Crete…”The land in the midst of the wine-dark sea …”, according to Homer.
The history of wine in Crete and its bonds with the island are lost in the mists of time, dating back even before the time of Homer. The vine has been cultivated in Crete for the last 4,000 years! It is no coincidence that the oldest wine vat (wine press), more than 3,500 years old, was discovered in the area of Vathipetros, Crete. Homer informs us that Cretan wines were famous all over the world.
Apart from the 3500-year-old wine-press, impressive amphorae, vast underground wine storage facilities, relevant representations in all Minoan Palaces and numerous entries of large wine quantities in Minoan archives provide evidence not only of wine’s central role in the life of the island, but also of the sophistication of the Minoans’ know-how on wine.
Vine-growing and winemaking have continued unabated throughout the ages. The Gortyn Code, the oldest legal text in Europe, includes the first set of rules on vine-growing. Trade in top quality Cretan wine started during the Minoan era and continued in the Hellenistic, Roman and Venetian periods up to modern times.
New varieties are being tested, and new aromas and flavors are emerging, presenting the consumer with fine wines, which can satisfy all tastes and needs. Making good use of traditional vine varieties and age-old experience, modern wine producers in Crete have managed to elevate Cretan wine to its rightful place.
At present, Crete has emerged as a very active and dynamic area of high-quality wine production and an area where unique grape varieties are grown. It is not anymore considered as a region of mass production of wishy-washy wine which most certainly was not doing justice to its past and is moving towards becoming a wine destination of high added value. Enjoy the Cretan wine moments!
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