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Today wine is produced all over Crete, the majority of vine yards being distributed in the prefectures of Iraklion and Chania. Yearly production during the last ten years averages about 60.000 tons per year, approximately 15% of the total Greek wine production. Most of this wine is manufactured by companies and sold to the public under their own brands, or for other brand names, while a sizeable amount is still produced by individuals for their own use..

Prefecture of Iraklion.
There are two main wine producing regions in Iraklion.
The first one is centred in the areas of Archanes and Peza where two varieties of red grapes are cultivated , "Kotsifali" with a characteristic aroma and taste and "Mandilari" with a deep ruby color. Wines made from these two varieties of grapes aquire a color and taste ,quite distinctive. There is also a dry white wine with a distinctive aroma and fruity taste , produced in the area , from the "Vilana" grape variety.
The second region is centred in the areas of Dafnes and Arkaloxhori , where the main variety of grapes cultivated is the red "Liatiko" .
In general the wines produced in the prefecture of Iraklion are red and rose . The red ones from the varieties "kotsifali", "mandilari" , "liatiko", "ladikino", "sirah" and "carignane", and the rose ones from the varieties "athiri", "thrapsathiri", "silvaner", "chauvignon" and "vilana".
There are four "appelation d'origine controlee" categories of the wines produced in the prefecture of Iraklion.

  1. Peza red .Produced by mixing must of the varieties "kotsifali" and "mandilari" and aging it in oak barrels.. These grape varieties produce less that 1000 Kg of wine per strema (1000 sq.m) with a minimum sugar content of 188 grams/liter.
  2. Peza white. Produced from grapes of the "vilana" variety with an alcohol content of 11-12,5 vol.
  3. Archanes red . Produced by mixing must of the varieties "kotsifali" and "mandilari"
  4. Dafnes red dry or sweet . Produced from "Liatiko" variety.

Prefecture of Lasithi
In this prefecture the "liatiko" variety is almost exclusively cultivated. This variety is ideal for mountainous area and produces wines with a high alcohol content.
Other varieties cultivated are "kotsifali", "ladikino", "carignane". These are used in the production of the local Lasithi wine which is red or rose. There are three "appelation d’origine controlee" categories of the wines produced in the prefecture of Lasithi.
Sitia Red Sweet: from "Liatiko", Sitia Red dry: from "Liatiko" (80%) and "Mandilari" (20%) and Sitia dry white from "Vilana" (min 70%) and "Thrapsathiri".

Prefecture of Chania
The main variety cultivated here is "romeiko" that produces red, rose and white wines , the main type called "marouvas". All the other varieties of grapes cultivated in the rest of Crete are also cultivated in Chania , albeit in smaller quantities.

The history of wine making in Crete