Throughout Crete – and of course in Chania too – as soon as September begins, all the Cretans start their big celebrations!
At the beginning of September, all the locals go to their vineyards, along with their families, and they start gathering grapes. At the evening they press on the grapes and they start the wine-making procedure.
All the generations are included in this, from the younger to the eldest ones! They all get inside a big barrel and start stepping and squeezing on the grapes, to make must (fresh and unripe wine).
Next day, they collect the remnants of the grapes and place them inside barrels or big pots. They press on them really hard and then seal them on top, so as to be airtight. After forty days, they open these barrels and the feast begins! They begin making the tsikoudia!
In every village there are usually 2-3 families who own cauldrons (“kazania”) to make tsikoudia. So, the whole village gathers up there to make it. The person who has the cauldron must be very careful, because otherwise the tsikoudia might be ruined, have a bad taste or a yellowish colour.
The person who brings his own grapes will not have to pay anything for the procedure, as long as he brings along the necessary wood to start the fire under the cauldron and, of course, mezedes to treat everyone while waiting for the tsikoudia to boil.
So, we want to invite you all to this small feast, throughout October, where you will experience Cretan traditions and the making of tsikoudia!