Naxos On A Platter
Cheese & Wine Tour
We are all familiar with the delicacy of a cheese platter accompanied by a good wine, and vice versa!
In this specially designed tour, you will have a firsthand experience of the making of cheese and wine, a combination that has been one of the most long-lived and successful pairing of taste, nutrition and pleasure for the human kind through millennia.
But first, allow us to put in a few words on the history of these two products which are so closely related with the nutritious culture of mankind.
Wine is one of the oldest products in the history of mankind and one of the cornerstones of the development of civilization. In excavation sites around the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, amphorae (big clay jars where wine was stored) of 8,000 years old have been discovered, proving the close connection between wine and people.
As for the Hellenes (the Greeks), wine is in their DNA!
Naxos is the island of god Dionysus, whose symbol is the grapevine. The people of Naxos have been honoring the tradition of the cultivation of grapevines and the process of wine-making through the ages.
The history of cheese starts in 8,000 BC from the highlands of Iran, when the first ruminants, the goat and the ewe, were domesticated. It was around the 4th millennium, that these animals appear at the shores of the Mediterranean and ever since the history of cheese is identified but also evolves with that of Europe. The first evidence of feeding with ruminant milk is that of Greek mythology when Zeus, chased by his father, feeds on milk from the goat Amalthea. Homer refers to cheese in the Iliad and the Odyssey and indeed to “goat cheese”. Aristotle and Dioskouridis gave the first recipes for cheese production. The first nation in cheese consumption on the world map is Greece with 23 kg per inhabitant per year. On Naxos, cheese production is inextricably linked to the culture and history of the island and it is no coincidence that the cheeses of Naxos enjoy international recognition.
1st stop: A traditional cheese factory.
Perched on verdant, fertile thyme-smearing hills, lies the traditional cheese factory we are visiting. The hospitable owners, 3-generation shepherds, welcome you to their premises and show you the process of cheese making from milking to the final product. At the end of the tour, you will be treated to the well-known, delicious, spicy Arseniko cheese of Naxos, which has rightly earned its reputation in Europe and beyond.
Last stop: An authentic, organic Winery.
What best way to conclude our tour to History and taste!We are now entering a beautiful, small and fragrant estate located in one of the lushest areas of Naxos. Its pleasant owners welcome you to the mystical world of wine-making, starting from the cultivation of the grapevines all the way to the delight of the final product, the wine! Cheers! Or, as we the Hellenes (the Greeks) say: “Stin ygia sas!”