Crete

Boutari's southernmost proprietary vineyard in Greece is located on the island of Crete, inland from Heraklio, near the town of Skalani. The estate, named Fantaxometocho ("Ghost Hut Estate"), has obtained its name from an old local legend and continues to maintain its mystery because the charming, immaculately kept traditional 'hut' (winery) is still located on the vineyard.

Crete's geographic location provides its vineyards with the remarkable benefits of the Mediterranean climate. Vineyard plantings began on the Fantaxometocho Estate in 1990 and were completed in 1994. Boutari grows both indigenous and international grape varieties in a 17-acre vineyard at altitudes ranging from 550 to 700 feet. The soil has a limestone base and is chalky while the climate, because of Crete's characteristically long summers, is particularly arid. The estate's hillside location protects it from the meltemi (dry, southerly African desert wind) and also allows it to benefit from the cool, gentle breezes of the Cretan Sea to the north.

Today, a new state-of-the-art winery operates on the estate. The winery building, completed in early 2004, is one of the most contemporary in Europe. Open to the public, visitors are welcome to experience the winery building as well as tour the vineyard. A visit to the winery is not complete without viewing a unique, extraordinary multimedia presentation, and tasting regional Boutari wines paired with foods reflective of Crete's rich culinary tradition.

Boutari's Fantaxometocho Estate produces Skalani (red) which is imported into the United States:

SKALANI
(ska - LA - nee)

Appellation of Origin of High Quality (A.O.C.), Archanes, Crete, Greece
Dry Red Wine

Varietal Composition:
65% Kotsifali and 35% Mandilaria. Kotsifali is the primary red varietal of central Crete, producing full-bodied wines with softer tannins and crisp acidity that age well. Mandilaria is a red varietal of the southern Aegean region. It has a deep, dark red color, is lighter bodied and has great aging potential.

Vinification:
The two varieties are vinified separately. After destemming, the grapes are softly crushed and transferred into stainless steel tanks. Boutari practices 'cold soak' maceration. Before the actual fermentation begins, the grapes are left at 50ºF for 2 days. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation both take place in stainless steel tanks. After fermentation, the wine is transferred and aged in American and French oak for 1 year. Skalani is subsequently cellared for an additional 6 months.

Characteristics:
Deep purple color with intense aromas of blackberries, cinnamon, clove, cocoa, and dried nuts. A full-bodied wine with well-balanced tannins and acidity. A long, lingering finish.

Food Pairings:
Ideal with light meat or cheese dishes.