The day explores the scenic countryside around Chania, with visits and tastings at three local wineries. We will first drive towards Akrotiri peninsula and visit the monastery of Agia Triada Tzagarolon. Built in the 17th century, this is one of the most impressive monasteries of Crete, set on a wonderfully overgrown landscape of olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees and with a remarkable history and huge tradition on wine making that the monks follow with dedication. We will visit the monastery's cellars and taste their great organic olive oil and wines including the local Romeiko and the international Trebianno. We will then head to the west to navigate the Kissamos region and visit the Karavitakis Winery, a true family-run estate. Karavitakis family has been cultivating grapes and olive trees for ever, this was and still is the main family's occupation. In this area the Romeiko grape variety existed as monoculture, producing a high volume oxidized reddish wine. In 1985 a disease of vineyards destroyed all the grape properties in the area. After that, almost every vineyard owner planted olive trees as a safer choice for the future. Karavitakis family remained loyal to its heritage and replanted the vineyards. Today's estate owner, who studied in Italy, has reorganized the family's vineyards, planted new varieties too in their 30000 square meters of private owned vineyards and has built a new winery, incorporating new technology. Their wine portfolio consists of white wines made from Soultanine, Malagouzia, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and red wines from the varieties Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, Grenage Rouge, Kotsifali, Sangiovese, Refosco, Nebbiolo and Tempranillo. The estate constantly experiments on an effort to take the most out of each variety with all its typical characteristics but also with a twist that reveals the winery's distinctiveness, which is achieved because the vineyards location is pretty unique and combines medium altitude with sea proximity. After our tour around the winery, a discussion with our charming hosts and the tasting of their awarded wines accompanied with local delicacies, we will head to our next visit for the day.
Driving through colourful orange groves and picturesque little villages, we will reach Manousakis Winery, set on the foothills of the White Mountains The winery & vineyards is the realization of a lifelong dream of the owner, Ted Manousakis. Ted was born and raised in this small village and he immigrated to the US in the 50ies, when the country was in poor shape. He became quite a successful businessman, but he always longed for his homeland. In 1993, he founded the winery and as he could only spend a limited amount of time in Crete, he hired an international team of consultants to support him. The bold decision was taken to plant only Rhone varietals Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache Rouge and Roussanne. The first vintages were all sold to the US, where Ted had connections with the wine trade. Only in 2003 were the first wines released within Greece, where they received cult status in no time. His daughter Alexandra left her marketing career in New York and moved to her father's home village in Crete in order to concentrate on the family wine business. Alexandra shares all the enthusiasm of her father and brings along the energy and life of an abundance of fresh ideas.. The new, state of the art winery has recently been completed, under her supervision. Escorted by the estate's top expert, you will be guided around the grounds and then have a tasting of all their wines. A private dinner in premises will follow, with Cretan specialties, specially paired with the Nostos premium wines.