In 1991, the enologist Vangelis Sinadinakis from Archanes of Crete, began to cultivate the family vineyard, several varieties of grapes that provided the raw material for experimentation and vinification in various variants.

So in 1997 the white wine «ΕLTYNA» started, in 2000 the red wine «ELTYNA» and later in 2007 the red wine Merlot «ELTYNA»

Archanes Eltina Wines

Archanes Eltina Wines

Πέμπτη, 22 Μαΐου 2014

How to eat in Greece

How to eat in Greece 
How to eat A cheap guidebook often gives you a list of restaurants along the waterfront or in the town square which any one can see when stepping off a ferry or pulling into town on a bus. The authors of many of these books have been paid by the establishments to be listed.
Alternatively you can learn to make good choices on your own. The first thing to understand about eating in a foreign country is not so much what you can eat, but the local customs and eating habits. If you understand this, then you've advanced a long way in knowing how to eat in a foreign country.
And this is not the sort of information you find in guide books.
When Greeks go out, they have lunch at about 1.00pm and dinner no earlier than 9.00pm. This is why if you walk around looking for a restaurant patronized by the "locals" as a sign of quality, it is very likely to be deserted before 9.00pm. It is not unusual to arrive at a restaurant at 11:00pm, especially in the summer. However if you would like to eat earlier than 9:00pm there is no problem at all. Tavernas are open from about 6:00pm.

It is very important that the place you are looking for has a Greek name. it is not a must, but Greek law forces every eating establishment to have the name written at least in Greek Letters.

However, most of the very touristy places ignore this law and insist keeping their names in Latin (English) letters even if their name is a Greek word, in order to attract more customers who might not feel welcome. That philosophy though does not only spoil the local atmosphere of the establishment but it also says,” are you tourists? Yes we are here for you.”
If you see a tavern that has the notice written only in Greek then this is a good sign anyway.
If you go to some types of restaurant in Greece, sit down at a table, and the waiter comes up with a menu and expects you to order from it, you are in the wrong place.
A lot of tourists miss out on the best that Greek cooking has to offer, simply because they eat at tourist-oriented establishments, geared to a large and fast turnover of clientele.
They work under the mistaken assumption that good eating means paying cheap at a busy restaurant which has special set menus. The food served there is OK, but the more they cater to package tourists, the more likely you're going to get fairly unimaginative fare -- fixed plates garnished obnoxiously with canned carrots, peas and chips.
Talking about chips, the Greek population does eat chips but only if they are fresh and cut by hand. not those frozen "Fast-food Chips" that you can find in every fast food restaurant.

Authentic Greek Tavernas do not have fixed menus.
The Greeks construct their meal from what's on offer that day (actually, a common habit around the Mediterranean). Indeed, have a look at a group of locals out on the town and you'll see a table full of maybe 6-8 plates of things from which everyone helps themselves.

Greece is a great place to eat out with company if you know how.
Menus are as good as useless. They simply list the prices of selected items, but do not necessarily reflect what the cook has prepared that day. The easiest thing is to ask the waiter what he recommends and let him explain to you all about it. A Greek waiter would insist on telling you about the dishes of the day because he wants you to choose the best so that you are satisfied and he gets a good tip. I have noticed sometimes that guests cannot order what they can't pronounce on the menu, but after having asked me they enjoyed it. I would recommend you to ask not only for the menu but what there is cooked to eat today.
For Corfiots, a meal is a social occasion and accordingly, food is ordered for the "table", not for the individuals. You order a bit of everything, spread it around the table, or more often cover the table with different dishes and everybody picks at everything. If or when more food is needed, more is ordered. There is also quite an element of status involved in the ordering and it is not uncommon for Greeks to order far too much, either to show off their status or to show their generosity. This unfortunately leads to a fair amount of food being wasted.

You can of course stick to the Western habit of not sharing food but order for each person,. Greek people are used to foreigners and their habits, but you will miss out on an enhanced eating experience. It's very common to order a number of appetizers “for the table” and you main course individually.
Use of the fingers instead of forks and knives is very common. After all, food is there to be touched and eaten, not picked at. Eating meat (especially lamb, chicken or fish with a fork and knife is considered a little silly because you are missing out on the most sensual part of the experience.
Bread is used with the meal to push the food on the fork and to soak the oily liquids that remain from the food.
The olive oil which is used is absolutely not harmful for to your digestive system. Fish is present in many types of taverna and is served in almost any restaurant. Greeks would also consume with their meal wine, beer, water end refreshments like soda and cola, but they will never combine the food with vodka gin or any other imported drinks.
If you are a Vegetarian, although there are almost no Corfiot vegetarians, there is plenty of choice for you and it is quite well accepted that some people don't eat meat so don't worry, you won't starve.
As with ordering, paying a bill has a lot to do with offering hospitality. I have never seen Corfiots sharing the payment of a meal (at least not in a way that could have been visible to others). One will pay for all and there is often a hefty argument about who will have the privilege of paying. As such, if you, a foreigner, are eating with Corfiots you will be pretty hard put to foot the bill, unless you resort to sneaky ways such as paying the bill away from the table when no one is looking. Even this can lead to awkwardness because the traditional Corfiot hospitality makes it almost a duty to act as the host to foreigners.
Again here, Corfiots know that our customs are different and that we sometimes share the cost of meals, but avoid asking for a separate bill for each person and work out the share of the bill between yourselves:
Greeks find this splitting down of bills to be a deplorable habit and the Greeks have nicknamed this 'Going German' (instead of the English 'Going Dutch').. Even if it says everywhere that tips are included in the price it's normal practice to give tips if you're satisfied with the service you have had. About 10% would be appropriate. Normally when the Greeks go out for dinner, they always pay cash. No cheques and credit cards! And they have always got money enough to pay for others. Nowadays nearly all of the places accept credit cards, so there is not going to be a problem. Never the less, ask if they accept credit cards if you are not sure.

All these customs are not unbreakable laws and they do differ between families and between villages.

Σάββατο, 12 Απριλίου 2014

Achanes Wines

Arhanes (Archanes) is an appellation on the island of Crete in the Aegean Sea. The small village of Arhanes, in the center of the appellation, is historically important to Greek viticulture: a 4000-year-old wine press from the Minoan civilization was unearthed recently in the village. Pale, aromatic red wines are made in Arhanes from the local Kotsifali and Mandilaria grape varieties.
Arhanes can be found between the Peza and Dafnes appellations on the northern edge of the island, 7 miles (10km) south of Heraklion. The vineyards sit in a hill basin at the foot of Mount Juktas, at altitudes that rise as high as 1200ft (370m) above sea level. The landscape here is also dotted with olive trees and together, the two crops make up the vast majority of Arhanes's agricultural economy.

The soils of the region are reasonably dense and have high proportions of water-retaining clay and limestone. These soils store ample water during the moderate rainfall of the winter months to keep the vines hydrated over the summer, to the extent that irrigation is not often necessary in the
growing season.Like much of Crete, Arhanes enjoys aMediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and moderate winters. The hills that surround Arhanes on the south and west sides protect the vineyards from hot North African winds. Instead, the north- and east-facing vineyards enjoy cooler breezes from the Aegean Sea to the north, which temper the effects of hot sunshine and slow ripening, letting the grapes develop flavor and acidity in balanced measures.

Arhanes is one of only a couple of appellations in Greece that utilize the Kotsifali grape variety (along with the neighboring appellation of Peza). As the aromatic Kotsifali grape lacks color and body, the wines must be blended with 25 percent Mandilaria to add structure and tanninto the finished wines. Increasingly, regional wines are being made in Crete that blend Kotsifali with more-international grape varieties such as Syrah.

Τετάρτη, 9 Απριλίου 2014

Cretan wine in the 20th century

Crete was liberated from the Ottoman rule in the late 19th century. The new and fairly progressive independent administration of the island promoted the restructuring and updating of agricultural production with all its might. The wheels of wine production thus started turning anew. In the international fair held at Hania at the beginning of the 20th century with the aim of promoting new Cretan products to the markets of the West, 18 winemakers were awarded prizes for the quality of their wines.

In 1913, Crete was annexed to the Greek state. But Greece’s tumultuous history over the next decades, with one war after the other, did not favour exports, affecting wine in particular. Despite adverse conditions, however, Cretan winemaking tradition survived all these hard years, owing to its core unit: the family. To this day, many modern companies producing and exporting wines, which are becoming all the more popular in foreign markets and are awarded prizes in international competitions, come from families of large and medium landowners, who kept both tradition and their love of wine alive all these years.

In modern reality, Cretan wine has long attracted the attention of and is being increasingly preferred by the general public. Cretan wines are a valuable heritage of traditional varieties, in complete harmony with the island’s climate. The great number of local varieties, the diversity and uniqueness of various wine regions, but also the long Cretan wine tradition form the foundation of Cretan wine’s high quality standing and ongoing growth.

This tradition, however, would not bear fruit without knowledge and technology. Cretan winemakers took recent advancements, but also the consumers’ preferences, seriously into account. This is largely due to the existence of a new generation of winemakers, enologists, viticulturists, etc. who are trying to improve all aspects of Cretan wine with knowledge, vision, and passion.

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 position.

Τρίτη, 8 Απριλίου 2014

The Compelling Wines of Crete

Σάββατο, 5 Απριλίου 2014

The major wine producing areas in Crete

CRETE {Archanes - Dafnes - Peza - Sitia}

CRETE accounts for 20% of all wine produced in Greece.
Crete is the largest Greek island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. It is characterized by its diversity of landscape and marked contrasts. The island is dominated by a major mountain range extending from west to east, the highest peak being Psiloritis (3,000 meters).There are fertile valleys between the mountains, extensive plains and gorges (Samaria). Variety is the key-note of the Cretan landscape. The four major wine producing areas are Archanes, Dafnes, Peza, and Sitia. These areas are protected from the warm southern winds by the mountains which also provide water during the summer from the melting snow. 

Archanes-There are about 500 hectares. in total of Kotsifali which ages nicely in barrels. The altitude is about 700m.
Dafnes-Located in central Crete, this area has approximately 400 hectares. of Liatiko grown on the slopes of mount Psiloritis at an altitude of 300-400m.
Peza-18 villages comprise this appellation with 800 hectares. of Kotsifali, Mandilaria and Villana at an altitude up to 600m.
Sitia-There are about 700 hectares. of Liatiko which is grown up to an altitude of 650m.


What is the Cretan Cuisine?

While the French can’t wait to impress you with their cooking, and the Italians want to romance you with theirs, the Cretans have kept their cuisine- the real stuff that is, pretty much a secret. And the fact of the matter is— that this culinary cradle of the Mediterranean can legitimately boast one of the most exciting AND healthful cuisines in the world. In actual fact, the modern reference to healthy eating known as the  „Mediterranean Diet” is based on the Cretan Diet. 
After the second World War, it was discovered that  the so-called „starving” Cretans were considerably healthier than Americans, who did not suffer from any great scarcity of food.  The islanders had existed very well on the over  150 varieties of  wild greens dotting the mountainsides cooked in abundant amounts of extra virgin olive oil and liberally doused with fresh lemons, bread or rusks, snails, honey, goat or sheep’s cheese, sometimes fish, virtually no red meat and  several glasses of wine or raki (similar to Grappa) daily.  Even today, menus rely on the proximity of these local ingredients (many organic) all combined in imaginative ways to generate unique flavors and varied dishes. Simple and fresh is the key to a mouth-watering end result—an opinion shared by many of the chefs making their mark in Crete. Their innovations are born of their Grandmother’s kitchens and inspired by the acceptance of a broader Mediterranean cuisine.
Someone once said that Cretans are such a hospitable people because they have been invaded so much. Perhaps there is a note of truth to that wry comment, since Crete’s turbulent history includes being ruled by Byzantium, Venice and the Ottomans. This panoply of invaders who have at various times inhabited Crete, have bequeathed a rich legacy in architecture, helped shape the cultural landscape and last but definitely not least, had an inspiring effect on the island’s culinary heritage.  While typical Cretan fare is often very simple, with appetizers and dishes like rusks with tomato & cheese, wild greens and cheese pies, it can also be more lavish like rabbit casserole cooked with red wine, cloves, cinnamon and cumin- harkening back to the Ottoman era or lamb slow-baked with wild artichokes with an avgolemono sauce.
From a gastronomic point of view, Crete has been practising „Cuisine de Terroir” (Food of the Earth) long before it came into vogue, became a blog topic or even before anyone had actually put a name to it. The concept of „terroir”, referring to the unique flavors imparted to food and drink by a region’s specific climate, soil weather and growing conditions, has been widely used by wineries since time immemorial, but in the world of gastronomy it is a recently coined phenomenon. So much of the food in Crete has such a strong sense of place, making for a much more sensual tasting encounter. Each time you eat a salad knowing that the wild greens come from the mountain you are looking at or eat some cheese made from the milk of sheep who have grazed on local herbs, you are experiencing a panache refining of robust country flavors—fresh, locally-sourced seasonal ingredients.
While olive oil, whole grains, snails and wild greens are part of the island’s culinary history, it is the island’s WINE which completes the composition of the Cretan Diet. Cretans first produced wine during the Minoan period . In those times, grape varieties were limited, but today, in addition to the world cultivars, even the most obscure varieties are making a comeback at the hands of a new generation of pioneering winemakers who are not just copying Old World templates, but are rather looking at their native grape varieties best suited to a particular terroir to come up with a new array of fascinating blends of local varieties and often partnering with world cultivars.
Always celebrated as a tourist destination for beaches and antiquities, Crete, is fast becoming a foodie hotspot, which could rival many of the European capitals in the gourmet game and now dining on the Mediterranean’s 5th largest island delightfully blurs the lines between tradition and innovation, between upscale and homey without sacrificing a whit of creativity or devotion to the highest quality local ingredients.  It is an island that can boast a colorful and sophisticated food culture, where a new generation of young, maverick chefs and  winemakers are giving ancient foods and grapes a 21st-century make-over.  

Τα Κρητικά κρασιά που βραβεύτηκαν στον Διεθνή Διαγωνισμό Θεσσαλονίκης

Οι τριήμερες γευστικές δοκιμές του «14ου Διεθνούς Διαγωνισμού Οίνου Θεσσαλονίκης» που διοργανώνει η «Ένωση Οινοπαραγωγών του Αμπελώνα της Βορείου Ελλάδος» σε συνεργασία με τη ΔΕΘ HELEXPO, πραγματοποιήθηκαν φέτος από τις 3 έως τις 5 Μαρτίου 2014, στη Θεσσαλονίκη.

Στον διαγωνισμό συμμετείχαν περισσότερα απο 500 κρασιά απο τα οποία βραβεύτηκαν 148. Μεταξύ αυτών και 12 κρασιά απο την Κρήτη.

Ο Δ.Δ.Ο.Θ. είναι ο μοναδικός διεθνής διαγωνισμός οίνου που διοργανώνεται στην Ελλάδα, με την αιγίδα και τη συνεργασία όλων των φορέων του χώρου από την Ελλάδα, σύμφωνα με τον κανονισμό της Διεθνούς Οργάνωσης Αμπέλου και Οίνου (O.I.V.) και την αναγνώριση δικαιώματος διοργάνωσης-διεξαγωγής διαγωνισμών οίνων του Υπουργείου Αγροτικής Ανάπτυξης και Τροφίμων.

Στο φετινό διαγωνισμό, 28 καταξιωμένοι γευσιγνώστες από την Ελλάδα και το εξωτερικό, οινολόγοι, οινοχόοι, δημοσιογράφοι και διανομείς οίνου δοκίμασαν 533 δείγματα από την Ελλάδα και από 5 άλλες χώρες: Βραζιλία, Γερμανία, Κύπρο, Κίνα και Σλοβακία.

Αξίζει να επισημανθεί ότι το 82% των κρασιών που συμμετείχαν στο διαγωνισμό συγκέντρωσαν την βαθμολογία για μετάλλιο ωστόσο αποκλείστηκαν από τη βράβευση λόγω του κανονισμού που ορίζει ότι μέχρι το 30% των συμμετεχόντων οίνων μπορούν να βραβευθούν. Η βαθμολογία αυτή αποδεικνύει με προφανή τρόπο την αναβαθμισμένη ποιότητα των κρασιών που συμμετέχουν στον Διεθνή Διαγωνισμό Οίνου Θεσσαλονίκης.

Τα Κρητικά κρασιά που βραβεύτηκαν

Μοσχάτο Σπίνας 2013 Αφοί Στραταριδάκη Ο.Ε.
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Λευκή Πέτρα 2013 Mediterra Οινοποιητική - Κρέτα Ολυμπιάς Α.Ε. 
Π.Γ.Ε. Ηράκλειο
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Enstikto 2012 Ειρήνη Ι. Δασκαλάκη 
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Άσπρος Λαγός 2011 Δουλουφάκης Νίκος
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Femina 2013 Δουλουφάκης Νίκος
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Έλτυνα Merlot 2010 Σιναδινάκης Ευάγγελος
Π.Γ.Ε. ΚρήτηΕρυθρός Ελλάδα ΧΡΥΣΟ

Χάνδακας – Candia 2013 Αλεξάκης Α.Ε.
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Λευκός Ελλάδα ΧΡΥΣΟ

Ονειρικόν 2011 Οινοποιείο «Ευφροσύνη» Τυλάκη Μαρία
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Symphoni-A 2013 Αφοί Σπ. Μαραγκάκη & Σία Ο.Ε.
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Ocean 2009 Ιδαία Οινοποιητική
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Χάνδακας – Candia 2012 Αλεξάκης Α.Ε.
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