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

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.
Π.Γ.Ε. Κρήτη
Λευκός Ελλάδα ΧΡΥΣΟ

Λευκή Πέτρα 2013 Mediterra Οινοποιητική - Κρέτα Ολυμπιάς Α.Ε. 
Π.Γ.Ε. Ηράκλειο
Λευκός Ελλάδα ΧΡΥΣΟ

Enstikto 2012 Ειρήνη Ι. Δασκαλάκη 
Π.Γ.Ε. Ηράκλειο
Ερυθρός Ελλάδα ΧΡΥΣΟ

Άσπρος Λαγός 2011 Δουλουφάκης Νίκος
Π.Γ.Ε. Κρήτη
Ερυθρός Ελλάδα ΧΡΥΣΟ

Femina 2013 Δουλουφάκης Νίκος
Π.Γ.Ε. Κρήτη
Λευκός Ελλάδα ΧΡΥΣΟ

Έλτυνα Merlot 2010 Σιναδινάκης Ευάγγελος
Π.Γ.Ε. ΚρήτηΕρυθρός Ελλάδα ΧΡΥΣΟ

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

Ονειρικόν 2011 Οινοποιείο «Ευφροσύνη» Τυλάκη Μαρία
Π.Γ.Ε. Ηράκλειο
Ερυθρός Ελλάδα ΧΡΥΣΟ

Symphoni-A 2013 Αφοί Σπ. Μαραγκάκη & Σία Ο.Ε.
Π.Γ.Ε. Κρήτη
Λευκός Ελλάδα ΑΣΗΜΕΝΙΟ

Ocean 2009 Ιδαία Οινοποιητική
Π.Γ.Ε. Κρήτη
Ερυθρός Ελλάδα ΑΣΗΜΕΝΙΟ

Νέα Γη 2013 Mediterra Οινοποιητική – Κρέτα Ολυμπιάς Α.Ε.
Π.Γ.Ε. Ηράκλειο
Λευκός Ελλάδα ΑΣΗΜΕΝΙΟ

Χάνδακας – Candia 2012 Αλεξάκης Α.Ε.
Π.Ο.Π. Χάνδακας
Ερυθρός Ελλάδα ΑΣΗΜΕΝΙΟ


The ascent to Mount Yuchtas

The holy mountain of Yuchtas looks like a man’s head lying down and it is ‘burdened’ with ancient myths mixed with historical facts and religious beliefs that reach from Minoan times to Christianity. According to legends,Zeus was buried on this mountain.
Σύμφωνα με τους θρύλους στο βουνό αυτό βρίσκεται ο τάφος του Δία
The ascent to Yuchtas is not difficult or long. The trail starts outside the village of Archanes and crosses a small forest with pine trees, cypresses, rocks and bushes. Fresh mountain air and the scent of Cretan herbs will fill your lungs along the way: oregano, thyme and sage. As you climb up to the top, the view becomes more and more impressive. The view to the scenic village of Archanes through the pines and the absolute silence will relief your wooziness when you reach the top. 
Στην κορυφή σε περιμένει ο τετράκλιτος Αφέντης Χριστός σε ένα πλάτωμα με θέα 360 μοιρών
At the top awaits you the four aisled temple of Afentis Christos with a 360 degree panorama view! The olive groves, vineyards and fields that extend below your feet create a colorful mosaic until Heraklion and the sea. With a little luck and more exploration, you might see vultures, eagles and falcons that nest in the southwestern slope of the mountain. 
According to legends, the tomb of Zeus is somewhere on this mountain. As for you, there is no need to worry that you might also leave your bones here: the ascent is easy and short. 

After taking a break to rest, follow the trail that leads to the Minoan archaeological site (and the ruins of the not-so-ancient tv station). On the way you will cross a small herb garden with labels naming each herb, and shortly after you will reach the point where once stood a Minoan sanctuary. You can still see parts of the walls that surrounded it. Numerous relics were found in the area, including small idols, but the most important findings were discovered in the site of Anemospilia, again on Mount Yuchtas, where four human skeletons were found, one in sacrifice position on the altar. This is the only evidence suggesting that in Minoan times human sacrifices took place.
Before you start descending back to where you started, remember to take pictures of the panoramic view, take a few last deep breaths of fresh air, say farewell to Zeus and head to the village of Archanes for some raki, to appropriately end this pure Cretan excursion!


Location - Archanes

Arhanes is a rural town near Heraklion with a history of 5,000 years, built in an area 16 kilometers southeast of Heraklion, in the foothills of mountain Youchtas (or Youktas)
The mountains shape resembles the head of a god laying down. According to tradition, the tomb of Zeus was located here. In antiquity, the mountain was known as Knossia Dikti or Dios Oris, which means "the mountain of Zeus". Various hilly surges, streams, canyons and between them small or large plains or valleys, characterize the terrain around Archanes. The climate in Arhanes is typically Mediterranean with mild winters and mild sweet summers. The summer season at nights, there are increased humidity due to the location of the settlement.
The soil, the microclimate and the hardworking of the inhabitants of Archanes creats products of exceptional quality. The passage of time has not altered the traditional architecture of Arhanes, thanks to the exemplary restoration, won the European Award for Restoration Village.
The area of ​​Archanes was known from Minoan period for producing high quality wine and olive oil. Vathypetro (Greek: Βαθύπετρο) is an archaeological site, four kilometres south of the town of Archanes on Crete (Greece). The south sector of the building, which includes the wine press, was rebuilt as a farmhouse and industrial centre after the 1550 bc and is one of the oldest in the Mediterranean.

Crete hosts one of the largest in area, production and vineyards of Greece. The Cretan vineyard is the most historic throughout Europe, if not worldwide. The archaeological excavations and historical-archival research have shown that from the Minoan times until today the vineyard in Crete is constantly and continuously existent.
The rise of Greek quality wine's and the improving image and acceptance is undoubtedly events recorded in all wine-growing and wine-producing areas of the country.

Source:Eltina site