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Naxos is the biggest island of the Cyclades, at the center of the sea routes of the Aegean. The temperate to marine climate, with sunshine every day, little rain, and extremely strong winds, contributes to a relatively dry, yet colorful environment, which is characterized by harmonic changes of imposing mountainous masses and fertile valleys. The slopes of the mountainous masses comprise a relief of terraces (graded) with olive orchards, vineyards, and potato crops. On the other hand, citrus trees and vegetables are also grown in the small plains and valleys that are formed along the flow of the two rivers of the island. However, livestock breeding makes, primarily, use of most of the lands of the island, with the community and private pastures in the mountainous and semi-mountainous areas being allocated to sheep and goats, and in the lowlands to cows, comprising the largest proportion.

As typically Mediterranean, the flora in the pastures is peculiar, and due to the dry climate, mostly small shrubs are endemic and flourish, the so-called “phrygana ecosystems” (consisting of thyme, oregano, sage), comprising the main food for the indigenous animal breeds. In this unique environment, the people of the island have developed their own authentic tradition and knowhow in cheese making, which is demonstrated in the unique Naxos graviera. Having been recognized as Protected Designation of Origin Product since 1996, it is produced by mixing cow’s milk (80%) with goat’s and ewe’s milk, exclusively from animals that live, and are bred on the island.

The purity of the raw material, the prohibition of condensation, addition of milk powder or condensed milk, or addition of colorants, preservatives and antibiotics are characteristic of the authenticity of the graviera. The Naxos Graviera P.O.D. is a hard cheese, with a golden yellow color, and small scattered holes inside its solid and elastic mass. It has a thin and dry rind, a light and fine flavor, and a very pleasant, fine, and sweet taste that makes it ideal for any purpose.