Alexakis –a family-owned-and-run winery– is the largest winery on the island of Crete. The company is managed by enologist-chemical engineer Stelios Alexakis (founder of the business in the 70’s), Sofia, his wife, and their sons, Lazaros and Apostolos. Both Lazaros and Apostolos are enologists, with degrees from the Universities of Florence, Italy and Fresno, California respectively and are responsible for production, marketing, and the winery’s current evolution.
Alexakis, the largest winery on the island of Crete,
services leading Greek wine producers and has a storage
capacity of 16m liters.
Blending family traditions, know-how and experience with their very own innovative ideas, they plan and implement exciting products and projects, using every drop of their rich and valuable heritage.
Alexakis services leading Greek wine producers and has a storage capacity of 16m liters. It currently exports wines to the U.S.A. with the Alexakis brand and to Russia and China with “private labels”. Over the decades, Alexakis has invested in long-term relationships with most of the vine growers on the island, cultivating strong ties with them and capitalising on their thorough knowledge of the soil, the indigenous varieties, the weather conditions and their intuition during each and every vintage.
Today, Alexakis enjoys the privilege to harvest and secure grapes of remarkable terroir and top quality. Its end products are award-winning bottles, acknowledged and celebrated not just in Crete and around Greece, but also on the world stage.
Raw material and production
At Alexakis, we began working on a contract farming basis some six years ago, with great results, both for grape growers and ourselves.
Contract farming in Crete has created a new given for the island’s wine industry: by encouraging vine growers to become businessmen as well, it assures them of a steady and worry-free income. Prior to each cultivating period, growers know the price their grapes will sell for and –even more crucial– that their entire yield will be absorbed. This business model has been adopted by the viticultural sector of the island, and has been instrumental in keeping prices competitive and quality a top priority.
The vine grower-cum-businessman does not rely on grants for his development, but instead, he invests in upgrading, expertise and know-how. He is adapting also to all-important consumer trends and is putting more effort into his work in the vineyard. And as we invest time and patience in this form of collaboration and while vine growers enjoy a steady income, our winery builds a precious reputation for quality, which reflects on the known provenance of the grapes we use.
Our simple philosophy in selecting grapes every year is to group vineyards according to variety, weather conditions, altitude and orientation (terroir). It is very hard work, –in Crete, vineyards are small, in remote and hard-to-get-to places and all over the place– but it is also very good work and it all goes in the bottle:
- pinpoint timing of harvesting for each vineyard and variety
- extremely careful handling of harvested grapes and transport to the winery
- traceability of each wine, from vineyard, to stemming and right down to bottling.
Application of ISO and HACCP
Alexakis has been applying ISO: 9007:2008 and ISO 2200:2001 for the past five years. The application of these systems has opened doors to new markets both at home and around the world. Additionaly, we apply a food safety management system ISO 22000 which supports the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to identifying, evaluating and inspecting possible hazards that are linked with the production chain, and can be critical for food safety.
HACCP identifies certain hazards (microbiological, chemical and physical) and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level.The purpose of HACCP is to ensure food safety through constant monitoring and inspection of all functions and stages linked to the production chain of wine: receiving, processing, packaging, storing, transportation, distribution, transportation for sales.