Famed during the period of Venetian rule for its wines, and above all for its Malmsey (malvasia), Crete saw a gradual reduction of viniculture in favour of olive farming up until the end of the 19th century. Nevertheless, the rise in demand for raisins in Europe at that time lent new impetus to Cretan vineyards, this being reinforced by the arrival of refugees from Asia Minor.

Ever synonymous with joy, high spirits and elation, the vine and its fruit served as the primary symbol of marriage. Wedding wreaths were woven from vines, while embroidered grapes and vine leaves often adorned wedding bedspreads and towels.

Sultanas, 2004 (Yiannis Harkoutsis)
Grapes hung out to dry on an opsigias (wire frame) (Yiannis Harkoutsis, Venerato, Heraklion)
Cretan varieties of grape and wine
Grapes ripening, 2004
Modern wire trained vineyards in the district of Malevizi