Are you a wine enthusiast or simply want to have a vineyard experience? Then, you’re at the right place since Crete houses some of the biggest wine producers in Greece. It’s a perfect activity for your beach day-off. But, beware you might have to purchase extra luggage because of temptations over taking home some delectable local wines. These are a few of our favorite wineries in Crete that are guaranteed to make your day.
1. Lyrarakis Winery
Alagni, Heraklion, Crete 703 00+30 6971539300
Lyrarakis is family-owned winery estate which has been in business since 1966. They produce high quality wines with strong emphasis on unusual local varieties. Known for helping revive and preserve regional selections, Lyrarakis will let you discover that exquisite local taste. Coming here will not only satisfy your taste palate, the estate has an idyllic setting of the vineyard and the Lasithi mountains which makes it a perfect way to enjoy nature’s finest. You can book a wine tasting starting at €10/person and we recommend pairing it with one of their food platters. In the summer months, a picnic can also be booked which lets you enjoy a meal in a tranquil spot in the heart of the vineyard.
2. Dourakis Winery
Alikampos, Apokoronou, Chania, Crete 730 07
Established in 1988, Dourakis is a boutique winery that produces quality wine using scientific care and respect of traditional methods. The stone winery is located in Alikampos Village with a scenic view of the mountainous Apokoronas. They are open year round to visitors who wish to indulge in a relaxed atmosphere and taste the richness of the wines made out of traditional Cretan grape varieties. Here, you can enjoy cooking lessons, art exhibitions, and a pleasant stroll at the botanical garden and ancient winepress. The winery also offers different meal options whether you prefer a light lunch, a full meal or simply a cheese board.
3. Manousakis Winery
Vatolakkos, Chania, Crete 730 05
Located 20 minutes drive away from Chania city center, Manourakis is a boutique winery that produces organic wines. Committed to the sustainable development of their vineyards, the winery practices earth-friendly methods of farming, which is also their way of showing respect to nature. On your visit to the winery, you can savour a wine tasting experience at a serene terrace and sit amongst the olive trees and orange groves. There is also a restaurant open for lunch and dinner during the summer season where you can satisfy your appetite with a simple yet succulent meal. A winery tour can be booked separately as well as cooking lessons and a jewelry-making workshop.
4. Karavitakis Winery
Pontikiana Village, Chania, Crete 730 02
A delightful location for a wine tasting session. Karavitakis estate consists of 150 acres of vineyards mindfully selected terroirs for each and every variety. The boutique winery produces wine using local varieties of grapes, and also international ones including some rare varieties. The surroundings is picturesque surrounded by olive groves on the hilltops of Kolimbari area, and a church between two vineyards. A wine tasting experience cost €9/person including a tour of the winery and a platter of small bites. This is certainly a great stop even for non-wine drinkers to experience a charming atmosphere with palatable wines.
5. Douloufakis Winery
Dafnes, Heraklion, Crete 700 03
The Douloufakis family has a long tradition in viticulture and wine making, which dates back to the 1930s. The grandson of the founder then took action to reconstruct the vineyard and cultivate new varieties, and they have continued to flourish ever since. Certified organic farming methods are being practiced in this 20 hectares vineyard. The terroir of the Dafnes region is known as an ideal place to grow quality grapes, and where a rare red wine of grape variety called ‘Liatiko’ is being produced since ancient times. The winery is open to guests all year round and a full wine experience can be purchased starting at €8/person. They are commendable for their warm, friendly and above all professional tasting. Not only that, you can get to experience the breathtaking views of the vineyards and a scrumptious snack along with your wine.