Sustainable dolmades? Only with vine leaves from indigenous varieties!


Vine leaves with rice, trimmed vegetables, herbs and spices. Ready mixture for the guests to start rolling them and forming the dolmades..

Tools! We need them for everything! We need them for building houses, fixing our car, cultivating the land, cooking food, or for communicating sustainable food! A variety of communication tools were activated on July 29 and August 2, during a 2-day event that took place in Creta Maris Beach Resort in Hersonissos, Crete, Greece.


Dimitris Makrakis was born on Crete. He has been eating dolmades since his babyhood; homemade dolmades by his mother and grandmother. Occasionally he had been helping the ladies to wrap the dolmades ingredients into the vine leaves that they were collecting from their vineyard. Dolmades is a traditional food from Crete; rice mixed with trimmed vegetables, herbs and spices, rolled in vine leaves).


Nowadays, Dimitris is the Executive Chef of Creta Maris Beach Resort, a luxury resort in Hersonissos, Crete. Creta Maris is a proud partner of Futouris Project “Connecting Sustainable Winegrowing with Hospitality Services”.

  • “We need to find catchy communication tools for promoting the concept of sustainable food” Dimitris says.


Dimitris, in co-operation with the resort management and personnel, selected “vine leaves dolmades” as their communication tool.

  • “In the area of the resort we have planted a vineyard with ten indigenous Cretan varieties. We invited the guests there and we informed them about the special characteristics of the Cretan varieties.” Dimitris goes on… “ We then explained the guests about the Futouris project and the future we see of Crete being developed as an indigenous varieties sustainable wine destination”. Dimitris explains. “We want to highlight the value of vines as a multiple source of sustainable food… solid and liquid…”.

Selecting the best vine leaves for dolmades; Creta Maris Beach Resort vineyard with indigenous varieties.

Dimitris puts on a glimpse of a smile and proceeds:

  • “And then… we got into the gourmet details… which vine leaves on the plant are better for dolmades making? What are the best ingredients to mix with rice and stuff the leaves? What are the secrets for perfect dolmades, according to my grandmother…!”. I can see excitement rising up in Dimitris eyes when he recalls his boyhood skills in dolmades rolling…

Dimitris Makrakis Executive Chef Creta Maris Beach Resort (center), Stelios Miliarakis Sous Chef Creta Maris Beach Resort (right) and Sotiris Di. Bampagiouris from Local Food Experts sce (left) celebrating the success of the “Sustainable Dolmades” event.

Nikos Vlassiadis, the general manager of Creta Maris Beach Resort had arranged for the rest of fresh ingredients to be collected from the certified organic vegetable garden of the resort, an individual field that lies on the south side of the property.

  • “Organic certification of Hotel Farming and Sustainable Landscape Management of the resort works fine so far. We are now working on the concept of Edible Landscape… we want our gardens to be ornamental, but edible as well… to have fruit trees, vegetable plants and salads planted in our gardens”, Nikos Vlassiadis comments.


After the guests harvested the vine leaves from the vineyard, Nikos had arranged that the kitchen staff would providet freshly collected organic tomatoes, parsley, mint, and (…what else??….) from the organic vegetable garden…

  • “We offered them to the guests, they mixed them with rice and they rolled the mix in the leaves, forming the dolmades. The dolmades were put in the pan and grilled in the traditional wood oven”, Nikos says.
Young planters from the Ceta Maris Kids Club are planting vines of indigenous varieties in the resort vineyard.

Young planters from the Ceta Maris Kids Club are planting vines of indigenous varieties in the resort vineyard.

The week before this event, the young guests of the resort had planted vines in the resort’s vineyardour. Kids’ animators explained in simple terms about the Futouris project to participating kids and parents. Then the kids planted and at the end they all discussed about life on the planet.


Nikos Vlassiadis, General Manager Creta Maris Beach Resort (second from left) serves vine leaves dolmades to the participating guests.

  • “Next week we are setting up a gala dinner with wine degustation by the beach restaurant” Dimitris Makrakis comments. “Sustainable wines and the Futouris project will be promoted there. We wanted, however, to promote the Futouris project more holistically… with more food originating from indigenous vine varieties… with young and adult guests”.
  • “Human health is an open source code… it is powered by clean food… and originates from healthy soils. This information has to reach everyone. That is one of the reasons we support sustainable food and the Futouris project” Nikos Vlassiadis concludes.


Well done, Creta Maris… Let’s roll…

dolmadakia poster

The project

Nachhaltiger Weinanbau – antike Tradition erhalten, Kreta

Durch die Bewahrung einheimischer Rebsorten und einer engeren Kooperation zwischen Weinbauern und Tourismusbranche soll Kretas Entwicklung als nachhaltiges Weinanbaugebiet und Reiseziel im Mittelmeerraum gefördert werden.

For press queries

Inga Meese
Managing Director Futouris e.V.
Heidenkampsweg 58
20097 Hamburg
+49 (0) 40 809034 4055