Alcoholic Beverage Cretan Tsikoudia History

The tsikoudia and the Minoan Period

The link of the geographical origin of “Tsikoudia Crete” started from the Minoan period, where Crete emerged as an important wine-producing region with excellent quality wines.

The most ancient cultivated vineyard was found in the summer Minoan palace, in the archaeological site of Kato Zakros. Archaeological findings provide evidence that the art of distillation was known in the Middle Minoan II period (1900-1700 BC). In Papadiokampos of Sitia, the excavations brought to light sealed clay vessels with charcoal remnants, which may have been fermentation or even grape distillation vessels.

According to the Latin writers, Crete left the wine for Rome with the ships that Lucoulos sent for the famous Lukoulias meals. Cretan wine reached the peak of its reputation during the period of Venetian domination in Crete (12th-16th century), when it was traveling in sealed amphoras throughout the Mediterranean.

In such an area as Crete, with its rich wine production and tradition from the Minoan years, the art of distillation, which began in Mount Athos in the 15th century in Greece, was found to be a good ground, as documented by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but quickly spread throughout the Turkish-occupied East. Thus, Crete, along with Constantinople, Smyrna, Alexandria etc., distillation center. After the liberation of Crete from the Turks, the tradition of grape distillation continues, since, under national law, only grape distillery farmers are allowed to distil the grape marc by winemaking their own grape production.

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photo: Davestem and Wines of Peza

ByRaki flavor team

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