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The largest island in Greece (Greek: Kriti) with a length of 260 kilometres and a width of 60 kilometres lies at the southern end of the Aegean Sea. From west to east, Crete is crossed by a mountain range up to 3,000 metres high. Between the mountains there are fertile valleys. It was the centre of Cretan-Mycenaean culture in ancient times, came into Roman possession in 67 BC and was subsequently under Eastern Roman, Arab, Venetian and Ottoman rule. It was not until 1913 that the island became part of Greece. It is believed that Crete was home to the first cultivated vineyards in the Mediterranean, but it is certainly one of the oldest wine-growing cultures. Near the municipality of Archanes, a wine press dating back to 2000 BC was discovered during excavations in Vathipetro. In the Middle Ages, the island was called Candia, and the sweet wines made from Malvasia and Muscat were shipped to all of Europe via the port city of Monemvasia(Peloponnese).

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