Domaine Lyrarakis was founded in 1966 in the Cretan village of Alagni. Situated south of the city of Heraklion, this family owned winery has played a pivotal role in saving the islands indigenous varieties from obsolescence. If not for Manolis Lyrarakis and his brother Sotiris, grapes such as Plytó, Dafni, and Vidiano, would have likely been forever lost. In fact, they were the first to ever produce a single varietal Plytó for commercial sale. Today only 6 hectares are planted to this variety on Crete. So small was their winery, that up until 1992 their entire production was sold in bulk. Today the winery is managed by Sotiris’ son Bart, who produces wines from both local and international varieties.
The Vidiano grape is one that the Lyrarakis family have rescued from near extinction. It is a grape that is related to Thrapsathiri and Vilana (the most panted white grape on Crete), is low-yielding, and prefers higher altitude vineyards. Manolis Lyrarakis took cuttings from very old vineyards, propagated them and planted his own vineyards and shared them with others. Today Vidiano is making a strong comeback and is considered a leading contender for the best white wine on the island.
Wines made from Vidiano are noted for their rich fruit flavours (especially peach and green fruits) with noticeable herbal character, and are fresh with modest alcohol.