Maratheftiko (or Vamvakada) is a very rare red Cyprus grape variety that was only rediscovered twenty-five years ago. This exceptional variety was grown among other grape varieties and was used in winemaking only to improve the colour and body of wines made from the local Mavro. Maratheftiko never became popular with old-timers because it produces small yields and it suffers from a rare viticultural problem. Almost all grape varieties have both male and female parts which allow them to self-pollinate and hence produce grapes. Conversely, Maratheftiko is considered a female grapevine because its male part is either non existent or in most cases underdeveloped. In some areas of Cyprus, Maratheftiko is planted together with Spourtiko. Both grapes flower the same time and thus Spourtiko helps Maratheftiko to pollinate and achieve fruit development.
Maratheftiko still represents only 5% of cultivated vineyards on the island but has become extremely popular among Cypriot winemakers and wine enthusiasts.
Maratheftiko grapes are medium to large and have a thick skin which gives wines a very deep red color, plenty of tannins and fresh acidity. Wines made from Maratheftiko can be distinguished by their dark berry and floral aromas.
Fikardos Winery works in close cooperation with vine growers and always aims in selecting the best grapes for vinification. Besides working with international varieties the winery gives strong emphasis to Cyprus Indigenous varieties.