White Cretan Varieties


Greek grape varieties like Vidiano are a “hidden treasure”  for every connoisseur and wine lover. Vidiano is a white variety, coming from Crete and it is used to produce dry, white wines, sometimes aging in barrels. The existing Vidiano vineyards are few but producers agree on the great potential of the variety, which means that its history shall be written from now on. Vidiano is a variety found mainly around Rethymnon, Crete, and covers small areas, while there is an extremely limited number of vineyards further east, near Heraklion. It gives a yellow-green colored wine, with intense individual and complex aromas, which among others bring in mind ripe peach and apricot, with hints of aromatic herbs and minerality. They are full bodied and have an elevated alcohol content, which effectively compensates for their moderately high acidity. The wines of this variety wonderfully unfold their personality when accompanying pasta with seafood or grilled fish.

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Vilana is the most common white variety of Crete with its name coming from the Venetian era, when Vilana was the name of  a kind of Cretan castle. On account of the the long wine history of this glorious island, Vilana is a bridge to the original white wines of ancient Crete. The characteristics of wines made from Vilana are the moderately deep yellow color, its medium intensity of aromas
and flavors (notes of lemon, orange, pear, flowers, -such as jasmine- and herbs). Fresh and well formed in the palate, they are not very heavy and present a moderate acidity and alcohol content. Vilana can be found mainly in the areas of Heraklion and Lassithi, Crete. The typical examples of Iraklion bring the geographical indication PDO Peza (exclusively from Vilana), while those from
Lasithi bring the indication PDO Sitia (where Vilana is mixed with thrapsathiri). The abundance of Vilana offers for experimentation by most farmers, so the variety is combined with other indigenous (eg Malvasia and Moschofilero) or international ones. Vilana gives soft, appealing and easy drinking white wines, perfect for hot, summer days. Their character suits various different dishes, simple or complex, as loved by the Cretans. The wines from Vilana are usually intended for immediate consumption, up to three years from harvest, but in some cases, when aged in barrels, their quality is improved in the bottle for five years or more.

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