Posted On 06 December 2019

Xinisteri is a remarkable grape and has so much potential. It’s a grape that grows only in Cyprus and can be found in all the winemaking regions. Xinisteri represents 28.5% of all grapes grown in Cyprus, making it the most planted white grape variety. This is one of the most drought tolerant grapes varieties in the world and grows very well on shallow calcareous soils. This remarkable acclimation was achieved after thousands of years of exposure to the warm and dry climate of Cyprus. The grapes of Xinisteri are medium in size, are oval or ellipsoidal and the cluster in most cases is cylindrical in shape.

Xinisteri depending on the location it grows will have varying characteristics. In altitudes between 400-700 meters it produces mostly stone fruit flavours with some floral notes. Once we go higher our wines are higher in acidity with citrus and floral flavours. Xinisteri is the most planted white grape variety on the island and is used in the production of dry, medium sweet and sweet wines (Commandaria).

Xinisteri / Xynisteri flavour wheel Cyprus Indigenous variety

Fikardos Xinisteri

Fikardos Xinisteri is a refreshing white wine from the indigenous grape Xinisteri. This is the ideal wine to enjoy on a sunny day at the beach or at a seafood restaurant.

Fikardos Xinisteri is essentially the new name for Amalthia. Amalthia was first released in 1990 and was for many years a blend of Xinisteri and Semillon. The 2016 vintage was great for Xinisteri so we decided to produce Amallthia entirely from this variety. The following year we did the same and that wine was awarded the best Xinisteri in the Thessaloniki wine competition. In 2019 in coordination with the re-branding of our wines we decided to rename the wine into Fikardos Xinisteri.

Vineyard Location

All the vineyards are located in Kili, Kathikas, Choulou and Tsada villages of the Paphos wine region. Kili is by far the main growing area with 90% of all the vineyards. The vineyards are at 500 meters of altitude, on limestone soil. The majority of them have north-east orientation and are mainly located above the cool valley of Tzeronitis river.

Winemaking process

Xinisteri is an aromatic variety that can give you a lot of flavours. At Fikardos winery to harness this potential we first cool the grapes at a very low temperature and then continue with crushing. By cooling the grapes, we are essentially protecting them from oxidation during crushing and the early winemaking stages. A lot of the varietal flavours found in this grape come from the skin. At Fikardos winery we undergo a 14-16 hour cold maceration period (leaving the juice and skins to soak at a low temperature 10-12°C). This process enhances the flavour intensity of our wine but at the same time does not allow any colour or tannin to be extracted.

The winemaking process continues with the separation of the skins and the fermentation of the free run juice at 14°C. For our Fikardos Xinisteri we only use free run juice, which has less solids and is more aromatic than the press.

Once the fermentation finishes the wine is racked (remove sediments), stabilized and filtered. It usually takes just 3-4 months from the day of harvest to the first bottling. The wine is then allowed a small period of time to ‘rest’ before it’s released into the market.

Taste notes

The Fikardos Xinisteri is lemon in colour, medium in body and has medium acidity. Its flavour intensity is high and has dominant flavours of lemon blossom, pink grapefruit, peach and apricot.

Food Pairing

Fikardos Xinisteri pairs very well with seafood dishes such as grilled seabass, octopus or fried red mullet. Xinisteri can also pair nicely with vegan dishes, we suggest toasted pecan stuffed portobellos or grilled summer vegetables with apple sauce.