We have been fortunate to carry the Douloufakis Vidiano here in the Islands. Being only an hour drive away from our hotel in Elounda, we therefore, decided one day to go see the winery & vineyard. The family owns roughly 20 hectares in Dafnes, in the center of Crete, near the larger city of Iraklio (where we would eventually catch a ferry to the Island of Santorini in a few days). The vineyards are quite breathtaking–mostly on various, undulating hillsides of very white calcareous soils. Being at higher altitudes (up to roughly 1500 feet) there is constant, strong, gusting, cool ocean winds. The vineyard tour really was an eye opening & breathtaking!
What we tasted were the 2016 Vidiano (indigenous grape–white grape variety) & their Liatiko (indigenous red grape variety). (They also produce a little Malvasia di Candida Aromatico, which they label as Femina & another Liatiko, this one sun dried, & 5 years in barrel–resulting in a sweet, viscous wine named Helios).
The Vidiano is produced from 40 year old vines, fermented in stainless steel with NO malolactic & 4 to 5 days on the lees. This grape variety grown in these hillside calcareous soils, though not about grandeur, does produce very pure, scintillating white wines with star fruit/quince like fruit, heightened by riveting minerality & a wonderfully crisp & refreshing edge, ideal for seafood & lighter pasta dishes.
The Liatiko is also produced from 40 plus year old vines, which are de-stemmed & aged for at least 1 year in old oak (barrique, 1.5 & 3.0 foudres). The resulting wine has a roasted chestnut, savory, bay leaf character with acidity & astringency that reminds of Italy’s Galioppo based red wines.
I should add, that both of these wines are surprisingly reasonable in price & therefore offer GREAT VALUE. I would further add, the Vidiano is probably more applicable to most restaurants. If you can sell a Sauvignon Blanc, then one should also readily be able to suggest this wine in place.