A wine tour of Heraklion
It’s hardly surprising that Heraklion is attracting ever-greater attention as a wine destination. More than two-thirds of Crete’s vineyards are found here and the region accounts for some 80% of the island’s wine production.
After all, the growing conditions – cool winters and long, dry summers accompanied by rich Mediterranean sunshine – would have been just as ideal when the first vines were cultivated here, an incredible 4,000 years ago.
Rolling down hillsides and meandering through valleys, today’s vines are interwoven into the Heraklion landscape every bit as much as the region’s history, food and traditions.
There are four Protected Designation of Origin areas in Heraklion that can be split into two wine routes: Archanes (reds) and Peza (whites and reds) on the road south-east beyond Knossos; Dafnes (reds) on the road southwest towards Phaistos; and Malvasia Handakas – Candia (whites) found along both routes.
Walking amongst the vines, wine-tasting, meeting producers and, of course, bringing home a bottle or two… you’ve got it all to look forward to. And don’t forget to pop into the abandoned village of Vathypetro (near Peza), in which there is a Minoan Megaron with what is believed to be one of the oldest wine presses in the world.