvasia di Candia Aromatica e Sauvignon blanc.

Both the vineyards and the winery are open to visitors all year long. They have a panoramic view towards Monte Psiloritis, il Messara plain, the Mar Libico e il Asterousia mountains. In the wine-tasting hall, you can try their wines along with samples of the Cretan cuisine. You can even participate in the process of winemaking if you visit at the right time!

? Plouti village, 70012, Festos, Heraklion
? +30 28820 24660
? zacharioudakis.com

Silva Daskalakis Winery

The winery is located in the small village of Siva 17 km on the National Road from Heraklion a Moires. Their family tradition began in 1890 with a small winery in the family home. Both the house and the wine-press were built with materials from the river at the bottom of the village. Even though they still exist, they are not in use. Nowadays the family owns 17 acres of vineyards that are cultivated completely organically. The grapes consist of both local varieties such as Thrapsathiri, Vidiano, Moschato Spinas, Kotsifali, Malvasia e Liatiko, and international ones such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, and Semillion. Even though they are new to the bottling side of the business, they have earned many prizes in international competitions, especially for their Sauvignon blanc.

? Siva, 70010, Heraklion
? +30 2810 792021
? silvawines.gr

Strataridakis Winery

Il Strataridakis Winery is another family business with a long experience and history in winemaking. The vineyards belong mainly to the Sinai Monastery del Santi Apostoli. Located in the foothills of Monti Asterousia, it is the southernmost winery of Europe.

The vineyard is ideally located with a slight south-eastern orientation that takes maximum advantage of the area?s micro-climate. They cultivate according to the traditional technique of «Guyot» and they harvest by hand. The land in the area is not given over only to the vines, they are surrounded by olive trees and orange and fruit trees, peanut bushes. and the wild vegetation, creating a balanced ecosystem. In total, ten grape varieties are cultivated: Moschato Spinas, Vilana, Vidiano, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc (white), Kotsifali, Madilari, Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot (red).

The winery is open to visitors and allows them to participate in all stages of the process ? from plant to bottle!

? Agioi Apostoloi – Kastelliana, 70010, Heraklion
? +30 28910 71275
? strataridakis.gr

Diamantakis Winery

This winery was founded in 2007 by the Diamantakis family and is a modern wine production unit. It is located in the heart of the province of Malevizi, outside the village of Kato Asites and the historic Monastery of Agios Georgios Gorgolaini, at an altitude of 450m. The area has a long history in viticulture and wine production and is favoured by a unique microclimate. The winery has 95 privately owned acres in which local, Greek and international grape varieties are grown. Since the first bottling that took place in 2009, Diamantakis Winery now has four labels (Diamantopetra, Prinos erythros, Prinos lefokos, Vidiano). All the wines have participated in competitions and have won significant awards in the largest wine competitions in the world.

? Kato Asites, 70013, Heraklion
? +30 2810 861137
? diamantakiswines.gr