The Lyrarakis Estate is a family winery with a strong focus on rare local varieties and single variety wines.
When the company was founded in 1966, the dominant varieties included Vilana, Kotsifali and Mantilaria. After careful selection of the Vilana strain, the first organized planting of this variety was completed, which served to supply the farmers of the region. The family furthered their grape growing efforts, and in the late 1980s, they attempted to save two rare native varieties, Dafni and Plyto, from the Phylloxera blight. Efforts were ultimately successful, and the Lyrarakis family first offered those two varietal wines in the early 1990s. They are credited with the revival of these two ancient Cretan varieties, as well as working with a third “vineyard treasure”, the indigenous Melissaki.
Lyrarakis vineyards cover 37 acres in the village of Alagni, in the heart of Heraklion, amongst the Lasithi mountains of Crete’s Pexa region. The area’s wine producing traditions are evident in the stone-carved wine presses from the Venetian era scattered throughout the region. They produce seven single-variety wines from native grapes.