WINE TOURISM: the wine roads of Crete through the Lavris Hotels
Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.
- Andre Simon
The Cretan Vineyard
Crete is the largest island of the Aegean Sea at the southern end of this legendary archipelago. Along its spine, from west to east, rise mountains which shield the northern coast against the sweeping hot winds of Northern Africa.
Having its back protected, the Cretan vineyard descends to near the shoreline from an altitude of 600 meters. The traditional vineyard of Crete and its products are famous throughout Europe. It sprawls over a variegated landscape which at places it covers completely to dress the contours of hills and the plains in hues of green that surprise visitors.
Mild winters, warm and dry summers, the profuse sunshine over Crete and the cool northern winds that rush in from the Cretan Sea create the perfect conditions for the local vineyards to flourish without significant problems and bring forth excellent grape varieties. It is no accident that viticulture and winemaking in Crete are 4000 years old.
There were periods in history when the wine production of Crete made significant commercial headway. The most important historical landmarks in this type of commerce were the 1st and the 2nd centuries A.D. They were periods when the Cretan wines, sealed in ornate amphorae, travelled the long and wide of the Mediterranean. During the Venetian period (12th-16th c. AD) Cretan wines had consolidated an unshakable reputation in the region, especially the sweet Malvasia wine.
The broad recognition of the Cretan Diet as a major standard for healthy nutrition has brought to the limelight the beneficial effects of Cretan wines.
Recent research publications confirm that there is a plethora of antioxidants in local wines which act protectively against diseases.
The soil and the climate in the area of the prefecture of Heraklion provide the perfect conditions for some of the finest grape varieties to flourish. These varieties are processed into excellent wines which add fine aroma and colour to the world's most famous and healthiest cuisines, the Cretan cuisine.
(Source: Development Agency of Heraklion)