Wine & Raki
Raki - The fire water
Raki is the unique local Cretan drink that is distilled from what is left over from treading the grapes- marc, must and grape skins. It is a very strong alcoholic drink with an alcohol volume of 40% and is also known as "fire water" among the tourists.
Raki is produced in late August and September and the distillation which is called "kazanemata" is accompanied by great celebrations where meat is grilled and the newly produced Raki is tested. Visitors are always welcome to these events and are also given some "shots" of the drink. This can be an exceptional experience but do not try to compete with the locals at the consumption because you could get really drunk!
Viticulture and wine production was flourishing in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks considered wine as an essential pert of their life and they even created divinities for the wine. The same thing applies to Crete, as the Cretan were familiar with the cultivation of grapes from the early days and remains of wine-presses have been found at Cretan palaces. The climate of the island is ideal for the vineyards, with lots of sunshine and high temperatures.
Many areas of Crete are famous for their wine, some of them are Archanes, Peza and Dafnes where a wine festival is held every summer.