The wines of Crete

When a land is blessed, it shows in the weather, the soil. And Crete is indeed blessed, since the combination of the two provides people all over Greece and the world with unique products that have no parallel elsewhere on the globe. The Cretan wines do not only follow, but one would say that they lead this tradition, as the different types of grapes that are grown here offer amazing variety when made into wine. The guests and staff at all Cretan Aldemar Resorts (Aldemar Royal Mare, Aldemar Knossos RoyalAldemar Knossos Villas and Aldemar Cretan Village) know that pretty well, as the hotels organize various wine tasting experiences, in collaboration with Paterianaki Vineyards, that only uses organic vintages to produce its fine wines.

paterianakis aldemar royal mare

There’s always something special about wine tastings. One can appreciate more easily the nuances of different wines, the subtleties that make a difference, the care and the meticulous processes that create something exciting for the palate. Combine the proper wine with the proper dish, like the chefs of Aldemar Royal Mare did last summer, and there’s really nothing quite like it. There is a reason why wine tasting has been turned into a science and a big draw for tourism around the world.

Wine was produced from the ancient cretan years

The history of Cretan wine, rolls back to the Minoan period

The wines of Crete owe their fame mainly to the grapes themselves, as a lot of them – though in no way all of them – are varietals.

Red wines

Mantilari: We start the list with the most famous of Cretan grapes. It is mostly used in combination with other, softer grapes (like Kotsifali below), but if processed and aged properly it can provide a unique tasting wine.

Kotsifali: Pleasant and inoffensive (and we mean that in a good way), Kotsifali needs nothing else to produce good wine. Combine it Mantilari, though, and a slew of new experiences open up before you.

Syrah: Syrah is cultivated – and sought after – around the Mediterranean Sea. It can produce a wine on its own, but the world loves it when combined with other red grapes.

Syrah the famous cretan grape variety

Syrah is one of the most popular varieties grown in Crete

White wines

Vilana: It’s probably the most cultivated variety on the island and there’s a reason for that. It is refreshing and has a lemony taste, so it can be used to produce wine either on its own or along other white varieties.

Malvasia: Malvasia is said to originate in Crete, but now it can be found from Greece to California and from Brazil to Australia. It is used to produce very aromatic wines.

Vilana: A very sensitive grape variety, but that does not deter the vineyards of Crete. Put it in an oak barrel and marvel at the results.

Cretans collect grapes to produce wines

Locals collect grapes to produce the famous Cretan wine

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