THE INDIGENOUS AND IMPORTED GRAPE VARIETIES OF THE CYPRIOT VINEYARD

CYPRUS VINEYARDS © CYPRUS WINE MUSEUM
English

THE INDIGENOUS AND IMPORTED GRAPE VARIETIES OF THE CYPRIOT VINEYARD

In the 1960’s one of the main characteristics of the Cypriot vineyard was its absolute dominance by two indigenous, winemaking varieties. Mavro and Xinisteri. These varieties then covered, 79% and 19% respectively, of the total area under cultivation.  These two cultivars shared their environment with an assortment of other red (Ofthalmo, Lefkada, Maratheftiko, Vlouriko, Yiannoudi) and white (Malaga, Spourtiko, Canella, Promera, Morocanella) winemaking varieties.

In order to boost the dynamics of diversity, the government imported different winemaking varieties from the wine-producing countries of Europe, some of which began to be promoted from 1970 onward. The fact that, at the time, the price of grapes did not vary according to variety, contributed to the spreading of the most productive cultivars, such as Carignan Noir, Grenache Noir, Palomino and others.

The adaptation, however, of considerably higher prices for better quality grapes from low-yield varieties after 1990 played an important role in the gradual extension of areas where such cultivars as Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon, Semillon, and others are grown.

Extracts from the book:

“The book of Cyprus wine”

By Florentia Kythreotou

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