Idaia Winery

The Idaia Winery company is based in Venerato, a village in the north of Heraklion county in Greece, 18 kilometers from Heraklion at an altitude of 305meters in the PDO wine area of Dafnes.

Venerato is located on one of the lowest hills of Psiloritis mountain. On the east side of the village we find rich vineyards and olive groves. Next to the vineyards there is the old monastery of the Virgin Mary. To the southeast we can find an ancient river with the name Apollonas. South of the river, on a mound, there is the old monastery of the Virgin Mary of Paliani, the feast day of which is on the 15th of August. In the center of the monastery there is a very old church, priceless in archeological terms. Venerato, as well as all the region of Malevizi, was renowned for its famous sweet wines. During the time of the Venetian and Ottoman rule these famous sweet wines were given the name Malvazia and exported using ships that left the port of Heraklion and travelled throughout the Mediterranean basin. The area is rich in ancient and roman winepresses, indicative of the strong prresence of wine production in this area, from the Minoan era until today. It was a wine center whose name, according to one story, was given to the Malvasia wines, famous at that time. The calcareous soils and their topography, together with the special mesoclimate, which is formed by a cool Aegean summer breeze, create a land unique for viticulture and the making of wines such as those which Idaia Winery aims to produce.

“Idaia” is the ancient name of Crete. This was the name of the mother of the ten Kouretes, who she bore the king of Crete Zeus (not the god). Zeus, in order to honor his wife, named the whole of Crete “Idaia”. The company’s trademark is the seven leaved daisy which comes from the Phaistos Disc. It is said to symbolize the star of Sirius. Idaia Winery was established in 1998, by oenologists Vasili Ladero and Kalliopi Volitaki and today owns 2,5 hectares of vineyards. The company produces approximately 50.000 litres of wine for the domestic market. In 2011 its new, private premises are to be completed.

The main goal of Idaia Winery is to produce fine wines of a consistently high quality, with the help of the new varieties of the area, based on the native varieties of the island in an area known for its vineyards since ancient times. It is also to highlight the characteristics of these native varieties, linked to the area’s terroir, giving very low yields, but also new plantings, with varieties from other parts of the world.