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Treat yourself to a tour of Heraklion’s wine country

Treat yourself to a tour of Heraklion’s wine country

Gastronomy, Sustainability

Creta Maris is proud to present to our guests the finest wines in our restaurants and bars, and nothing gives us greater pleasure than to introduce you to the wines that are made on our doorstep.

Seventy per cent of Crete’s wines come from the Heraklion region, with two clusters of the major vineyards starting south of Knossos. One area is around Peza and Archanes, and the other, slightly west, near Dafnes. A day trip to one or both regions makes for a magical outing.

Heraklion’s world-beating wines share one thing in common; the grapes are nurtured by the calcium-rich clay soil that permeates the region. Renowned for its white Femina and reds (Aspro Lagos and Enotria), Douloufakis Winery in Dafnes, with its Cretan grape varieties is a gorgeous stop.

Lyrarakis, 6 km south of Peza, is highly recommended. Known for reviving almost extinct local grape varieties, Lyrarakis is at the forefront of the fascinating creative art and science of winemaking.

Nearby at Houdetsi, Rhous Winery is the 50-hectare estate of the Tamiolakis family. Producing 50,000 bottles a year of some of the finest organic wine in Crete. Grape varieties used include the traditional red varieties of the Peza region – Kotsifali and Mandilari. Whites from the Vilana grape, the most popular in the region, also feature.

Silva Daskalaki Winery, 17km along the national road between Heraklion and Moires is a gem. Organic farming methods combined with a philosophy of ‘biodynamic’ cultivation is the reason this producer has won 60 international medals.

Near Skalani, 8km east of Heraklion, Boutari is Crete’s biggest wine producer and its Heraklion winery is one of six across Greece. With 140 years of experience in the business, it’s one of the top wine producers in Greece. Boutari offers tours (by appointment) of its huge operation and has tastings.

Creta Maris is an active supporter of TUI Cares for Crete – Sustainable Food – a joint project run by TUI Care Foundation and the German-based organisation Futouris that links the most important areas of Crete’s economy – tourism and agriculture. The project focuses on establishing structures for the development of a sustainable holiday destinations that meet the needs of travelers, and which promote local agricultural businesses.

Every month, Creta Maris hosts special wine-tastings, showcasing the finest wines produced by local winemakers taking part in the project. Do join us, not only for a taste of great local wines, but for the chance to learn more about sustainable wine production.