HomeWINE EXPERIENCESCrete Wine Experiences

Crete Wine Experiences

Crete is the largest island of Greece. It's a unique culinary destination, mainly because the majority of the products in their cuisine are cultivated locally. It's also a destination for all kind of travelers offering luxury resorts to family camping's. Cretan wines are blossoming the last decades producing excellent results.

 

There are seven PDO* zones in Crete, cultivating many indigenous grape varieties, a few difficult to pronounce, such as Vilana, Vidiano, Thrapsathiri, Dafni, Plyto, Kotsifali, Mandilaria, Liatiko, White Muscat, Malvasia di Candia aromatica, etc. Alongside they also produce Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viogner, Roussane, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Grenache, and Syrah.

 

Chania

 

Through centuries of life and history, nestled in the Western Prefecture of Crete lies the second largest city, Chania. This land has changed its name three times, but never its welcoming identity. During the Minoan era, Chania was called Kydonia, meaning Quince. Under Ottoman rule, it was renamed Al Hanim, The Inn, and that name finally took its Greek form, Hania which today is our Chania. When touring, there are four destinations that give Chania its charming essence, the Samaria Gorge, the view of the White Mountains, a stroll on the Elafonnisi beach and the Balos Lagoon. These visits simply cannot be missed. With strong winds bellowing from the North and the West, the land here absorbs the most rainfall in the region, the soil in Chania is very fertile, with several types including; clay, clay loam, stony, and schist. From this; the grapes flourish allowing Chania to have many distinguished wineries. The most noteworthy are, Nostos Manousakis, Dourakis, Karavitakis, Anoskeli, Agia Triada, along with many other new up and coming wineries that have great prospects.

 

Chania: Sacred Paths Wine Tour - € 75,00 per person

Also available as private tour at € 198,00 for up to 2 persons. Every extra at € 85,00 per person.

 

The tour’s first stop is the historic winery of the Monastery of Tzagarolon, this beautiful monastery is set in the picturesque Akrotiri peninsula of Chania. The temple features admirable Byzantine architecture, a folklore museum and an ancient library of rarities. We’ll be sampling select wines from the monastery’s production while we admire and learn about the wine equipment of the past on display, small ‘kerasma’ meze offering is accompanying the tasting. From there we’ll head to the family owned Dourakis Winery in Apokoronas to learn about viticulture and the wine making process as we taste their wine. Our last stop is a visit to a well hidden old style kafeneio just across our last ‘sacred’ stop, where the key holder of a ‘treasured’ chapel is Mr. Kostas…

Including

  • Visit 2 wineries
  • Visit 1 vineyard
  • 8 - 10 wines to taste
  • Meze style Lunch in a traditional Kafeneio
  • Return transfers to and from pick up point
  • Complimentary refreshments in the car
  • Professional commentary
  • Sightseeing in the heart of Chania’s inland
  • Tasting notebook

Notes

  • Starting Time 10:00am Pick up from hotel in Chania or Rethymno
  • Transportation charges may vary if pick up location is more than 10km from the centre of Chania or Rethymno
  • Transportation charges will vary from Heraklion and Elounda
  • Duration 3 to 4 Hours
  • To respect the sanctity of the monastery, please dress modestly, a good general rule is to be covered from the shoulders to below the knee
  • Minimum number of people 2.

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Chania: Wine and Art Tasting - € 160,00 per person

Also available as private tour at € 390,00 for up to 2 persons. Every extra at € 185,00 per person.

 

We start our experience by visiting the family owned Dourakis winery in the Apokoronas region of Chania where we enjoy five wines, explore the Dourakis cave cellar and learn about wine making by Antonis himself. Next, we drive to the nearby village of Paidochori to meet a renowned Greek ceramist, Manousos Chalkiadakis. Manousos will exclusively open his home and atelier for us to taste five wines from indigenous Cretan grape varieties from different winemakers and appellations.

Including: ‍

  • Visit 1 winery
  • Visit the home and atelier of a local ceramist
  • 10 wines to be tasted
  • Food and wine pairing (Greek farm to table meze)
  • Return transfers to and from pick up point
  • Complimentary refreshments during transport
  • Professional commentary
  • Sightseeing in the heart of Chania’s wine region
  • Tasting notebook

Notes:

  • Starting Time 10:00am Pick up from hotel in Chania or Rethymno
  • Transportation charges may vary if pick up location is more than 10km from the centre of Chania or Rethymno
  • Transportation charges will vary from Heraklion and Elounda
  • Duration 5 to 6 Hours
  • Minimum number of people 2.

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Chania: Wine Pairing for Breakfast? - € 75,00 per person

Also available as private tour at € 198,00 for up to 2 persons. Every extra at € 85,00 per person.

  

We start our Wine Experience by visiting the a local winery to enjoy a signature wine breakfast from traditional local producers, the big twist here is that we will be pairing it with their wines! On the way back stop we will over for an aromatic Greek coffee in an old style kafeneion while mingling with the locals.

 

Including:

  • Enjoy a hearty Cretan breakfast in Dourakis winery
  • Fresh free range eggs from a local hen-coop
  • Delicious Homemade pie
  • Fresh vegetables from the winemakers' garden
  • Morning crispy baked bread
  • Local sheep's cheese
  • Cretan olives
  • Organic Honey from wild thyme
  • On the way back stop over for an aromatic Greek coffee in an old style kafeneion while mingling with the locals
  • Complimentary bottled water and refreshment in the car
  • Professional commentary
  • Sightseeing in the heart of Rethymno's inland
  • Tasting notebook

Notes:

  • Starting Time 9:00am Pick up from Chania at a central meeting point
  • Duration 3 to 4 Hours
  • Minimum number of people 2.

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Rethymno

With its soft breeze, charming historic buildings and serene community, Rethymno creates a rhythm for life. It's population of 40,000 people make it Crete's romantic city, and the third largest on the island. It was founded during the Minoan period, the first of the Europeans, who were prominent enough to mint their coins, the crest of the city, the two dolphins forming a circle, was taken from the same coins. The average yearly temperature of Rethymno is around 17°C, and its long stretch of beaches contour where Psiloritis meets the Aegean. It is on these mountain ranges that the Highest peak in Crete stands tall at 2,456 metres. In antiquity, a significant historical event took place, nestled between the east and west peaks of Psiloritis is the Idaion Andron cave on the plateau of Nida, and it is said that there was the birth of the father of Gods, Zeus. Rethymno currently has seven family owned wineries. It is the birthplace of the Cretan white grape variety Vidiano, the most prominent white varietal of Crete. The prefecture cultivates 1214/ha of the red grape variety named Liatiko, out of the almost 2672/ha total on the entire island.

 

Rethymno: Wine Pairing for Breakfast? - € 75,00 per person

Also available as private tour at € 198,00 for up to 2 persons. Every extra at € 85,00 per person.

 

Option 1

We start our Wine Experience by visiting the a winery near Panormos to enjoy a signature wine breakfast from traditional local producers, the big twist here is that we will be pairing it with the full range of their wines! The winemaker, will tell us about his wines and the popular and indigenous grape variety, Vidiano. On the drive back, we stop at Margarites, a picturesque little village famous for its pottery and handcrafts for a stroll and some souvenir shopping, for those who wish to do so.

 

Option 2

This experience begins with a visit to a winery in Amari to enjoy a wine breakfast from local produce, while tasting the full range of their wines. They will tell us about the promising and graceful indigenous grape variety, Liatiko and the art of winemaking. We can then have a stroll in the vineyards to learn more about viticulture. On the drive back we visit the Saint Antonio's gorge and its hidden cave church, devoted to the Saint with the same name.

*The choices are made based on the wineries' schedule and availability.

Including:

  • Visit 1 winery
  • Visit 1 vineyard
  • 4 to 6 wines to taste
  • Breakfast at the winery
  • A shortstop at either a pottery village or Saint Antonio's gorge and church (easy walk)
  • Return transfers to and from central meeting points
  • Complimentary bottled water and refreshment in the car
  • Professional commentary
  • Sightseeing in the heart of Rethymno's inland
  • Tasting notebook

Notes:

  • Starting Time 9:00am Pick up from Rethymno at a central meeting point
  • Duration 3 to 4 Hours
  • Minimum number of people 2.

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Rethymno: Meet the Musicians - € 250,00 per person

Also available as private tour at € 750,00 for up to 2 persons. Every extra at € 312,00 per person.

 

Our experience starts by visiting the pottery village of Margarites to explore the labyrinth of narrow alleyways and admire the ceramic works of the numerous shops in town. We then make our way to a ceramist to learn about the art of pottery and to make our own piece. Wine and music next with our friends and musicians Nelly and Dimitris as they open their home to us for a traditional Greek lunch paired with six Cretan wines from indigenous grapes. Our hosts will also treat us to some beautiful music. Dessert is reserved in a traditional taverna in the local village along with Cretan tsikoudia. The taverna contains the owner's personal collection of folklore items that adorn every corner of the space.

Including:

  • Visit Margarites, a village famous for pottery
  • Wine tasting in musician's home
  • 6 wines to taste
  • Wine and food pairing (Full Lunch and Dessert)
  • Private music performance by the hosts
  • Return transfers to and from pick up point
  • Complimentary refreshments in the car
  • Professional commentary
  • Sightseeing in the heart of Rethymno's inland
  • Tasting notebook

 Notes:

  • Starting Time 10:00am Pick up from hotel in Chania or Rethymno
  • Transportation charges may vary if pick up location is more than 10km from the centre of Chania or Rethymno
  • Transportation charges will vary from Heraklion and Elounda
  • Duration 5 to 6 Hours
  • Minimum number of people 4.

 

Rethymno: Wine & Fashion Tasting - € 95,00 per person

Also available as private tour at € 250,00 for up to 2 persons. Every extra at € 110,00 per person.

 

This inspiring tour combines the art of weaving, fashion and wine. We visit Alexandra, a fashion designer at her atelier where we can enjoy and taste wine and learn the history and art of weaving. The guided wine tasting includes Cretan meze in Alexandra's beautiful garden with a beautiful view. A weaving session where you make your own souvenir garment is included.

Including:

  • Visit the home and atelier of a famous local fashion designer
  • 5 wines to be tasted
  • Food and wine pairing (Cretan meze)
  • Return transfers to and from pick up point
  • Complimentary refreshments during transport
  • Professional commentary
  • Weaving session (if desired)
  • Tasting notebook

 Notes:

  • Starting Time 10:00am Pick up from Rethymno at a central meeting point, or
  • Starting Time 06:30pm Pick up from Rethymno at a central meeting point.
  • Duration 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Minimum number of people 2.

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Heraklion

In northern Crete lies the monumental capital city, Heraklion. The largest city of the island, bustling since the third millennia BC, was a famous trading port in the Minoan Era. The grounds hold the rich history of the past, and the bright future for the present. Leading in wine production in Crete, Heraklion is home to 80% of Crete's wineries. Staying true to its history, archaeologists have discovered the oldest wine press in the world excavated in Vathypetro, a small village in the Peza appellation of Heraklion. It is estimated to have been used in 1500 BC when the Minoan civilization was flourishing. Heraklion, in comparison to Rethymno and Chania, has a drier climate and the vineyards are located on high elevation sites, mainly starting from an altitude of 300, and above. Most of the vineyards and wineries are situated in the Northern part of the prefecture. Here, the refreshing Aegean sea breeze and cool nightly temperatures create more complex flavours and aromas.

 

Heraklion: Wine Country Tour - € 175,00 per person

Also available as private tour at € 420,00 for up to 2 persons. Every extra at € 195,00 per person.

 

Handakas is the Byzantine name of Heraklion, the largest wine region of Crete where the majority of wineries are situated. On this tour, we'll learn about Crete's indigenous grapes as we explore some of the region's most beautiful vineyards, lightly trek to ancient wine presses, and/or hidden Byzantine churches. We visit 2 wineries, we learn their stories, taste their wines and enjoy Cretan meze, the healthiest cuisine of the Mediterranean. The itineraries in Heraklion wine zone are designed exclusively based on your wine profile and set for you personally.

Including:

  • Visit 2 wineries
  • Visit 2 vineyards
  • Visit admirable ancient presses or Byzantine churches around the area
  • 8 to 10 wines to taste
  • Farm to table Lunch with wine pairing
  • Return transfers to and from your accommodation
  • Complimentary refreshments in the car
  • Professional commentary
  • Sightseeing in the heartland of Heraklion
  • Tasting notebook

Notes:

  • Starting Time 9:00am from Chania or Rethymno central point
  • Transportation charges may vary if pick up location is more than 10km from the centre of Chania or Rethymno
  • Transportation charges will vary from Elounda
  • Duration 8 hours.
  • Minimum number of people 2.

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*PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)