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Lively Summer Whites

When temperatures venture toward the mid-thirties and you are sitting outdoors with the sun on your back, there is nothing more refreshing than a glass of well-chilled white wine. The wine should be something light and lively with more subtle hints of taste, but nothing very heavy or overtly mouthfilling.

What is needed is a wine that will quench your thirst and cleanse your palate at the same time. This is not the time for heavy barrique whites with predominant oak and vanilla. As a key consideration, try for cool and crisp fruit flavours with zingy acidity. Choose a grape that can offer a crisp, fresh bite with a relatively low alcohol level. (Aim for 11-12.5%).

There are a number of indigenous, almost forgotten and close to extinction white Cretan grape varieties on the Island, such as Vilana, Dafni and Thrapsathiri, all of which are excellent for summer drinking and for the lighter foods that are eaten in summer, such as cheeses, fish and seafood, because of their firm, lemony fruit feel and burst of acidity. These grape varieties have been lovingly brought back to life by a few forward-looking wineries, such as the Lyrarakis Winery, just outside Heraklion.

 Other Greek grape varieties found in Crete that are perfect for the summer include the classic favorite Mosscofilero, which is a distinctly aromatic grape with a floral aroma of roses and violets. It is fresh and well-balanced with a crisp character and fragrant aftertaste.

Wine Recommendations

Lyrarakis Vilana, Alagni, Heraklion, Crete
Clear whitish-yellow colour. Full and balanced body with refined, subtle aromas of flowers and yellow fruits.

Lyrarakis Dafni, Alagni, Heraklion, Crete
Pale yellow colour with a long-lasting and intense aroma which clearly reveals the characteristics of this varietal.

Digenakis Moschofilero, Sitia, Crete
Strong, muscular wine with bright acids. Brisk, fresh and well-balanced with a sharp aroma of fresh grapes and a fragrant aftertaste.

Boutari Fantaxometocho, Skalani, Crete (Vilana, Chardonnay and Thrapsathiri)
Dominant aroma of dried flower blossoms with vanilla notes. Full-bodied with a long aromatic finish.

Douloufakis Dafnios, Dafnes, Crete (Vidiano & Thrapsathiri)
Pale gold colour with a firm, fruity flavor, balanced by a crisp finish indicating good acid content.

Lyrarakis Cuvée Grand Colline, Alagni, Heraklion, Crete (Vilana, Sauvignon Blanc, Sylvaner)
Clear greenish-yellow colour. Refined, subtle aromas of flowers and predominantly pear and exotic fruits.

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