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Everything you need to know about “Maratheftiko” – in 5 minutes

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We believe in the power of Cypriot grape varieties. Besides, the Cypriot vineyard is one of the oldest of all times.

If there is one Cypriot grape variety that you definitely need to know, this is Maratheftiko! Although it corresponds to only 3% of the vineyards that are cultivated in Cyprus, it produces exceptional quality wines, giving them a very unique and special note.

The Origin of its Name

We do not know, for certain, how the name of this variety occurred. According to one source, it originates from the word “Marathasa”. Another theory is that its name reminds of the people in “Marathasa”, who were known for their false promises. In the same way, Maratheftiko: in the blooming season fills you with expectations of rich vintage but in the end, when it fruits, it is very thin!

In “Pitsilia” Maratheftiko is also known with the names: “Vamvakada”, “Vamvakina”, “Pambakia”, “Mavrospourtiko” and “Aloupostafylo”.

The story of Maratheftiko

In 1983, professor Mouillefert used for the first time, the word “Marathofiko” for this particular variety. Then, it was a forgotten red grape variety, since until 1996 approximately, when we started making wines from Maratheftiko, there was the following perception: “If we can’t even pronounce the word, how are we able to make it and export it?”

As a result, Maratheftiko was not cultivated systematically, and people were not aware of the big potential of this specific variety. Τhe first years of our winery, when we started obtaining Maratheftiko from Panagia, in Paphos, there were only some isolated plants, spread in the vineyards with Xynisteri or Mavro.

The winegrowers did not like Maratheftiko, since it wasn’t profitable due to its small quantity of grapes that it produced. As a result, they planted vineyards with Xynisteri and Mavro and only very few vineyards of Maratheftiko existed, either to make their own, “homemade” wine (since they were aware of its quality), or to mix it with Mavro in order to give it a deeper colour. This, of course, solved in a way its problem, since it pollinated from the other plants.

Its uniqueness

One of the particularities of Maratheftiko’s cultivation is that it is planted along with Spourtiko. Why?

Unfortunately, Maratheftiko very often presents a problem in its fruiting, since it is sensitive in a viticultural disease, known as “anthorria”, which causes blossom drop.

However, one way to overcome this problem is to utilize Spourtiko in its pollination. Spourtiko blooms about the same days as Maratheftiko, as a result the pollen can be easily transferred from one plant to another.

It is one of the few varieties in the world that is not hermaphrodite. This means that it cannot self-fertilized, since all of its blossoms are feminine.

It is however, a “greedy” variety, since it absorbs nutrients from the soil and it expands much more from other Cypriot varieties. For example, the vines we planted, they made 12 metres sprouts in only one year!

Maratheftiko’s characteristics

Intense deep red colour, soft velvety taste with tannins and rich wine body. Aromas of fruits and flowers mixed with aromas of forest fruits and vanilla that gives a complex taste in the palate. It can also be found as rosé, it matures in oak barrels and it is appropriate even for an aging wine.

Maratheftiko is neither Merlot, nor Cabernet Sauvignon. In “Ktima Christoudia” we believe in indigenous varieties and in their uniqueness. Our philosophy is Cypriot grape varieties is our guide to foreign markets. Foreign visitors will not be interested in the Cypriot version of Cabernet, but in the Cypriot Maratheftiko which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Food pairing:

Steaks, cooked braised, rich and high-fat meats, traditional Cypriot “souvla”, and baked pasta.

Served in the temperature of 15-18οC, either directly, or after a long maturation in the bottle.

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