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Ialissos, Overall a good family destination

Written by Bryan
We stayed in Ialissos. If I were on my honeymoon or single, I would choose another island (or perhaps I would choose another part of Rhodes), but for a family with small children, or a wind/kite surfer, or people who don't want to be in a total party spot, Ialissos works just fine.
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Winery in Rodos follows a tradition of 2,400 years! A story from those early days tells how the Cretans, jealous of Rodos' fame for high quality wine, copied Rodian amphorae in an attempt to pass off their own wine as Rodian.

Rodians to eliminate poorer quality grapes, vineyards on the Lindos side of the island, where the climate is too hot and dry, were destroyed and growing is now concentrated on the western side, around the village of Embona. Here many small vineyards are located in specific cooler microclimates where granite stones in the soil help by increasing humidity which in turn improves the flavour. Athiri, a very old local variety of white grape, is grown in vineyards on lower slopes below Embona while mountain regions produce a better quality of red grape.

Along with the small wine producers, there are two major wineries on the island:
CAIR and EMERY. Both of them offer wine tasting for groups:

The CAIR Winery

The Company Agricultural Industry of Rodos was started by the Italians in 1928, although the island has just celebrated 2,400 years of wine making. Now Greek owned and operated, the company produced a special white wine, Rodos 2400, to celebrate that milestone in history. Vineyards are specially selected for the quality of grapes used under each specific label and are constantly monitored.

CAIR's wine is produced on two sites. The original site, in Rodos city, produces Chevalier, Ilios and Retsina while the remaining labels now come from the new plant near just outside the city, where the latest technology is employed.
-Ilios: Dry white from the Athiri grape.
-Chevalier de Rodos: Dry red from the Mandilaria. Said to be the same wine drunk by the 'Knights'.
-Platoni: A white, rose or red table wine from the athiri and Mandilaria grapes.
-Moulin: A white, rose, red, dry and semi-dry table wine. Produced from a mix of varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. The semi-dry white and rose,with alight, delicate flavour are particularly palatable with a meal or on their own.
-Rodos 2400: A dry white from the Athiri grape full of fruits flavours.
-Arxontiko (Chateau): A dry red wine from a mix of grapes.Lovers of red wines will appreciate the subtle hint of blackcurrant-best of the reds!
-Muscat de Rodos: A sweet white wine of the Moschato variety.
-Amandia: A sweet red wine.
-Retsina: Natural resin and the Athiri grape combine to make this an excellent lightly resinated crisp white wine.
-CAIR Brut & Demi-Sec: A very drinkable sparkling wine from the Athiri grape.
-Nisiotikos: Available in large as well as standard size bottles, this white, rose or red wine is ideal for general use.

The EMERY Winery:

Located at the heart of the vine region on the island, Emery is on hand to work closely with the farmers in advising and selecting vineyards producing the most suitable grapes. The region around the village of Embona is cooled by altitude and by winds funnelled from the west which produce very local microclimates. Throw the soil factor into the equation and the result is that particular vineyards in the region are superior to others in the quality of grape produced.

Two grape varieties are prominent here, the Athiri grape for the white wine and the Amorgianos for the red. Harvest time fasts around 3 weeks, from late August into September and the subsequent fermentation stage also lasts about 2 to 3 weeks. The white wine is ready in one year but the better quality red wine (Cava) is stored in oak casks for 6 months then bottled and stored for up to 3 years. Italian wine tasters are used to help maintain quality.

Emery labels include:
-Emery dry white:
served chilled, this is an excellent dry, slightly fruitywine which, at its price, is the best of the island's white wines.
-Emery demi-sec white: only slightly sweeter than the dry with much of the character.
-Emery Rose: another excellent wine.
-Castel de Rodos: A red table wine
-Emery Cava: a red, top of range maturing in oak
-Villare dry white: A superb white
-Grand rose Emery.