05 Aug Tread the grapes, drink the wine
Greece has been producing wine for thousands of years and has some of the world’s oldest vineyards. In Crete we are proud of the long tradition and delighted to be able to share the heritage and the festival atmosphere of the grape picking season with visitors – not to mention the end product of course.
We’d like to introduce you to a couple of Cretan wines with a long and distinguished history…
Vidiano, is a white wine grape variety native to Crete. In recent decades Vidiano wine had become a rarity as the variety was almost extinct. However, thanks to young, innovative winemakers a few vineyards growing Vidiano have started to appear on the island once again. The wine is medium to full bodied with a fresh acidity and a taste pallet full of fruity aromas peach and apricot, extending to lime, mango and quince.
Malvasia of Crete
This is the sweet wine that the Cretans have traded ever since the Minoan times. The authentic Malvasia results from blend of local varieties – Plyto, Dafni, Vidiano and Vilana – that are dried in the sun and blended to create a naturally sweet wine with a real diversity of aromas. Nowadays it is hard to find but young wine makers are making attempts to revive the authentic vinification methods of Malvasia.
If you come on holiday with Hand Picked Greece we’ll serve these wines – and plenty of others – with just the right food, so you can really appreciate these fine local wines at their best.
In Greece, vineyards are found at altitudes ranging from the sea level to in excess of 1000m, but most Greek wine comes from mountainous and semi mountainous terroir. Greek vineyards are separated, geographically speaking, into those of The Aegean islands, the vineyards of Crete, the Peloponnese, and northern and central Greece. Further subdivisions exist on a smaller scale based on the soil characteristics, the topographical features and the local microclimate. All of these when combined with the native vine varieties allow for the many wonderful Greek wine varieties.
A long history
Cretans have been producing wine for a very long time – a 3500 years old wine press, found on Crete at the region of Vathipetro, is evidence of this long connection. Read more about the history of wine in Crete.
Join us for the wine or olive harvest
If you come to Crete at the right time of year you can take in the wine harvest. Spend time picking, tread the grapes in a traditional wine press, explore the food culture of the area and relax over long meals with wonderful food and wine included in the price of the holiday. Holidays include cookery workshops and visits to local producers. Come and join The Grape Escape this September or October and benefit from a 20% discount. Pantelis, a young and charismatic wine maker, will be at our side during the harvest, guiding us through the many different flavours!
And of course, one of our other national treasures is the olive. You can also join in the olive harvest this autumn in Crete and also benefit from our 20% discount.