When a land is blessed, it shows in the weather, the soil. And Crete is indeed blessed, since the combination of the two provides people all over Greece and the world with unique products that have no parallel elsewhere on the globe. The Cretan wines do not only follow, but one would say that they lead this tradition, as the different types of grapes that are grown here offer amazing variety when made into wine. The guests and staff at Out of the Blue, Capsis Elite Resort know that pretty well, as the hotel’s sommelier every year taste the Cretan wine production. There’s always something special about wine tastings. One can appreciate more easily the nuances of different wines, the subtleties that make a difference, the care and the meticulous processes that create something exciting for the palate. Combine the proper wine with the proper dish. There is a reason why wine tasting has been turned into a science and a big draw for tourism around the world. The wines of Crete owe their fame mainly to the grapes themselves, as a lot of them – though in no way all of them – are varietals.
Mantilari: We start the list with the most famous of Cretan grapes. It is mostly used in combination with other, softer grapes (like Kotsifali below), but if processed and aged properly it can provide a unique tasting wine.
Kotsifali: Pleasant and inoffensive (and we mean that in a good way), Kotsifali needs nothing else to produce good wine. Combine it Mantilari, though, and a slew of new experiences open up before you.
Syrah: Syrah is cultivated – and sought after – around the Mediterranean Sea. It can produce a wine on its own, but the world loves it when combined with other red grapes.
Vilana: It’s probably the most cultivated variety on the island and there’s a reason for that. It is refreshing and has a lemony taste, so it can be used to produce wine either on its own or along with other white varieties.
Malvasia: Malvasia is said to originate in Crete, but now it can be found from Greece to California and from Brazil to Australia. It is used to produce very aromatic wines.
Thrapsathiri: A variety grown everywhere in Crete, offering balanced wines, rich in flavor. This is where the white Sitia wines draw their particular taste from.