The Lyrarakis estate is a family vineyard and winery which has been producing high quality wines since 1966.
Lyrarakis has devoted itself to the revival of indigenous, almost extinct, rare varieties such as Dafni, Plyto, Melissaki and others, vinifying wines that highlight their unique and distinctive character.
Lyrarakis is located in the mountainous commune of Alagni (440 metres above sea-level), south of the city of Heraklion, in Crete. The soils are predominantly loam with either more sand or clay depending on the vineyard site. The well-preserved 14th-century stone-presses in the fields around the winery is proof of the area’s long history of grape-growing and winemaking.
In charge of winemaking, is Myriam Ambuzer who has been vital in securing Lyrarakis a place in the elite wineries of Greece. Her philosophy emphasises precision, purity and supple texture of the fruit. She argues it is all about expressing authenticity, achieving harmony and that every variety needs to be worked in its own special way.
Vilana is a classic white grape of Crete with flower aromas, citrus fruit and refreshing acidity.
Assyrtiko Voila vineyard has complex aromas of citrus and white fleshed aromatic fruit, spicy notes and long fresh mineral finish. Vidiano has a richer varietal character with aromas of apricot and citrus, riper fruit and good minerality. Dafni Psarades vineyard derives its name from the Greek for laurel or bay tree. Distinctive herb aromas of bay leaf and rosemary with citrus flower and aromatic mineral finish. Plyto Psarades vineyard has flavours of stone fruits and melon with a lengthy lime citrus finish. Vilana Pirovolikes vineyard has high natural acidity, fermented in stainless steel then aged for 2 months in oak. Wildflower, citrus fruit, herbal notes and a touch of spicy cedar.
Thrapsathiri Armi vineyard is barrel fermented and matured on the lees in 2 & 3 year old French and American oak for 3 months. Complex with creamy spice, nuts, green and mature fruit notes. Melissaki Gero-Deti vineyard has golden orange hues with orange and citrus peel notes and spicy refreshing acidity.
Mandilari Rosé is a pale strawberry colour, with red fruit aromas, dark berry and unripe cherry flavours, finishing completely dry. Liatiko Rosé Kedros vineyard is a very pale salmon pink with flavours of sweet red berry fruit and a beautiful balanced finish between the lingering ripe fruit and gentle acidity.
Kotsifali is a classic red grape bright mid ruby colour with zesty dark fruits, touch of spice, fruity tannins and fresh light piquant finish. Liatiko Red, fermented in stainless steel, is a light ruby colour with impressive aromas of wild berries, pure red berry fruit and fine, gentle tannins.
Liatiko Aggelis vineyard was planted in 1930 with Liatiko vines on their own native rootstock. Producing small berry, low yielding grapes with exceptional intensity of flavour, the wine is fermented in open oak barrels with no temperature control or fining.
The sweet Liastos is made from a blend of sundried grapes and aged in small oak barrels for 12 months. It has aromas of ripe peach and apricot with honey and bitter marmalade flavours.
Verjuice or Verjus is the unfermented juice of unripe grapes, green harvested in July, de-stemmed, pressed and then clarified in stainless steel tanks. As a drink, it is a tasty grown-up beverage as an alternative to alcohol: try a double of Salcombe NIL with tonic water and a splach of Verjuice!