Photography: Thanos Asfis
Editor: Katerina Theocharis
During my latest visit in Crete with Volvo S90, driven by the interest I have in local businesses that grow through the enthusiasm and love they have for what they do, I visited Lyrarakis Winery in Heraklion. I used to drink Lyrarakis Wines for many years now and I was really excited about meeting the family business in person.
Lyrarakis Family is engaged in viticulture and winemaking on the island of Crete since 1966, when Lyrarakis winery was founded in the village of Alagni, in central Crete.
For five decades now, the family is dedicated to the revival of indigenous, almost extinct, Cretan grape varieties, vindicating high quality wines that highlight their distinctive character.
The family is credited with the revival of two ancient varieties, Dafni and Plyto while a third “discovery”, the indigenous, almost forgotten, Melissaki was recently added to the credits.
Active in the export markets since 1994, Lyrarakis Wines can be found in 21 countries, in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and Australia, achieving many distinctions and awards in International competitions.
During the summer period (April-October) the winery welcomes visitors daily, offering various premium tour and wine-tasting experiences.
From the very first moment I arrived to Lyrarakis establishment, I got fascinated by the distinctive symmetry of the place. Everything, from the vines to the buildings, where in absolute balance, perfectly attuned to the calm and peaceful location. Flawlessly lined vineyards, minimal – made of natural materials – constructions and clean-cut yards constituted the ideal scenery to savor a flavorful glass of wine.
Lambros Lyrarakis, Assistant Exports Manager of Lyrarakis Wines, greeted us with a glass of sparkling wine (Zazazu) and cretan delicacies. Next was the tour into the winery, where Lambros introduced us to the brand’s philosophy and wine range. Then, at the beautiful yard, we tasted Legacy Red (made of Kotsifali, Mandilari and Syrah grape varieties), Legacy White (a blend of Vilana, Vidiano, Muscat of Spina and Sauvignon Blanc varieties) and Mandilari Plakoura (made of Mandilari 100%). All wines have won a great amount of awards in International competitions.
So, go ahead and try them yourselves! They are true gems!