Lyrarakis Kotsifali 2012
The company only started bottling wines under the Lyrarakis family brand in the early nineties. The first vintage of Lyrarakis was 1992, until then all the production was sold in bulk to major wineries of Greece or abroad.
Today, the company is managed by the second generation. The family vineyard comprises of 14 hectares of gravel soil on limestone and is situated on an average altitude of 550 meters. Since the late eighties special attention is paid to rare Cretan varieties. In particular the white varieties “Dafni” and “Plyto” that have been saved from extinction constitute a source of pride for the vine-grower Manolis Lyrarakis. Vilana, White Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc complement the range of white varieties. As far as the red varieties are concerned, the local Kotsifali, Mandilari, and Black Muscat are complemented by the foreign varieties Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The family and technical team puts a lot of effort into experimenting with smaller batches of other native varieties, in the hope to be able to offer you new exciting wines soon.
The company is recognized as the leading quality producer on the island, focusing on the use of native varieties - some blends also use foreign varieties. The family is credited for reviving the two ancient local white varieties, Dafni and Plyto, which are part of the company’s range of wines called “The Treasures of Crete”. The latest pride in our “Treasures of Crete” range of wines is the oaked red wine from 100% Mandilari, the red variety that was never vinificated by itself on Crete. Lyrarakis is also credited for being the first winery of Crete to blend the native Kotsifali variety with Syrah, in order to create an unusually exciting red blend, back in the late nineties. Lyrarakis wines have won numerous international awards and are exported in most of the European countries and abroad (USA & CANADA).
The winery is located at the northern side of the community of Alagni, almost in the middle of the small plateau. The construction of the new bottling facility finished in 2004. After that, the family also finished the first phase of the renovation of the visitable cellar, where the oak barrels are stored and bottle aging takes place. The cellar can now welcome visitors on a regular basis.
A picturesque Mediterranean nation with a rich wine culture dating back to ancient times, Greece has so much more to offer than just retsina. Between the mainland and the country’s many islands, a wealth of wine styles exists, made mostly from Greece’s plentiful indigenous varieties. After centuries of adversity after Ottoman rule, the modern wine industry took off in the late 20th century with an influx of newly trained winemakers and investments in winemaking technology.
The climate—generally hot Mediterranean—can vary a bit with latitude and elevation, and is mostly moderated by cool maritime breezes. Drought can be an issue during the long, dry summers, sometimes necessitating irrigation.
Over 300 indigenous grapes have been identified throughout Greece, and though not all of them are suitable for wine production, future decades will likely see a significant revival and refinement of many of these native varieties. Assyrtiko, the crisp, saline variety of the island of Santorini, is one of the most important and popular white varieties, alongside Roditis, Robola, Moschofilero, and Malagousia. Muscat is also widely grown for both sweet and dry wines. Prominent red varieties include full-bodied and fruity Agiorghitiko, native to Nemea; Macedonia’s savory, tannic Xinomavro; and Mavrodaphne, used commonly to produce a Port-like fortified wine in the Peloponnese.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.