Cretan Vineyard

Cretan Vineyard

The Cretan Vineyards produce grapes which make some of the best wines in Greece. In this site you can find information about the Cretan grape and wine and drink responsible.

Cretan Wine and health.

An important characteristic of the Cretan diet in the 1960s was moderate wine consumption, mostly in the form of wine that accompanied meals. It was mainly a men’s habit, as women rarely consumed alcohol. Moderate wine consumption seems to lower all-cause mortality, mortality from cardiovascular diseases, as well as the risk of heart attacks. Among all alcoholic beverages, wine, and especially red wine, is even more beneficial as it contains phenols, substances that exert anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic effects, protecting our vessels from the formation of the atheromatous plaque.

The safe limit for alcohol consumption is set to 2 drinks/day form men and 1 drink/day for women.

Wine grapes:

Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the best-known variety in the world for quality reds which can be aged for decades in the bottle. Perhaps its most surprising feature is that it can be cultivated in different regions and yet still produce wines recognised as Cabernet Sauvignon, despite differences in climate, soil or vinification conditions. When Cabernet Sauvignon is cultivated in hot regions such as Crete, where it ripens more quickly and produces mature phenols, it gives wines with a rich colour and a full taste and aroma.

Grenache Rouge.

A red Mediterranean variety of Spanish origin, cultivated in many hot and dry regions of the world. In Greece it is recommended as an improver. It ripens in early September. On the right soil and with medium yield, the wine of this variety has a nice colour, a medium body, a high alcohol content and medium acidity. Unfortunately it tends to age quickly and is easily oxidised. Grenache Rouge is used in the production of certain regional wines.


A red variety producing quality wine with a high alcohol content, variable colour and rich analytical data namely alcohol / sugar content and acidity. This is perceived as the typical representative of Heraklion Prefecture VQPRD wines.


A very old red variety. Producing dry and wonderful sweet wines. These have high alcohol content, with soft tannins, medium acidity and a relatively light colour. The dry and sweet Protected Designation of Origin wines of Dafnes are produced from the Liatiko variety. In recent years, there has been an attempt by Cretan winemakers to revive the production of straw wines from Liatiko sun-dried grapes.


A dark red variety with a high anthocyanin content.  Blended with Kotsifali to produce the VQPRD wine of Archanes and Peza.


Merlot is a red grape of French origin which produces soft wines. Its aromas are much sweeter than those of Cabernet Sauvignon, reminiscent of plum and small red fruit such as cherry and strawberry. In the mouth it gives soft tannins and low acidity, with a high alcohol content but low density.


A Spanish red variety. This is a lively variety with medium yield, fairly resistant to fungal diseases. Its buds form very slowly, helping it to avoid early spring frosts. Its large bunches of medium sized grapes ripen in the first two weeks of September. It produces red wines of satisfactory color with a light aroma of black cherry with hints of eucalyptus or bay, usually with a reasonably tannic taste.


This is the international red variety of Italy. It is mainly cultivated in Tuscany and is blended with other varieties to produce some of the great Italian wines. A medium sized, round grape with a tough skin, purple-black in color, not very full. Early ripening. It prefers hills with medium to poor, arid limestone soil. Produces ruby red wines with a dry, slightly tannic taste. Blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, it produces great mature wines.


A red variety which became famous for its wonderful wines from the Rhone Valley, now cultivated worldwide. It ripens in late August or early September. Depending on the clone, the pruning, the soil and the area, this variety produces medium to very strong wines of medium acidity, with a deep colour and strong aromas which become more complex as it ages. It is blended with other varieties for many regional reds and roses.


A lively cultivar, productive, fertile and resistant to downy mildew, producing strong wine of medium acidity with a distinctive aroma


A white variety which produces wine with good analytical data and contributes to the Peza VQPRD. The variety is improved by blending with Dafni and Plyto.


The favorite white grape. Originating in Burgundy and Champagne, it has gone on to conquer the world. Its wines may be fresh, with refreshing acidity and exotic fruit aromas, or riper. It is an ingredient of champagne and produces dry wines with intense aromas such as wood, vanilla, smoke, nuts, etc., which are usually enriched by ageing in barrels.


A variety of white grape grown in Crete and particularly in Lassithi and Heraklion Prefectures. It is lively, with a moderate yield and resistant to drought. It buds in mid-March and ripens in mid- to late September. The wine has a low to medium alcohol content, of medium acidity with an aroma reminiscent of bay (so called “dafni” in  Greek).


A white variety from Cyclades, Crete, Dodecanese and southern Greece. It was considered a clone of the Athiri variety, but it differs and is in fact a separate variety. It is a lively, fertile and very productive plant, sensitive to downy mildew and resistant to drought. It buds in early April and ripens in the first two weeks of September. On the right soil and with a small crop load per vine, it produces slightly aromatic wines with a high alcohol content and medium acidity.


A white variety producing a wine with a pleasant taste and a strong, distinctive flowery aroma with notes of Moschato. Historically linked to the famous Cretan wine of the middle Byzantine period to the early 18th century.

White Muscat - Spinas Muscat.

This variety is widely cultivated in many countries. It ripens in early September, is easily oxidised and requires careful handling during the winemaking process. Muscat can produce strong dry wines with a rich distinctive flavor, of medium acidity but above all exceptionally sweet, straw or liqueur wines, with a full nose and rounded taste.


A variety grown in east Crete and Kithira Island. It is a lively, productive but disease-prone plant. The grapes, medium-sized with golden-yellow skin, are harvested in mid-September.

Sauvignon Blanc.

A white aromatic variety of French origin cultivated worldwide. It was first cultivated in Greece in the early 1990s. It ripens in late August. When grown in the right climate and soil conditions with low yields and harvested at the right stage of ripeness, ensuring a balance of acidity and sugars and the preservation of its unique aromatic potential, Sauvignon Blanc gives dry wines with a rich aroma (usually of exotic fruit) and a lively, balanced and full flavor. Sauvignon Blanc can be fermented and aged in oak barrels. It is blended with other varieties to produce many regional wines.

The Annual Life Cycle of the Vine.

The annual life cycle of the Vine is divided into the following phases:

A. Activation.

In this first phase, the hoarding compounds such as hydrocarbons are activated and the plant prepares for the budding of the secondary buds. At this stage we see weeping, i.e. sap dripping from where the canes were pruned, due to the increased pressure from water absorption in the roots. This happens when the ground temperature is 10-12° C. This phase ends with bud break.

B. Growing.

When the buds are 50% open, the bud growing phase begins. The shoots appear and grow quickly, bearing the vine organs such as leaves, tendrils, flowering clusters and flower buds. Five to eight weeks later, bloom starts when the flower caps drop off. Then the inflorescences appear, followed by fertilisation, fruit setting, and grape development and ripening (green grape, ripening, rotting).

C. Hoarding.

Once the shoots stop growing, the plant enters the hoarding phase, which is complete when the leaves fall.

D. Winter dormancy.

In late November, due to the unfavourable climate conditions, the vine (the “premno” or “kourmoula” in the Cretan dialect) becomes dormant for the winter until March, when the activation of its hoarding compounds usually begins again.


In Crete, raisins and grape are, along with honey, the most important traditional sweeteners. The cultivation of the vine on the island dates back to prehistoric times. The preparation raisin shows the ingenuity of man to maintain nearly dehydrated (dried) form a product where nature gives only during the summer months.

Today the grape is considered one of the most nutritious plant foods with very wholesome ingredients. Used as an ingredient in many dishes and excellent sweets, while in themselves are a nice snack. Raisins generally have high nutritional value, that is rich in nutrients but many calories attribute. In 100 grams of raisins representing 250 calories, while a cup of raisins equals about eight cups of fresh grapes. Raisins are a good source of iron, potassium and selenium and also contain vitamin A and B vitamins and are rich in fiber. Because the nutrients they contain beneficial to health. Because a good vegetable source of iron, helps in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia.

The raisins (dark or golden) is an excellent source of potassium, which has proven itself as one of the elements that reduces blood pressure and fluid retention. Currant abound in fiber, which act against constipation, hemorrhoids and help lower cholesterol. Study of the Center for Studies and Research of Los Altos, Calif., showed that 1/4 cup of raisins a day lowers cholesterol by 10%. It is noteworthy that raisins contain substances that fight bacteria in the mouth that are responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. These substances have the ability to suppress the growth of microbes in the mouth, to prevent their adhesion to teeth and gums and to prevent the formation of dental plaque. This contrasts with the common perception that raisins are harmful to oral hygiene because they are sweet and stick to the teeth. But research scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago, proves the contrary. Specifically in seedless raisins, detected five phytochemicals that have antioxidant and antibacterial activity. The most active of these is oleanolic acid while less active is oleaniki aldehyde, betulin, the vetouliko acid and furfural.

It is known that sugar consumption is responsible for acidification and the formation of dental plaque. Raisins contain mainly fructose and glucose, which do not support the creation of dental plaque. Raisins consumed either untreated or using to prepare extremely confections such as stafidota and patouda.