Crete has been associated with wine since prehistoric times when wine was one of the products that contributed to the prosperity and growth on the island. Cretans have been involved with winemaking since the Minoan times, 4,000 years ago, as curved grape mills and vineyards scattered around the island indicate.
Cretan vineyards, the most traditional in Europe and the oldest ones in Greece, are located at an altitude of about 600m and stretch all the way to the sea. The favourable climate in the area, with mild winters and dry, hot summers help the production of exquisite, local grape varieties.
The biggest growth regarding Cretan wine production took place between the 1st and 2nd century, when the local wine was transported everywhere around the Mediterranean, as well as during the Venetian occupation, with the sweet variety Malvasia causing a stir.
68% of wineries are in Heraklion, and 80% of the total wine production in Crete takes place here. This means that you will have the chance to enjoy the rich and strong aromas of red wines (with top varieties of Kotsifali, Syrah, Grenache Rouge, Liatiko, Mourvedre, Mandilari, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot), as well as refreshing white wines (top varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Vilana, white Moscato, Moscato of Spina, Dafni, Malvasia, Plyto, Vidiano) and rose wines.