MINOS is in its eighth decade and produces wine from local varieties, such as Kotsifali and Mandilari for reds and Vilana, Vidiano and Thrapsathiri for whites. Part of the red wine production ages in French oak barrels holding 225 and 300 litres each, kept in a specially designed underground area with ideal temperature and humidity conditions. The company is also trying to promote the Cretan vineyard through its varieties, innovating and adopting methods never before utilized in Crete; Examples include the production of its White wine using the red Kotsifali variety (White from Kotsifali), the first ever presentation in Crete of White wine from Vilana stored in barrels (Vilana Fume) and the successfully comeback, in 2004, of the white Malvasia variety, a wine historically associated with the island in making a dry wine. Lastly, the firm has included in its range foreign varieties like Roussanne, Grenache Rouge, Syrah and Mourvedre.
MINOS is developing a vineyard comprising of privately owned and contract areas covering 20 hectares and continues to work with local farmers, aiming at securing high quality grapes. The company is still run by members of the founding family, headed by 3rd generation member, Takis Miliarakis; since 1998 Nikos Miliarakis (4th generation) has joined its ranks and, recently, Maria Miliaraki, daughter of Takis, also joined the company. MINOS employs 10 people throughout the year, who, with their experience and pride for their work, warrant the high total quality of the final product.
Currently, the overall production of MINOS comes to 300,000 – 350,000 bottles a year, of which 70% is consumed on the island, 10% is traded through the rest of Greece, and the remaining 20% is exported. The main destinations abroad are Canada, The Netherlands, Serbia, Sweden, Denmark, Cyprus and China.
TOUR AND TASTING
Wine is an experience, a sensory feast.
This is why Miliarakis’ Winery has created wine tasting and wine presentation premises at their facilities in Peza.
At the entrance to the winery you are welcomed by a pre-war bicycle which was used to deliver the wine to the city of Heraklion and a historic Blackstone generator, the first to arrive at the village of Peza; it used to produce power for the winery and also supplied half the village with electricity.
The restoration of the old winery created four visitable levels, deployed over an area of 900 m2, bearing the name “Sifis Miliarakis”, in honour of the son of Nikos Miliarakis, a dynamic representative of the family’s 3rd generation.
Visitable premises include:
A museum, with old wine making machinery: wine presses, pumps, manually operated bottling machinery and a traditional stone wine press. In the same area historic photographs of the winery are on display, among which you will see the Apollo spacecraft astronauts with MINOS wines!
A projection room, seating 200 people, with red seats from the old Astoria cinema in Heraklion, where visitors can watch a 20 minute film on the history of wine, olive oil and tsikoudia in Crete, and the long history of MINOS Company.
A wine tasting room with furniture from a traditional cafe, seating 145 people. Visitors can taste various labels and become acquainted with the rich and interesting range of company wines, learn about their characteristics and answer any questions they may have concerning wine.
In 2009 a second wine tasting room, with handmade tables created from old winery machinery, seating 55 people and a second projection room for 55 people, were created, which can operate independently from the other visitable areas.
Lastly, at the visitors’ retail shop, apart from whine, traditional Cretan select-quality products, such as olive oil, olive soap, spices, honey, local herbs and many more are on sale.