Wineries in Crete: Guide to the 5 Best Wineries in Greece

spellbound travels wineries in crete

When I visited Greece last summer, I had no idea what I was missing out on! If you’re a wine lover visiting the Greek islands, you simply can’t miss the wine region of Crete. This guide to the best wineries in Crete will explore the region itself and why it’s worth visiting, alongside the top wineries to add to your list when planning your trip. 

Let’s get into it!

Why Crete?

The Island of Crete is stunning! With its long history of winemaking dating back to the Bronze Age and the Minoan civilization, it offers a rich variety of local and indigenous grapes, which are perfectly adapted to the island’s climate and soil. 

In recent years, the wine industry of Crete has undergone a significant transformation, with a new generation of winemakers introducing modern facilities and techniques, while still respecting the tradition of winemaking. This has resulted in a surge of high-quality wines that are now gaining recognition in international markets. 

One of the main reasons Crete has such fantastic wine is the island’s unique terroir, which combines the rocky soil of the White Mountains with the fertile olive groves and the salty breeze from the Mediterranean Sea. This gives the local varieties a distinct profile that is hard to find anywhere else. 

Looking for more top wineries around the world? These other posts have got you covered!

When to Visit the Wineries in Crete

If you want to experience the best way to taste the wonderful wine of Crete, you should plan a  visit during the summer months when the vineyards look the most beautiful! A local guide or travel guide can help you explore the region (if you don’t feel like planning). Keep Pdo Sitia or Pdo Malvasia Sitia in mind, as they are geographical indications for the high-quality wine produced in the area. 

PRO TIP: If you go at the very start of summer (early-mid June) or end of summer (September), you have a good chance of missing the crowds and saving money on your trip, as prices increase exponentially throughout the summer. I visited Crete in June and it was perfect! While it was slightly cooler some days, there weren’t many people around which made it feel like you had the whole island to yourself sometimes. 

Where to Stay in Crete

Crete is a big island so choosing accommodation can be a challenge. However, there are a few main places you should think about staying in Crete if your plan is to enjoy all of the best wineries in the area!

A lot of the wineries are spread out throughout the island so it’s best to consider hiring a car to explore (when you’re not drinking, of course) or booking a wine tour if you need transportation. 


This charming town can be found in western Crete! It’s near some incredible beaches, as well as wineries and there is so much to see and do in the area. I spent a week or two in Chania and especially loved the goat beach (Seitan Limania).


If you want to be where more of the hustle and bustle is in Crete, Heraklion is your best bet! It’s the biggest city on the island and is known for its amazing wineries nearby, including Manousakis, which I’ll be detailing later on in this post!

*If you don’t mind staying a little out of Heraklion, I stayed at a gorgeous boutique hotel. It was in Agios Nikolaos (60km from Heraklion) and you can read about my experience here!


This is a picturesque town along the northern coast of Crete. It’s known for its stunning old town area with narrow streets and tasty restaurants. 


If a small village vibe is what you’re looking for, the village of Dafnes won’t disappoint! It’s in the heart of the island’s wine region and home to several wineries. You’ll be surrounded by vineyards and olive groves – which sounds like a good idea if you ask me. Its peaceful and rural setting is perfect for honeymooners!


Want a luxurious experience in Crete? Elounda is an upscale resort town on the eastern coast of Crete, home to high-end hotels and resorts. This area requires a larger budget for accommodation but it’s well worth it if you’re prepared to splurge! 

The Best Wineries in Crete

To get the ultimate experience of Crete wineries, you should plan a visit to the region of Heraklion, which is home to some of the best wineries in the area.

Here are a few you seriously can’t miss!

  1. Manousakis Winery
  2. Lyrarakis Winery
  3. Dourakis Winery
  4. Domaine Paterianakis 
  5. Karavitakis Winery

Manousakis Winery 

There’s nothing like a well-run, small family business that produces great wine using only indigenous grape varieties! Located in the village of Vatolakkos, a short drive from Chania, you’ll find an authentic experience of Cretan wine culture. Established in 1997, the winery is the brainchild of Greek-American entrepreneur, Alexandra Manousakis. The vineyards are planted on a picturesque hillside overlooking the Aegean Sea, with the majestic White Mountains as a backdrop.

The tasting room offers a panoramic view of the vineyards and olive trees and you can learn about the winemaking process from the family members. Their guided tour will show you through the vineyards and production facilities. It includes an impressive cellar with oak barrels where the wines are aged to perfection.

Must Try: They’re known for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Mourvedre, as well as the traditional Cretan varieties of Kotsifali and Mandilari.

Lyrarakis Winery

You can’t come to Crete without visiting one of the oldest wineries on the island! Located in the village of Alagni (a short drive from Heraklion) Lyrarakis produces both red and white wines using local and international varieties. They have a modern wine cellar with oak barrels and a projection room where you can learn about the winemaking history of Crete. They’ve been producing exceptional wines for over a century with a long history of winemaking that dates back to the Minoan era.

Focusing on the indigenous grape varieties, they specialize in Dafni and Plyto, which are grown exclusively in the region. Each wine has a distinct aroma and flavour you’ll be pressed to find anywhere else.

Must Try: They produce a range of wines including some sweet wines and you need to get your hands on their extra virgin olive oil!

Dourakis Winery 

Dourakis is a boutique winery located in the village of Alikambos, in the region of Chania. It’s one of the most renowned wineries in Crete and its origin dates back several generations. They only use the best native grape varieties, such as the red grape variety of Romeiko and the white grape variety of Vidiano, to produce their award-winning wines.

Must Try: Their wine cellar is home to some of the oldest wines in Crete, including some that date back to the early 1900s!

Domaine Paterianakis

This winery can be found in the village of Dafnes and is known for its high-quality red varieties, especially the local Kotsifali. This winery is situated on the foothills of Mount Psiloritis. It provides a stunning backdrop to the beautiful vineyards that surround it.

Domaine Paterianakis is committed to producing high-quality wines while preserving the natural environment and local traditions. The grapes are carefully cultivated and harvested by hand, ensuring that only the best fruit is used in the winemaking process! They also follow sustainable viticulture practices, which include organic farming, minimal intervention and the use of renewable energy sources. Their commitment to sustainability has landed them many awards and certifications, such as the Green Key eco-label and the Organic Farming Certification.

Must Try: You need to taste some of the traditional dishes of the local cuisine or try your hand at a cooking class! Don’t forget that there are stunning hikes in the nearby mountains as well.

Best For: Sustainable wineries in Crete!

Karavitakis Winery

Planning a visit to Chania? You need to stop by Karavitakis Winery! It has a history dating back to the Bronze Age, with evidence of wine production found in the Minoan Palace of Knossos. The winery produces a range of grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc but also focuses on producing organic wines using native grape varieties such as Kotsifali and Vidiano. As a family-run business, you’ll experience Greek hospitality at its finest. 

Must Try: Take a vineyard tour and learn about the winery’s long history of winemaking, including its use of the Minoan wine presses and the oldest wine presses found in the Knossos Palace. Don’t forget to sample the traditional Cretan dishes made with local ingredients that pair perfectly with their excellent wine!

Vino, anyone?

That wraps it up for the best wineries in Crete!

Crete is definitely one of the best Greek Islands with so much to offer. From outstanding wineries to picturesque beaches, old towns and delicious food, you can’t go wrong. The wines of Crete are by far some of the best I’ve had!

I’ll be back shortly with another blog but in the meantime, feel free to follow my travels on Instagram and TikTok where I share daily content!

See you in the next one.


Amy xx

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