We will be setting off early in the morning for the region of Peza.
Our first stop is at the “walled vineyard” of the Miliarakis family, as Nikos Miliarakis calls it. We’ll be meeting him at the vineyard, in a place set up in the midst of one of their vineyards to welcome people and let them taste their excellent wines. Simplicity, peace and beauty are without doubt the three words, which best describe this place. It is within this open space that Nikos introduces us to his family history, his vineyard and his production. This will be followed by a tasting of 5 of his wines. The Miliarakis family works mainly with Cretan varieties, such as Vilana, Vidiano and Malvasia for white wine, and Madilari and Kotsifali etc. for the red. A real treat! The questions blend together and Nikos, who speaks French, Greek and English, reveals the secrets of his production.
Naturally, we don’t want to leave, but our day has just begun and we must leave Nikos to join Yannis, who awaits us.
After about twenty-minute drive along cliff roads with magnificent views, we arrive at the Stilianou estate, perched on a hilltop. A modest building in the middle of their vineyard. The unusual feature of this family-run business is that they only produce organic wines. 4 wines, one of which is a “semi-sweet” red wine, as well as an organic olive oil, which Yannis is delighted to let us taste. A walk through the vineyard for those who so wish, a tour of the production workshops, the cellar with its French oak barrels and to conclude, a tasting of 4 wines and the olive oil. Just like Nikos and the Tamioulakis family we will be meeting later, they are all driven by their love and passion. Yannis is also anxious to welcome us and tells us that “to let someone leave without answering their questions is not a good thing.”
Again, we have to leave for a lunch break. Everyone is talking, discussing and giving an opinion… «What about you, which wine did you prefer?» «I really appreciated it when….» etc. After a good hour spent regaining our strength, we are all ready to continue the tour.
And we are on our way towards our final stop: the Tamioulakis estate to meet Maria and Dimitri. After a warm welcome, Maria leads us to the terrace of the property to admire the entire valley and the vineyards extending at our feet. It’s impressive. Maria tells us the story of her family epic, and then takes us on a tour to discover their equipment: the production and bottling space, the cellar with its French and American oak casks, ending in the tasting room. The subtle blends of different Cretan and non-Cretan varieties reveal previously unknown taste buds… What if we were to spend the evening on this terrace, tasting these wonderful wines?
Unfortunately, it’s time to leave. We return to our hotel, content after a rewarding day in an authentic atmosphere.