is a cretan red wine variety that you can taste and learn about it in the wine tasting of Oinoxoos House in Rethymno Crete.
Mantilari is the king of the local red varieties of the island. Its wildness and power make it special. Because of its good acidity, it gives wines very dry and full.
The heart of Mandilaria beats in the Aegean Sea and in Crete. It is not a coincidence that there, it is involved in the production of PDO Peza and PDO Archanes red wines. In the windswept and sun-kissed vineyards of these islands. Mandilaria – usually goblet shaped, acquires extraordinary characteristics: deep dark color, overripe fruit aromas, fleshy aromas (such as leather) and medium body, with unrestrained, robust tannins.
With hard work in the vineyard and in the winery, but also by blending with other varieties -as white Monemvassia in Paros or soft red Kotsifali in Crete- many noteworthy winemakers are trying to tame the generally rampant nature of Mandilaria.
However, a few years in the bottle is probably the best way to find ourselves in front of a “European” wine, which through its taste brings in mind its wonderful place of origin.
By its imposing personality, the unique Mandilaria variety leaves an indelible imprint in Greek wines, which sometimes is deeper and sometimes subtle, but always revealing the identity of the terroir. Given also its multi-faceted character, any daring wine lover who wants to broaden his palette of aromas and tastes, will find a reason to fill his glass with Mandilaria.
Malvasia di Candia represents both a grape variety and an ancient wine style from Crete with its heydays dating back to the Venetian occupation of the island.
It is one of the most elegant and aromatic varieties of Crete. It can be found mainly in Heraklion. Malvasia is a variety that follows its own path in wine history offering its crazy perfumes and its female character. It gives excellent wines with intense aromas and high acidity. Based on its particular characteristics it offers exceptional sweet wines.
Golden – yellow color, fruity and citrus notes. Soft and creamy in the palate, with excellent balance of flavor and characteristic aromatic aftertaste of jasmine and primrose.The slight sweetness emphasizes the fruit, with the peach, the lime and the pear being dominant, while its long aftertaste leaves a lemon feel in the mouth.
The Malvasia wine can be enjoyed also as an aperitif while it accompanies pleasantly spicy sauces, fish and white meat.
Muscat of Spina, usually found in Spina district in Chania. Is the small-berry treasure of the land of Crete. The love of Muscat of Spina for the sun is well known. It is the sun that warms the small berries, gives their thick peel a yellow – golden, full of freckles color and concentrates uniquely its aromas and flavor. Thus, the small- berry Muscat of Spina offers fragrant dry, but mostly great sweet wines. The love of the variety for sloped, mountainous vineyards cannot be hidden, though it thrives equally well at lower altitudes. Their common, organoleptic characteristics are the explosive aromas, with a strong presence of the variety primary aroma and of lychee, the flavor density and good acidity, elements encountered also,- yet less intensely- in the dry wines of the variety.
The barrel aging encapsulates even more these elixirs giving them in the same time notes of honey, nuts and marmalade. The small- berry Muscat of Spina is certainly one of the most important varieties of Crete. Under the full bright Cretan sun it is transformed into great wines, expressing the unique terroir of their origin. Wines that will leave even the most demanding wine lovers ecstatic and happy for having lived such a memorable wine experience, looking forward to repeat it soon!
Thrapsathiri is an important Crete variety emerging as one of the most promising and exciting white varieties of the island. For decades, Thrapsathiri was misunderstood as it was falsely believed closely related to Athiri or it was overshadowed by the more popular Vilana. However, thanks to its characteristic features it has started attracting the attention of many wine critics, giving first class dry and, in some cases, sweet white wines. Thrapsathiri is suitable even for the warmest parts of Crete, showing high resistance to drought. The wines from Thrapsathiri presenting a pale yellow color and medium intensity aroma, are dominated by primary fruity flavors, mainly reminding melon and peach. In the palate they are relatively full bodied with distinct alcohol and mild
acidity. Thrapsathiri is cultivated throughout the island, from Chania, on the West, to Lasithi, on the East. The most famous wines come from the region of Lasithi, where the PDO Sitia wine is produced. Thrapsathiri is a variety that gives rich and round, but not too intense and heavy wines. As they are not too aromatic, wines from Thrapsathiri suit excellent dishes with intensity and complexity, a fact that puts them out of the food-wine combination rules. They are also ideal white wines for relatively cold days. Most wines from Thrapsathiri should be drunk four years from
the harvest, but some top winemakers produce wines with such a temperament, that they can develop even for a decade.
The richness of indigenous varieties of Greece is inexhaustible, although many of these varieties are or were threatened with extinction. A remarkable example of this kind is the Cretan variety Plyto which survived from the verge of disappearance and is currently responsible for a small number of white wines. However, the potential of Plyto variety promises that it will develop into one of the main indigenous ones that in future will become the representative of the modern wine profile of the historic island of Crete. Although only a few plantings with Plyto are found in eastern
Crete, the Heraklion producers were the ones who undertook to bring it back to attention, discovering, isolating and planting again Plyto in the region.
The irrigation of the modern Heraklion vineyards not only faces the dislike of this rare grape to drought, but it also helps it to bring out its lemon character and its full of freshness presence. Thus, either alone or blended with stronger and more mature varieties like Vidiano, it seems able of exceptional performances. Also, the producers of the local vineyards are so excited about Plyto, that they are already attempting the first «single vineyard» bottlings – initially on an experimental level! Although it will take time for the anxious producers to discover every aspect of its capabilities, the Plyto shows that it will become one more weapon in the arsenal of modern Greek wines, but also another treasure for wine explorers.