EuroAdventure15: Winery tour and tasting

(posted by Emily)

2 July 2015
Crete, Greece
(steps and miles unknown!)

On Thursday morning, we decide to have a leisurely morning. We made a simple breakfast of eggs, toast, strawberry jam, coffee, and white mountain tea (made from fresh herbs that grow in the area).

We decided to walk down the road a bit to visit the animals we had seen along the way--a mama and her pup and the goats!

Looking back at the home we are staying in

On Wednesday,  Rick had researched a local winery in the area and we booked a tour and light lunch for noon. We realized Thursday morning that the wine we had bought the night before was actually from that winery!

The Manousakis Winery is just one town over from where we are staying, so it was an easy trip. We were greeted with some white wine upon our arrval, as we waited for the tour to begin.

The winery was started in the early 90s by Mr. Manousakis, who was born here but grew up in DC. He and his sisters owned a security company there that was the company involved in breaking the Watergate Scandal. Nowadays, the company is run by his youngest daughter, who went to school at NYU before coming back here.

There were lots of furry friends to keep us company, too! Little Man, Buddy, and Heidi (our made-up names for them--Little Man's real name means "one who does stupid things").

The property is beautiful, with a big estate house where the tastings are held right now. They are doing some renovations right now to increase the size of their tasting area and turn the home back into a family house. 

Our guide for the day, fiancée of the president of the company, Alexandra Manousakis. He's originally from Sweden, and has a Masters degree in wine studies (bascally, he's a sommelier).  

This olive tree on the property is 800 years old, and belongs to the local church. They can't actually harvest any of the olives!

On our way to see where the wine is made--with the dogs in tow!

The room where pressing is done

The "Rolls Royce" of grape pressing machines. This is the only one in Greece!

The cellar, where the wine is aged. The barrels cost 750 euros each, and are made of American and French oak. They can only be used 4 times before they start to leech too much sap into the wine. 

Bottling a red wine--only 55,000 bottles come out of this winery each year

As we tasted, we enjoyed the winery's olive oil as well, with some bread croutons. 

Our light lunch--potatoes, dolmas, eggplant rolled aound fresh cheese with red sauce, a spinach pie, a cheese pie, a zucchini fritter, and fresh feta. The food is catered in by a local woman who does all of the cooking, while her husband does the farming. Rick says the zucchini fritter is the best thing he has eaten on the trip so far!

We headed back to our Airbnb after the tasting, full of food and wine. I don't think either of us realized how sleepy we actually were--we got back around 2:30 and woke up at......9pm. Holy cow!

I was definitely craving somehing greasy, so I made eggs on toast for dinner while Rick had bread and olive oil. We managed to find one station on the TV that had English programming, so we watched "The Devil Wears Prada" before bed. It was interesting to see the "Nai" and "Oxi" (yes and no) commercials airing during the breaks, referring to the upcoming referendum.   

A wonderful day at the winery, and we are choosing to embrace the relaxation side of our vacation! :) If we are sleeping that much, we much need it!



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