International Maratheftiko Day Date in the current year: December 1, 2024

International Maratheftiko Day International Maratheftiko Day is observed annually on December 1. It is celebrated by wine lovers around the world in honor of a rare red wine grape variety from Cyprus.

Cyprus has a long history of vine-growing and wine-making that spans millennia. There is archaeological evidence suggesting that wine was produced on Cyprus as early as 6,000 years ago. Today, Cyprus is in the top 50 wine-producing countries in the world in terms of total volume of wine production, but its production of wine per capita is much higher. The wine industry significantly contributes to the economy of Cyprus both through the production and export of vines and through wine tourism.

Most wines produced in Cyprus are made from local grape varieties such as Mavro, Xynisteri, and Maratheftiko. Mavro (red) and Xynisteri (white) are the most widely planted grape varieties in Cyprus, but Maratheftiko is considered the island’s signature grape variety because of its ancient history, despite accounting for less than 5% of the island’s cultivated vineyards.

Maratheftiko is known locally by many different names: Aloupostaphylo, Mavrospourtiko, Pampakia, Vambakadha, Vambakina. It has grown around the island for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that Maratheftiko was rediscovered by small boutique wineries and its purposeful cultivation began to increase slowly but steadily.

Maratheftiko is a red wine grape variety. Shortly after its rediscovery, it was primarily used in blends to add body and color to Mavro, but the production of varietal wines made from Maratheftiko has been growing steadily in recent years. Maratheftiko can be used to produce a wide range of wines; red, rosé and even white (blanc de noir wines produced with no skin contact), dry, semi-sweet and sweet, still and sparkling.

Maratheftiko wines are characterized by a good balance of alcohol, acidity and tannins. They usually have a rich, full body, intense red color, and notes of cherries, black fruits, flowers, black pepper, and spices. Maratheftiko wines pair well with meat, particularly grilled meats, slow-cooked game, and cured meets. They also pair nicely with mushrooms.

International Maratheftiko Day was created to raise awareness of Cyprus’s signature red wine grape variety and to promote Cypriot wines on an international level. It is supported by numerous Cypriot vine growers, wineries, and other industry players and organizations. To celebrate the holiday, wineries, restaurants, hotels, and wine bars organize tasting events, dinners, master classes, and other events and activities that aim to introduce a wide audience to Maratheftiko wines.

If you cannot make it to one of these in-person events, you can celebrate this amazing holiday by learning more about this grape variety and Cypriot wines in general, opening a bottle of Maratheftiko and sharing it with a friend, and sharing your experience with Maratheftiko on social media with the hashtags #InternationalMaratheftikoDay, #MaratheftikoDay, and #Maratheftiko to spread the word about the holiday and encourage others to celebrate.

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International Maratheftiko Day, international observances, wine holidays, wine-related observance, Cypriot wines