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Wine with Maratheftiko grapes

by | Jan 17, 2017

Maratheftiko is a red wine producing grape variety grown in the Cyprus Island. Locally it is known by the name Vambakadha.


In some regions is known by the name Pampakia, Mavrospourtiko and many other different names. The production of the grape is not so high. Surveys have listed that only 1% of the land (accounting to 125 acres) of the island is indulged in the production of this grape variety.

Though the productivity of the grape is low, the popularity has no less effect. It is still the most demanded red wine in Cyprus.

The wines made from Maratheftiko grape have low tannins and have unique taste and aromas. Since the alcohol content of the wines is low, people are ready to consume the wine on a regular basis.

Wine grape varieties

The aromas and flavour of chocolate mostly attract people towards it. More and more awareness about the grape is being spread to increase the production to the maximum extent.

The wines produced have a good aging potential and the taste is enhanced when subjected to aging or oak treatment.

The Maratheftiko grape is usually known to make good quality varietals with a prominent aroma and different taste which is pleasant to taste.

Origin of Maratheftiko grapes

The Maratheftiko grape was not very popular earlier. Before the 1980s, the production was so low that it was believed that the grape will cease to exist in a few years, but in 1980s the grape was rediscovered and so the production went slightly higher.

Experiments were started to be done on the grape, but its pollination was a problem. Till date a number of experiments are being done to solve this problem and use Maratheftiko grape in a better way.

Fertilization was yet another problem. If the grape was not properly fertilized, it suffered though Millerandage which spoil the vine.

The grape has been in the history of Cyprus wines since a number of years and so it must be conserved for the coming generations.

Since Cyprus Island is the only region growing Maratheftiko grape variety, cultivators from other regions should also know about the grape and try to make their own vineyards growing the grape and using its varied taste to make blends and varietals.

Features of Maratheftiko Wines

Maratheftiko grows in medium sized clusters. The clusters are usually compact. The size of the berries varies from small to medium.

The main reason for limited production of Maratheftiko grape is that this variety of grape is not able to self-pollinate. As a result, the vines are to be placed next to each other for pollination.

This is a troublesome process and so people usually avoid taking so much of trouble. Even though the grape faces such problem, it is still considered to be one of the best red wines available in the Cyprus Island.

The wines have a very good aging potential and also if subjected to oak, their taste is enhanced. If the berries of Maratheftiko grape are allowed to mature in suitable pedoclimatic conditions, they give out aromas of black chocolate and cherries.

The wines made from the grape have a deep colour and low tannins. On mouth, they give out taste of chocolate and coffee. The grape is encouraged as well as the wines made from it!

Food pairing with Maratheftiko wine

Dry wines made from Maratheftiko wine grapes can be served with salads or with exotic dishes such as sushi. It can also go well with savoury tarts.

Zucchini fritters are said to taste well with the grapes. If the wines are sweet, it may be served with blue cheese or with nut-based desserts. It also tastes well with apricot tart.

It suits the best with lime pie. You may also consume it with ‘baklava’. It is said to compliment the taste of sweet wines very well. Other sweet dishes which have a prominent flavour can be enjoyed with this white wine variety.

If you want to enjoy the taste of the wine alone, you may do so as the wine does not have such flavours which need to be neutralised with some food items.

If you visit Cyprus, you must try wines made from this variety of grapes since it is the only region growing this unique red wine producing grape variety!

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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