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The Vineyards of Crete

The vineyards of Crete are concentrated mainly on plains and plateaus at altitudes reaching up to 1,000 meters and are planted linear and in many cases are trained into traditional goblets. The mountain range of Lefka Ori, Idi and Dikty, which traverse most of Crete, create a great diversity of microclimates that express different characteristics of the local vines. Geographically, the island’s vineyards are located mostly in the eastern part and especially on the northern side. The varieties are dominated by the local varieties Vilana, Kotsifali, Liatiko and Aegean Mandilaria, and a number of other indigenous and international grape varieties. The intensely hot and dry climate of Crete, with sunshine covering 70% of days per year and the lowest summer rainfall, is balanced by the influence of the Cretan Sea in the north and the Libyan Sea to the south.

•    The vineyards of Sitia

The vineyards of Sitia are quite rich in history, and are some of the oldest in Greece, cultivating many indigenous grape varieties. The most widespread are the red varieties Liatiko and Mandilaria grown at the lower altitudes of Mount Orno, on the coast of the Cretan Sea and near the town of Sitia. While the white varieties Vilana and Thrapsathiri located mainly in the south, starting on the Ziros plateau at an altitude of 1,000 meters and reaching the shores of the Libyan Sea. The vineyards in the area are trained into traditional goblets.

•    The vineyards of Peza

The vineyards of Peza are located on the low hills surrounding the valley of Peza, at an altitude of up to 700m. The varieties grown there are the red varieties Kotsifali and Mandilaria, but also the local variety Vilana, which made the vineyards of Peza well known. The Vilana is grown mainly in the flat lands zone, giving though the most aromatic grapes at higher altitudes, where they mature gradually and in milder conditions. The vineyards are trained into goblets, and there are several linear.

•    The vineyards of Archanes

The vineyards of Archanes are located approximately in the center of Crete and south of the city of Heraklion. There they grow the local red variety Kotsifali and Aegean variety Mandilaria on slopes with eastern exposure, at an altitude of 300 to 400m. The vineyards of Archanes are trained goblets, while some sparser linear formations are also present.

•    The vineyards of Daphnes

The vineyards of Daphnes are located on the northeastern slopes of Mount Idi, at an altitude ranging from 300 to 500m. They grow the local red variety Liatiko, intended for the production of sweet wines, while they successfully grow international grape varieties. The soils of the area are sandy and of low fertility.