My wife Cheryle & I decided to go to Greece, which had been number one on her bucket list for quite some time. We really didn’t have a strict, detailed itinerary planned other than 2 days in Athens, 6 days on the island of Crete & 3 days on the island of Santorini. AND, we did not plan out any winery visits ahead of time. We would just go, have fun & a relaxing time. After 2 days in Athens & doing walking tours at such landmarks as the Acropolis, we left the big city & flew to Crete, specifically Chaniá first.
In Chaniá, Salis Restaurant was THE eatery recommended to us, mainly because of how fresh their seafood is & the fact that it is open air & located right on the water & cooled by the fresh ocean breezes. In addition, they have quite the reputation for their wine program.
We ended up going there to dine 3 times in 2 days. The food was fresh & good, the winelist well selected & the sommelier–Grigorios Rappos–was quite the professional–very helpful, very knowledgeable and really charming &. gracious. Grigorios was kind enough to let us try a bunch of Greek wines. If you are visiting Chaniá, this is definitely a restaurant well worth seeking out.
To top off our enjoyment at this restaurant, on the 3rd visit there we met Afshin Molavi (who happened to be the owner of Salis) & we hung out until 10:30pm (7 hours), during which time he popped open many, terrific wines to share. Afshin is really passionate & knowledgeable about wine….& it was quite the night of talking story & just hanging out.
He offered to take us to his winery the next morning–Manousakis. I had no idea of what to expect & was blown away with the vision of this project & its remarkable vineyard. Thank you to Afshin for sharing!
I was in awe of how breathtaking this property is–25 hectares planted (half in 1993)–located in a rugged, vertically remote (up to roughly 2500 feet in elevation) wild, mountain side, wind pounded & with a breathtaking view. The soils were extreme & iron rich planted on various nooks & crannies along the mountain contour. The vines include–Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne, Mourvedre with Greek grapes varieties such as Romeiko, Vidiano & even a little Assyrtiko. The rest of the wild countryside has all kinds of wild shrub, wild herbs–thyme, sage, rosemary, lavender & lots of bay leaf (a nuance very pronounced in their red wines).
The wines were very well made, had style, polish, wonderful texture & balance. The 2 most interesting were the Mourvedre (1 hectare) & the Syrah (roughly 3 hectares). Both were quite masculine with a warm & real savory generosity.
In short I was really blown away with the vineyard, the vision & passion behind their mission. This is a winery to watch out for.
Thank you Afshin for sharing! I am so thankful to have found a new, special wine friend on the other side of the world. Congratulations on all of your amazing projects. Wow.