Shiraz grape variety

Shiraz, or Syrah, is one of the most famous red grape varieties in the world. In France and most of the ‘Old World’ it is called Syrah, whilst in Australia, the ‘New World’ and Cyprus it is called Shiraz. Shiraz is considered to be one of the oldest grape varieties in the world and it is believed to originate from the city of Shiraz in Persia, now Iran. The lack of evidence to support this, along with recent DNA results, indicates that Shiraz is more likely to be indigenous to France. Other names used for Shiraz are Syrac, Marsanne Noir, Serine, and Balsamnina.

Shiraz grows best in poor, well-draining soils, gravel, granite and limestone. The variety is grown in both cool and hot climates. Compared to other foreign grape varieties, Shiraz has adapted very well to the climate of Cyprus.

Shiraz berries are small to medium in size with a thick skin and have a round or slightly oval shape. The particular soil and climate of Cyprus produces powerful, full-bodied, dark red Shiraz wines. Wines from Shiraz are rich in tannins, have adequate acidity with aromas such as black pepper, clove, licorice, blackcurrant, blackberry, plum and dark cherry.

Wines produced from this variety: Fikardos Shiraz, Fikardos Red, and Valentina

Shiraz grape variety from Fikardos Winery in Cyprus.

Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It originates from France but today it is cultivated in nearly every major wine producing country, including North and South America, Europe, Australia and South Africa. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape was introduced to Cyprus in the 1970s and has adapted very well to the extreme climate of Cyprus. Due to our warm weather, Cyprus produces a fruitier and higher in alcohol Cabernet Sauvignon than the rest of north Europe.

A typical Cabernet Sauvignon in Cyprus has flavours of blackcurrant, cassis, blackberry, herbs and cedar. Most of these wines are aged in oak barrels and have a long gaining potential.

Wines produced from this variety: Fikardos Cabernet Sauvignon, Fikardos Red, Fikardos Rose and Valentina

Cabernet Sauvignon international grape variety from Fikardos Winery in Cyprus.

Mataro grape variety

Mataro originates from Spain and it is mostly cultivated in the Mediterranean region. Historians believe that Mataro was introduced to Spain by the Phoenicians in 500 BC. Other names used for Mataro are Mourvedre and Monastrell. The name Mataro is derived from the town of Mataro in Catalonia. The name Mourvedre is derived from the town of Murviedro in Valencia, and the name Monastrell from the Latin word monasteriellu, which means monastery people. The grape became synonymous with monasteries because it was grown in almost all monasteries around Catalonia.

Mataro was introduced to Cyprus during the late 70s together with other famous international varieties. This magnificent grape variety has proven to produce exceptional wines in Cyprus. Mataro produces medium-size, thick skinned grapes in compact bunches that are usually conical in shape. The thick skin of the grape makes it susceptible to diseases and produces wines that are deep red in colour with many tannins. Wines from Mataro are highly aromatic and have notes of dark berries. Cyprus Mataro is also famous for producing high alcohol rose wines that are gentle and slightly spicy. Typical aromas found in Mataro rose wines are red berries and cherry.

Wines produced from this variety: Fikardos Red, Fikardos Rose and Valentina

Mataro international grape variety from Fikardos Winery in Cyprus.

Semillon grape variety

Semillon international grape variety.

Semillon was one of the many “international” grape varieties that was introduced to Cyprus during the late 70s. In Cyprus, the majority of Semillon grapes are cultivated in the lower parts of the Paphos region from which Fikardos Winery sources its grapes.

Semillon is a French grape variety and is cultivated in both cool and warm climates. The grapevines are very productive, easy to cultivate and relatively resistant to diseases. The Semillon grapes are medium sized, round and have a thin skin. The typical alcohol level in Semillon wines is between 12% and 14%. The Semillon grape produces wines that are medium in body, have medium acidity with flavours of mango, yellow peach and papaya. In Cyprus, Semillon is mainly blended with the Cypriot grape variety Xinisteri in order to produce dry or medium-dry wines, but in other parts of the world like France and Australia, Semillon is used in the production of dessert wines.

Wines produced from this variety: Katerina

Chardonnay grape variety

Chardonnay is by far the most planted and most popular white wine grape variety in the world. It is cultivated from the United States until New Zealand and from South Africa until Germany. Chardonnay originates from France and is a cross between Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Gouais Blanc.

Chardonnay was first planted in Cyprus during the early 1980s. During that period, the government of Cyprus introduced various ‘international’ varieties as a way to improve the quality of Cyprus wine. Chardonnay has adapted very well to the hot climate of Cyprus and produces exceptional wines. In Cyprus, a typical Chardonnay will have an alcohol content of 12% – 14%. This is due to the warm climate of Cyprus which allows grapes to produce and ripen more. Chardonnay in Cyprus produces wines with tropical fruit aromas such as pineapple, guava and lychee but depending on the location it can also give you flavours of green apple, peach and apricot.

Wines produced from this variety: Fikardos Chardonnay

Chardonnay international grape variety from Fikardos Winery in Cyprus