Vilana is the most widely grown white variety of Crete. It is grown in Heraklion and Lasithi and used for Protected Geographical Indication wines and the Protected Designation of Origin wines HANDAKAS-CANDIA and PEZA. It is best grown in sloping, clayey, arid soil. In recent years the Vilana variety has produced excellent wines, thanks to modern winemaking methods which help to bring out all aspects of its glamour while keeping the fresh and lemony character of this “old lady” of Cretan varieties.

Aromatic variety profile: Green apple, citrus, lemon, lemon flower.


Muscat Spinas is a clone of the Muscat variety and takes its name from the Spinas community. This fine and very fragrant variety gives excellent dry and naturally sweet white wines. When mixed with other varieties, it leads and boosts the nature of blends. Muscat Spinas participates with up to 15% in PDO HANDAKAS-CANDIA wines.

Aromatic variety profile: jasmine, peach, apricot jam, hyacinth


Malvazia di Candia Aromatica may be one of the varieties involved in the famous “malvazio” wine. This variety produces very feminine and elegant wines with an intense fruity and floral character. In Crete, it is used for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI Crete) wines and the sweet white PDO Candia wine .

Aromatic variety profile: flowers, honey, fresh herbs, citrus


Vidiano is one of the oldest and most remarkable indigenous white varieties of Crete. It is a very interesting variety with aromatic richness and deservedly occupies the position of the white “diva” of Crete. Originally cultivated in the prefecture of Rethymnos, and particularly in the Mylopotamos province, in recent years it has expanded to the Heraklion prefecture and throughout Crete. Cultivation of Vidiano is estimated at about 500 hectars in Crete. The variety participates in wines of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI Crete) and PDO Candia.
It produces wines rich in fruit and flower flavors with a pleasant sensation of acidity.

Aromatic variety profile: green apple, melon, apricot, peach, pear, jasmine, violet


The most popular white variety in the world, rightly considered the king of the white varieties. It produces wines with a balance between alcohol and acidity, rich body and intense flavors. It requires attention during cultivation and harvest and with modern winemaking methods at low temperatures can give excellent wines with a Cretan zest. It participates in PGI Heraklion white wines.

Aromatic variety profile: exotic fruits, pineapple, persimmon, citrus, mango



Kotsifali is one of the most notable red varieties of Crete and cultivated extensively in the prefecture of Heraklion. It produces superior, aromatic and mellow wines. Due to the instability of its color, it is blended with the Mantilari variety for producing excellent red wines and thus participates in PDO PEZA and ARCHANES wines. In recent years, Cretan winemakers have presented admirable efforts of single-varietal bottling of the Kotsifali variety, with palatable results.

Aromatic variety profile: small red fruits, quince, plum and in some cases, smoke.


Mantilari is considered the richest in colour indigenous red variety of Crete. It produces solid wines with intense tannins and moderate acidity. Through co-fermentation with the more elegant Kotsifali, it gives excellent red PDO PEZA and ARCHANES wines. In recent years, Mantilari’s participation in blends with other red varieties has given new perspectives to this variety.

Aromatic variety profile: red fruit, leather, cinnamon, thyme, honeyed fruit (compote).


Merlot is one of the most prominent international red varieties and has adapted well to the soils of Crete. When grown in heavy soils at high altitudes and in relatively cold microclimates, it can produce soft, mellow wines with a high alcohol content and a characteristic aroma. It participates in the red PGI Heraklion wine.

Aromatic variety profile: plum, small red fruit such as cherries and strawberries, spices and herbal aromas.


One of the most well-adjusted, international red varieties, to the vineyards of Crete. In combination with the other red Cretan varieties, it gives intensely purple wines with a velvety character, suitable for aging. It participates in PGI Heraklion red wines.

Aromatic variety profile: blackberries, blueberries, currants, pepper, cinnamon, mint, chocolate, licorice.