SOME OF THE MAJOR GRAPES OF CYPRUS ORIGIN
Xynisteri (also spelled xynistery, xinisteri; Greek: ?????????) is an indigenous white grape grown on Cyprus. 13% of Cyprus vineyards, or 500 hectares (1250 acres) on the south slopes of the Troodos mountain range are planted with this grape variety. It is used in the production of several local (mainly white) wines. Notably, it is used on its own or blended with Mavro grapes for the production of Commandaria.
Mavro (Greek: ?????, meaning "black") is an indigenous red grape cultivated on the island of Cyprus. The grape takes its name from its dark colour. The Italian ampelographer, Count Giuseppe di Rovasenda refers to it in 1877 as Cipro Nero (Cyprus black). An ancient variety, its suitability to the hot Cypriot climate has made it the dominant cultivated vine on the island. It accounts for 70% of cultivated vines.
Of note is that Mavro continues to grow on ancient rootstock unlike most mainland European grapes that are grafted on North American rootstock. This is a consequence of Cyprus's escape from the phylloxera epidemic that had devastated most other European vineyards, in the 19th century.
Mavrud is a Bulgarian wine with a similar name made from mavrud grapes. Recent genotyping has shown that these two varieties (Mavro and Mavrud) are not related.
Mavro grapes are used in the production of several (predominantly red) local wines. Most notably however, Mavro is blended with the Xynisteri grape for the production of Commandaria. It is also used in the production of the spirit zivania.
Harvesting usually takes place in September.
Maratheftiko is an ancient grape variety indigenous to Cyprus.
It is also known locally as Vambakadha (?????????), Vambakina (?????????), Pampakia (????????), Mavrospourtiko (??????????????), Aloupostaphylo (?????????????).
It is grown in sparse quantities around the island but mostly in the Pitsilia region.
In the 1980s, with the revival of the Cyprus Vidiculture this variety was 'rediscovered' and its cultivation is slowly on the increase again, as it offers a distinctive character to local wines.
2010 statistics reveal that Marathefriko cultivation covers 150 hectares which represents less than 3% of cultivated vineyards on the island.