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This Family Has Been Making Wine on the Island of Crete in Greece
for Three Generations

By Marie-Claude Veillette,

winery greece douloufakis

Nikos Douloufakis and his family are proud third-generation winemakers taking care of their vineyards located in the heart of Dafnes, a village just south of the city of Heraklion on the island of Crete, Greece. Douloufakis is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by taking charge of the family business, but he's adding a modern twist to the ancient practice: By using cutting-edge equipment and employing the latest vineyard management techniques, he's able to produce wines of a higher quality than in the past.

Italian Influence

Douloufakis holds a diploma in viticulture from the Scuola enologica di Alba wine school in the Piedmont region of Italy. As a result, he is very influenced by the Italian method of wine craft.

"I'm following the family tradition because much like my grandfather Dimitris, I am passionate about innovation,"says Douloufakis. " Back in the 1930s, he was one of the first winemakers on the island to manage his vineyard in a professional way. By combining traditional and innovative techniques in my work, I'm honoring his legacy. Today, our wines are exported to the United States and Canada, and we are working hard to enter the Asian wine market, particularly Hong Kong and Japan."

The location & varieties

The Douloufakis family vineyard is rooted on a plateau 350 meters above sea level. Warm winds from North Africa mix with moisture from the neighboring Ageian Sea, creating the Mediterranean climate that protects and nourishes the grapes. This area has been hospitable to viticulture since Antiquity; traces of vineyards dating back to the Venetian conquest of the thirteenth century can be found in the area.

"We produce strong reds and fruity whites with floral notes from locally-grown grapes, including Vilana, Vidiano, Spina Muscat, Malvasia, Mandilari, Liatiko and Kotsifali varieties. We also use grapes from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabaret Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Syrah vines."

In addition to help he gets from his two sons and his wife Katerina Kosmadaki, Douloufakis also employs six full-time workers at the winery and seasonal stuff in his vineyard. The team has just launched their first sparkling wine product made from Vidiano grapes and crafted according to the champenoise method.

"We're holding a tasting with buyers in Hong Kong. We're very proud of this first draft. The wine is 2013 vintage, remained on lees for 24 months and the disgorging and bottling was completed in May 2016."

While they are clearly focused on the future, the Douloufakis family is also returning to their roots in a way. Recently, Douloufakis and his sons have been experimenting with more traditional methods of production, crafting a wine macerated in Greek amphorae and another aged in a 1.5 and 3 ton wooden barrels -- a technique that Dimitris Douloufakis applied many years ago.

For more info about this producer and their products, visit their website at