According to archaeological research, Cretan wine production dates back 4,000 years since the oldest wine press was discovered in Archanes and the dregs of grapes were found in Lower Zacro in the eastern part of the island. Up to the mid 17th century, Crete remained an important wine-making center when the sweet wine, Malvazia, was in high demand throughout Europe. The vineyards today are found on the northern section of the island, well–sheltered from the warm African winds. In the region around Heraklio, in Daphnes, Peza and Archanes, the dominant varieties are Mandilaria, Kotsifali and Liatiko, which produce wines that are fresh and brilliant in color, as well as aged wines with Protected Designation of Origin PEZA.
Products with Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) and Protected Geographical Indication (P.G.I.)
The geographical indication and protected designation of origin for agricultural products were established by EU regulation (EEC 2081/92) to encourage diversified agricultural production and support integrated rural development via substantial and high–quality local production. It is proven that markets prefer standardized products that offer guarantees on production, processing and geographical origin.
Wines with Protected Designation of Origin PEZA
The Peza Valley is located next to Knossos, in the Heraklio district, between the mountains of Dikti and Psiloritis. This area is known for “cultivating the vines with the longest roots” in history. Approximately 19 villages form the Peza area produce the traditional Kotsiphali, Mandilari and Vilana vines. The village of Peza is a small, well-organized community comprising of 3,000 families. Their vineyards cover an area of approximately 10,000 stremmas (2,500 acres), producing an estimated 9,500 tons of grapes per year. The unique skills and care of the Peza vintners have made these wines well-known throughout the world.
Protected Designation of Origin praises the specific area PEZA for superior quality wines.
P.D.O. PEZA dry white wine is produced from the traditional Vilana vines growing in the Appellation of Origin area Peza. It is fermented and maintained in underground tanks with controlled temperatures and bottled while in the same year it is produced. P.D.O. PEZA dry red wine is a blend of the two traditional red vines, Kotsifali and Mandilari, that grow on the hills of Peza. It matures in oak casks and is bottled on the production site. In both P.D.O. and P.G.I. categories, the wine production, processing and preparation take place within the defined geographical area.
Wines with Geographical Indication CRETE
Geographical indication means the name of Crete and wines originating in this region, possess a specific quality and reputation. P.G.I. CRETE dry white wines have fresh, fruity bouquet and exquisite flavor. P.G.I. CRETE dry red wines have mild bouquet, discreet flavor and are ruby in color.
Wine: The Guardian of Health
The benefits of the Cretan diet are known throughout the world. Distinguished nutritionists praise the Cretan cuisine and urge us to incorporate some of the products, especially wine, into our daily meals.