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The ABC ("Anything But Chardonnay") Wines of Crete...

Many on the periphery of the wine industry in Greece lack faith in Greek and Cretan white wines as a general rule, believing that the reds produced are far superior. The winemakers here on Crete thankfully harbor no such illusions as they pursue excellence and innovation in their white wine vinifications. They were quick to realize that they could make good wines from their own grapes and didn’t necessarily need to use ’cosmopolitan’ varieties like Chardonnay as passports. In fact, their own grapes could be much better— the different nuances magnified ten-fold in a spectacular range of aromas and flavors.

Crete really is an exciting new wine region in Greece—a repository of ancient wine-grape migration with a a good diversity of varietals for easy summertime drinking. Look for the following cultivars either as 100% varietals or in all kinds of fascinating blends with each other or sometimes even partnering with world varieties: Dafni, Plyto, Vilana, Vidiano and Thrapsathiri.

Wine Recommendations

Miliarakis Vidiano, Peza, Heraklion
A dry white wine from a very promising Cretan variety. It is characterized by an aromatic strength, a well-developed body with gentle finesse and a very enjoyable and fresh aftertaste. It should be served at 9ο–11οc and is a perfect match with oiler fish, rich summer salads and saucy white meats and pastas.

Zacharioudakis Orthipetra, Mires, Heraklion(Sauvignon Blanc-Vidiano)
This biological wine is known for its vivid color with green highlights and its rich, complex aroma in which hints of mango, pineapple and grapefruit dominate. It is rich in flavor with a long-lasting aftertaste. It is best served at 12˚ C and is ideal with fattier fish such as salmon.

Tamiolakis Vidano-Plyto, Houdetsti, Heraklion
Straw-white colour with gentle fruity characteristics. The melon and the peach are dominant without covering the discreet notes of roasted almond. In the mouth, the first sensation is one of a vivid wine which then grows to be round, full and perfectly balanced. It fades away softly with a long after-taste. Perfect combination with fatty fish, white meat, spicy sauces and smoked cheese.

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

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