Cyprus has been one of the primitive cradles of viticulture and wine since antiquity. Vineyards are cultivated throughout Cyprus and in many areas remarkable wines are produced. The geological peculiarity of the Troodos mountain range, in combination with the mild, Mediterranean climate, give wines of unique flavours and aromas, made from native varieties that have been growing on the island for thousands of years. During this difficult and unprecedented period, it is time we supported our country and Cypriot viticulture by choosing Cypriot varieties and wines! So, let’s get to know them.

The vineyards of Cyprus are home to about fifteen varieties, which can be considered indigenous to the island. In recent years, native varieties of wine grapes outweigh the preferences of the local producers as a means of promoting the Cyprus tradition.

Mavro (Black): It is the dominant variety Cypriot vineyards. It produces red wine, balanced, slightly sour with a lot of tannins, distinctive flavour and colour, which is not susceptible of long aging. Mavro vineyards cover the largest part of the total production area of the island (79%). Although it is considered a native variety of Cyprus, it is also cultivated in Crete and Kythira, according to Dr. Pierre Galet. Mavro is one of the two varieties (Xynisteri being the other one) used for the production of Commandaria.

Xynisteri: It is the largest white wine grape variety of the Cypriot vineyard. It produces extremely light-coloured wine, with low alcohol levels and low acidity, especially when extracted from the areas of Akamas’ Laona, Ampelitis, Vouni Panyias and Pitsilia, as well as from certain Krasochoria (wine villages) areas. The name of this variety firstly appeared in 1893 by French professor Mouillefert, who provided a full description of the vine and information on its cultivation. Xynisteri, in combination with Mavro, is used for the production of Commandaria and other sweet and dry white wines.

Maratheftiko or Vamvakada: It is a red variety found in the whole area of Cyprus. Maratheftiko was firstly recorded in 1893 by French professor Mouillefert with the name “Marathofiko”. It is considered a variety of superior quality, which offers a very concentrated wine, deeply coloured and full-bodied with a distinct, slightly fruity aroma of cherry and blackberry. However, its cultivation is more difficult to that of Mavro, since, on the one hand, it is very sensitive to mold, and, on the other hand, it is prone to a great flower fall that challenges production.

Lefkada: A Greek red grape variety cultivated in Cyprus. It is found in isolated cases among the vineyards of Pitsilia and Panayia. After ripening, this variety produces quite a tart fruit with intense red colour and intense, characteristic aroma, which, however, disappears easily during the process of ageing.

Promara: A white variety, which produces aromatic wine. The fruit collected come from the vineyards of Omodos and Kyperounda. The variety known as Bastartiko, located in the district of Panayia, is identical to that of Promara. The bunch of this variety is of medium size, conical, and quite compact, with small, oval, and greenish-yellow grapes.

Spourtiko: A white variety. Its name derives from the juicy nature of the grape, whose fragile skin is easily separated from the fruit. This variety is found in several vineyards of Omodos, Kyperounda and Panayia area. The wine produced from this variety is characterised by pale yellow colour with flower aromas.

Giannoudi: A variety of black sterility, oval, large grapes, with bluish-black colour, fleshy and colourless juice. Its wine has an intense aroma and high acidity.