We absolutely love featuring wines like Gavalas. We've never featured a wine made on the island of Crete, which is 100 miles off the coast of the Greek mainland. We have also never featured a wine made from the Kotsifali grape, the most planted grape on the island. Many wine writers have discovered this grape and all wonder why it is not as popular as it should be. It is wines like Gavalas that are beginning to make the world take notice and we will do whatever it takes to help.
At Gavalas, Emmanuel Gavalas of Nikolaos planted the first vineyards in 1906. At that time, he used the Minoan carved presses that existed in the village of Agios Thomas, where he came from, to crush the grapes. He carried the wine in leather bottles and sold it in taverns and shops. After some years he settled in the North, a village 15km. from Agios Thomas, where he planted new vineyards. He then took the grapes to well-known wineries. Nikolaos Gavalas and son Emmanuel continued planting and cultivating the vineyards.
In 2001 the vineyards joined the organic farming regime to protect the environment as well as the consumer, themselves, and their children. In 2004 they founded a new state-of-the-art winery. All phases from production to bottling took place in their own vertically integrated modern unit. Their involvement with wine stems from their love for this product, passed on to them by their ancestors. Though the wine is lighter in color, the flavors are rather bold. The intense aromas of cinnamon, dried fig, and red fruits are found on the palate as well with fresh plum leading the charge. Serve slightly chilled with such diverse dishes as lemon chicken or pork tenderloin in a mustard sauce.