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The red grape variety comes from Greece; the name means "black laurel". Synonyms are Ahmar Mechtras, Fraoula Kokkini, Mauro Daphni, Mavrodafni, Mavrodanitsa, Mavrodaphni, Mavrodrami and Thiniatiko. It must not go with the other numerous varieties Mavro be confused as part of the name. The on Kefallonia cultivated variety Thiniatiko is probably a clone by Mavrodaphne. The parentage is unknown. According to in 2013 DNA analysis she is a parent of the varieties Tsaoussi and Zakynthino, It also becomes related to the variety Goustolidi supposed.

The early ripening, productive vine with thin-skinned berries is susceptible to millerandage and wrong mildew, as well as sensitive to drought. It produces aromatic, colorful and tannin-rich red wines with aromas of vanilla and plum as well as aging potential. There are two clones, Mavrodaphne Tsigelo with smaller berries (Kefallonia) and Mavrodaphne Regnio with more compact grapes (Achaia).

Mavrodaphne - bunch of grapes and leaf

It is thanks to two Germans that wines from this vine became known in Germany and later throughout Europe and also overseas. Gustav Clauss (1825-1908), who immigrated from Bavaria, founded in 1861 what is today one of the largest Greek wineries Achaia Clauss and made sweet, fortified wines from this variety for the first time. From the mid-1870s, the Neckargemünd wine dealer Julius Karl Menzer (1845-1917) imported Mavrodaphne and other Greek wines in large quantities and made them known. It is now one of the best-known Greek grape varieties worldwide.

Mavrodaphne or with the second main name Mavrodafni is mainly based on the Ionian Islands Lefkada and Kefallonia, as well as in Achaia, the northwestern part of the Peloponnese grown. On Kefallonia the POP wine "Mavrodaphne von Kefallonia" and in is created Patras (North coast of Peloponnese) the POP wine "Mavrodaphne von Patras". The total area under cultivation in Greece in 2010 was 345 hectares, with a steep downward trend, since ten years earlier it had been 537 hectares (Kym Anderson ).

Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Images: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)

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