The Tamiolakis Rhous Estate is located in the village of Houdetsi, 25 km south of Heraklion. It belongs to the viticultural VQPRD zone of Peza, the largest of the three wine producing areas in the Prefecture of Heraklion. This is a family business, whose members have origins, experience, education and interests in the wine industry.
The main objective of the Tamiolakis Estate is the promotion of Cretan vineyards through the use of indigenous varieties. Therefore, the vineyard got an “experimental” character. Thus, in an area of 5 hectares, many Cretan varieties were planted. For some of them, that tended to disappear, for example Vidiano and Moschato Spinas, this vineyard has helped in their rescue and enhancement. Today, these varieties have given samples of exceptional wines, have become known and highly valued in the pan-Hellenic level, while many of them are considered to be future ambassadors of Cretan wine.
The cultivation of the vineyard was from the beginning and remains organic certified by DIO (Audit and Certification of Organic Products). Today, the Tamiolakis Estate produces five Cretan Regional wines and one VQPRD Peza, while the total production does not exceed 50,000 bottles. The aim is to double the production in the years to come.
The property is incorporated in the Wine Roads of the Prefecture of Heraklion and it is open to the public all year round. Guided tours and tastings are on a telephone appointment.
In the Prefecture of Heraklion, near the settlement Houdetsi of Municipality Nikos Kazantzakis the Tamiolakis Estate is located. The site, known by local names Skala, Zourva and Vigla is included in the VQPRD zone of PEZA. It lies about 15 km from the archaeological treasures of Knossos and 5 km from the 4000 years aged wine press in Vathipetro and the carven wine presses of Katalagari.
The Estate, which consists of an approximately 5 hectare organic vineyard and a small but modern winery, is a purely family business and was created to produce quality products that highlight in the best way the delicious richness and distinctiveness of the Cretan wines.
In this perspective the choice of the location was made, where the ecosystem is ideal for producing high quality grapes. The average height (about 500 meters), the sloping vineyard, the northern orientation and the calcium-clay soils constitute a “terroir” ideal for viticulture.
The selection of wine-making varieties that planted became in the same vein. Thus, in the well-known red varieties that characterize the region of Peza -Kotsifali and Mantilaria- a rich variety of native white varieties were added. Specifically, in addition to the well-known Vilana, some other local varieties such as Vidiano, Dafni, Plyto, Thrapsathiri and Moschato Spinas were also selected: valuable Cretan varieties which tended to disappear, but also had given excellent wines in experimental vinifications, in the past.
In these varieties, some foreign-ones were later added. Amongst them, some of the most famous-ones internationally for the exceptional wines they give. Varieties such as Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (red), but also Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc (white), have completed the multi-varietal composition of the estate’s vineyard, creating very interesting perspectives for the production of wines from combinations of local and foreign varieties.
The winery is built entirely of stones collected at the end of the formation process of the soil which was realised for the preparation of the vineyard. It was completed in 2004 when the first vinification took place. Its modern equipment enable the wine producers to follow the sophisticated methods that the modern wine-making techniques require. The wine cellar which is used for the aging of wine is air-conditioned.
The production capability reaches to 50,000 bottles a year. This amount is soon to double, with the absorption of the production of neighbours organic farmers, who already are guided as far as the selection of wine-making varieties and the cultivation of their vineyards are concerned.
The farm is open for visitors all year round. For those who want a wine tasting and learn about winemaking, a wine tasting room is able to accommodate up to 20 people. In summer, the spacious yard and terrace with panoramic view offer a variety of service options for a larger number of people.
Please see HERE the official Tamiolakis Estate website.
Please click HERE for prices and retailers of Tamiolakis wines.
2011 Tamiolakis Profasi white, IGT Crete. 82 points.
Regional: Artichoke salad with calamari. World: sushi, shellfish, crustaceans, fish pastas, light cheeses.
2011 Tamiolakis Vidiano – Plyto, IGT Crete. 84 points.
Regional: Salt & Pepper Shrimp. World: spicy chicken, oriental food, garlic prawns, rich salads, veal, medium rich cheeses.
Pale yellow. Medium viscosity. In the nose still a bit closed, generous fruity and flowery character. Lively and crisp on the palate, a slight tone of oak with a nice soft buttery element. Still young vines, interesting to follow!
2011 Tamiolakis Profasi rose, IGT Crete. 84 points.
65% kotsifali, 35% syrah.
Regional: Ladenia. World: spicy chicken, oriental food, garlic prawns, rich salads, veal, medium rich cheeses.
Bright and rich pink. Medium viscosity. The nose is dominated by red berries and fresh flowers. Full bodied and rich. Tasting very crisp and fresh on the palate, light sweetness on the finish. Pleasant and refreshing.
2009 Tamiolakis Profasi red, PDO PEZA. 85 points.
Regional: Islim Kebabi. World: prime red meat, lamb or kid, game, casseroles, matured hard cheeses.
2008 Tamiolakis Ekti ekdossy, IGT Crete. 87 points.
30% kotsifali, 30% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon.
Regional: Beef Shish Kebab. World: prime red meat, lamb or kid, game, casseroles, matured hard cheeses.
Deep black cherry colour. The wine was aged for 20 months in barrel and 6 months in bottle. This has more depth on the nose, dominated by spices and herbs. It is medium bodied, has a good structure and the palate shows cherry fruits and spices with a hint of oak.