We are half way into the harvest season and finishing soon with all the non-Cypriot grape varieties. Last as always will be the Cypriot varieties Xinisteri, Maratheftiko and Giannoudi.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro, Carignan and Shiraz were in very good condition this year despite the general problem we had in Cyprus with powdery mildew. Semillon and Chardonnay were affected the most but thankfully did not cause us a lot of problems. Spourtiko, the only early ripening Cypriot variety, was exceptional and by the looks Xinisteri, Maratheftiko and Giannoudi will follow the same route.
At the moment some of our wines like Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon have finished their alcoholic fermentation. For the two reds though the journey doesn’t stop here, they still have to go through a secondary fermentation called malolactic fermentation (MLF). We use MLF to make our wines “softer”, to add more complex flavors such as butterscotch and butter (diacetyl) and to create a more stable wine. MLF is not really a fermentation, it is the process by which malic acid is converted into lactic acid. At Fikardos winery we usually carry out MLF after the alcoholic fermentation.
What’s next ?
By the end of this week we will harvest the first Xinisteri grapes and will continue until the end of this month. Xinisteri / Xynisteri is one of the most important grapes varieties in Cyprus. It has been cultivated on the island for thousands of years and produces beautiful aromatic wines. At our winery we use Xinisteri to produce two different wines, the Amalthia (100% Xinisteri) and the medium sweet Katerina (78% Xinisteri and 22% Semillon).
Towards the end we will also have the red grape varieties Maratheftiko and Giannoudi. Maratheftiko is Cyprus’s most important red grape variety, we use it only in the production of our oak aged Fikardos Maratheftiko. Giannoudi is a very rare grape that has similar characteristics to Maratheftiko. It can produce full body red wines with plenty of tannins and fruit. This is just the second Giannoudi harvest. Last year we produced only 3 barrels of Giannoudi from our ‘Karias’ vineyard in Choulou village, and hopefully this year the same.