Just outside the front gates of Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort, guests will find three of Crete’s most famous wineries. The history of Cretan winemaking stretches to the corners of recorded time, and the modern quality standards of our island’s winemakers have transported the region to newfound heights. Today, the Crete region is listed as one of the top 10 wine regions in the world, and luckily for our guests, some of the very best winemakers are nearby.
Established way back in 1879, the Boutari Company of Naoussa is one of the top wineries in all of Greece and the world. Exported to more than 45 countries worldwide, the wines of Boutari have won hundreds of international wine competitions. On Crete, Boutari has one of the best-equipped, state-of-the-art wineries in all of Europe. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the cellar, the production area, and the rest of the estate and even appreciate a multimedia experience that reveals how these wines have won so many international awards.
The Boutari Winery of Crete sits just outside Skalani village, on the Fantaxometocho Estate a few kilometers from Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort and close to the famous Minoan Palace at Knossos. The vineyards are considered the jewel of the viticultural VQPRD zone of Archanes, one of Greece’s most famous and productive winegrowing regions. Visiting this vineyard you’ll get to observe up close red varieties Kotsifali, Mantilari, Syrah and the white varieties Chardonnay, Malvasia Aromatica, and Moschato Spinas, among others.
The Lyrarakis family first started their viticulture and winemaking journey back in 1966. Today, the winery is considered one of the pioneers in the revival of the indigenous Cretan grape varieties, producing wines that highlight their value and most notable characteristics.
The winery has won many international awards and distinctions. It exports products worldwide from the winery’s modern facilities located in Alagni, not far from famous Archanes. Visitors to the wine cellar can partake in a unique tasting experience on the family’s 14-hectare vineyards looking toward the amazing Lassithi Plateau. The Lyrarakis family has been credited with the revival of two ancient Cretan varieties, Dafni and Plyto. Today, a third variety “vineyard treasure,” the indigenous Melissaki, adds to the ongoing legacy of one of Crete’s finest wine producers.
This family-owned winery has been three generations in the making. Paterianakis Domain is credited with being the first on Crete to introduce the organic grape cultivation. It’s also one of the wineries in Greece with a vertical organization of its production.
Paterianakis cultivates six unique indigenous grapes using state-of-the-art organic techniques to produce extraordinary wines with a distinctive personality. The winery is located at Melesses, Municipality of Archanon Asterousion, a couple of kilometers from the Lyrarakis vineyards. The winery is in the broader region of “Peza,” which is reputed since ancient times for the excellent quality and the taste of the wines produced here.
Another family winery with a long tradition of viticulture, this small operation is located just outside the picturesque Kato Asites Village. Here you’ll taste wines produced out of the cultivation of local grape varieties such as Vidiano, Liatiko, and Mandilari. This winery is geographically closest to Fodele and situated in an area less visited than some more touristic regions. Perennial award winners, for wines like their Diamantakis Vidiano 2016, which took a silver Berliner Wein Trophy 2017, and at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017, this is a real hidden gem our guests should not miss.
One of Heraklion Prefecture’s best kept organic wine secrets, the vineyards of Yannis Stilianou lie just outside of Kounavi Village. The winery produces distinctive wines in limited quantities. Visitors to this off-the-beaten-path privately owned vineyard will experience some of Crete’s most unique wines. Supplied in numbered bottles, wines like the Theon Dora dry white take organic viticulture to a new level. Stilianou leads personal tours of the small winery and cellar, and small groups are welcome for daily wine tastings.
Located in the heart of beautiful Archanes, this family winery produces organic wines bottled by enologist Evangelos Sinadinakis (Greek: Ευάγγελος Συναδινάκης) and his family. Sinadinakis produced and bottled the first white wine with the name “Eltyna – Sinadinakis” back in 1997.
One secret of this winery is its location. Sinadinakis winery sits on the sunny slopes where Europe’s oldest winemaking facilities were unearthed by archaeologists. This is where the famous Kotsifali grape thrives. Due to the high potential of high sugar content and special aromatic profiles, this area of the island is truly an oenophile’s treasure.