The cretan wine enchanted all foreign and local visitors at the wine-tasting event held in Fortezza, Rethymno

The wine tasting of cretan wine took place at the fortress of Fortezza in Rethymno on Saturday, 30th of June 2018, with more than 700 local and foreign visitors crossing the castle gates and tasting 200 Cretan Wine Labels from 23 members of the Wines of Crete Network. The event was co-organized by the Municipality of Rethymno, the Organizing Committee “Rethymno Recevin” and the Wines of Crete, while the big sponsor was the Wine Boutique Hotel “La Grotta”.

The foreign visitors were greatly impressed by Vilana, Vidiano, Romeiko and all the cretan indigenous varieties while, the wonderful music of D. Koliakoudakis and A. Papakostas, made the wine-tasting a special experience, as it added an even more atmospheric and special character.

The members of “Cheese of Crete” kindly offered cheese that accompanied the cretan wine and their stand was supported by cheese makers and members of the Avli restaurant team, who provided useful information on the production of cretan cheese. Italian and Portuguese partners from the European Wine Cities Network RECEVIN also attended the event, tasted indigenous varieties, talked with the wine producers and exchanged their invaluable wine experiences.

The Mayor of Rethymno, Giorgis Marinakis, welcomed the event and the great attendance of the public, pointing out: “Today’s feast is a precursor of the Cretan Diet Festival, which will take place from 1 to 7 July 2018 at the Municipal Garden of Rethymno. We want this wine-tasting event to take place every year in order to make the richness of the Cretan vineyard known to the foreign visitors. The award of Rethymno as the European Wine City 2018, will give the opportunity to foreign visitors and to the Rethymnians to get to know in depth the quality products of our country”.

The President of K.E.DI.R. and of the Tourism Committee of the Municipality of Rethymno, Pepi Birliraki, said: “We are very happy for the success of this wine-tasting. The beginning of the actions for Rethymno: European Wine City 2018, is also the beginning of an annual wine tasting event for the cretan wine in the Castle of Fortezza for all the wine lovers. The cooperation with the wine producers of Crete and with the “Rethymno Recevin” Team is the key component of this successful unique night”.

On the part of the Wines of Crete, Nicos Miliarakis, president of Heraklion Winemakers Association, pointed out that “The beginning was very successful and the response of the world was very important to us. We would like to thank the Municipality of Rethymno for the cooperation and it is in our intentions that this cooperation will be repeated next year”.

The journalist and writer Nico Manesis also attended the wine- tasting event and said: “It is very important for Rethymno to be distinguished as the European Wine City 2018. The course for the cretan wine is excellent as Crete has its own identity in the world wine map and its big asset, are the cretan indigenous varieties. Every year, I see the steady progress that Wines of Crete is doing. ”

Katerina Xekalou, member of the Organizing Committee “Rethymno Recevin”, pointed out: “Rethymno celebrates the title of the European Wine City 2018 and today is the starting point for celebratory events. Many cultural actions are planned by the “Rethymno Recevin” Organizing Committee in order to promote the cretan wine and to develop Rethymno as a wine tourism destination”.

The assistant researcher at ELGO-DIMITRA, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Sociology, Maria Alembaki, also attended the event and said: “Today’s event is excellent and such events are a unique opportunity to promote the island’s winemaking product in general. The institutionalization of similar actions, will strengthen the involvement of other wineries, particularly small ones, in collective initiatives and the upgrade of the quality of the products produced”.

During the wine-tasting event, the wine lovers had the opportunity to visit the photography exhibition that was dedicated to the Cretan Vineyard and the production stages, as well as the permanent art exhibitions of the Fortezza Castle.

The “Rethymno Recevin” Organizing Committee has prepared very interesting wine events for the 7th Cretan Diet Festival that opens its gates on July 1st and lasts until next Saturday, July 7th, 2018, presenting a wide range of cretan certified products and activities for all ages in the Municipal Garden of Rethymno.

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