Of the many hidden treasures that reside on the Greek island of Crete, its thriving vinicultural heritage is perhaps the most rewarding find.
Despite having a rich wine history stretching back some 4,000 years little is known of Creten wine outside the island.
Yet it is home to 13 per cent of the wine regions in Greece and most fascinatingly of all, it is starting to develop an identity unlike anywhere else in the world.
Indigenous Grape Varieties
As an island of winegrowers, locals have long enjoyed grape varieties that are indigenous to the island.
But as a result of a bustling tourism sector many of the large-scale winemakers cultivated foreign grape varieties to please those with palates less acclimatised to the region.
Since the early 2000s, however, things have started to change.
With visitors to the island looking for a more authentic experience winemakers have started to ditch Cabernet for lesser-known varieties such as Vilana, Romeiko and Mantilari.
As a result the island is now flooded with a fascinating array of wine stretching from its north shores to the mountainous climes outside Heraklion, where a cluster of vineyards comprise Greece’s second largest wine district.
Discovering Creten Wine
And there’s no better way to discover Creten wine than in the company of the Wine Walkers, Rami and Stella.
With a range of tastings and tours available, tourists to the island can discover a wealth of wine in their company, visiting wine regions, important ancient areas and traditional villages.
On your way you will taste authentic Mama’s Food and drink in some incredible Cretan landscapes that you would otherwise, most probably, miss.
There is also the option to take wine picnics, discover the island’s wine and gastronomy on your own private boat or even enjoy a tasting and food pairing at your place with one of their experienced Sommeliers.
For full details, check out their website.