The village of Alagni, from which the Lyrarakis family originated, is located in the heart of Heraklion Prefecture, in the most mountainous area of Crete’s Peza region with the extensive wine-producing tradition (stone-carved wine presses from the Venetian era are scattered throughout the region).
Brought up in these surroundings, the founders of the Lyrarakis Estate decided 40 years ago to get actively involved with winemaking in their native land. The company now known as GEA (Alagni Agricultural Enterprises) was founded in 1966. The family has always used its privately owned vineyards. At that time, the dominant varieties included Vilana, Kotsifali and Mantilaria. After careful selection of the Vilana strain, the first organised planting of this particular variety was completed and served to supply the farmers of the region. But the family’s grape-growing did not stop there. In the late 1980s, there was an attempt to save two rare native varieties, Dafni and Plyto, from the Phylloxera blight. Efforts were ultimately successful as indicated by the wines of the same name first made available by the Lyrarakis company in the early 1990s.
Today, the family vineyard is 15 hectares and produces seven single-variety wines from native grape varieties: The selection of products is rounded off with combined vinification of native and foreign varieties, the best-known of which include Kotsifali-Syrah and Cabernet-Merlot.
The company’s products have earned distinctions at many international wine competitions, garnering positive feedback from world-renowned magazines and the trade press. This has naturally helped exports which have been ongoing for some years, particularly to Europe and North America.
The winery is open to all wine-lovers, offering a complete tour programme that includes a visit to the medieval wine-presses of the area, a tour of the vineyard and tasting of estate wines.