Crete is home to approximately 60 wineries, and Western Crete has its share. Two wineries that are within easy reach of Gavalochori are the Dourakis Winery and the Manousakis Winery. Either or both can be tied into other trips.

Vineyards. Kenneth, Pexels

Manousakis Winery

42 km from Gavalochori

The Manousakis winery is located outside the village of Vatolakkos (Βατόλακκος) not far from the road to Omalos (Ομαλός) and the Cretan Botanic Gardens & Park. It is 42 kilometers (26 miles) from Gavalochori. It was founded by Ted Manousakis, who worked in industrial security, real estate development, and hospitality in America before returning to his native Crete to open the winery, planting his first vineyards in 1993. His daughter Alexandra Manousakis left New York City following her graduation from college to join her father on Crete and now runs the winery. The winery produces white, red, and rosé wines as well as tsikoudia or raki, the clear alcoholic drink made from the grape skins that are left over from wine production. No longer a small operation, the winery has grown to produce 150,000 bottles of organic wines a year. Tours of the winery and wine tastings are available and can be booked online. The winery also has a space for events such as conferences, weddings, and birthdays. More information is available here.

Manousakis Winery
Manousakis Winery, Vatolakkos. Sonja Foss, Foundation for Gavalochori
Armenoi, Vryses, Dourakis Winery, and Maza
Dourakis Winery, Near Vryses. Tomisti, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Dourakis Winery

12.5 km from Gavalochori

Not far from Vryses (Βρύσες) and just off the road to Sfakia (Σφακιά) is the Dourakis Winery, which sits in the foothills of the White Mountains. The winery was started by Andreas Dourakis, who studied winemaking in Germany and worked in wineries in Greece and elsewhere before starting his own. The winery offers various events such as wine tastings and cooking lessons that can be booked online through its website. The gallery space that is part of the winery can be reserved for weddings, christenings, and other events. The winery is 12½ kilometers (7½ miles) from Gavalochori. Find out more here.

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