Until recently, this red grape variety with its black (“Mavro) and crisp (“tragano”) berries—hence, the name Mavrotragano—was merely blended in the Santorini sweet wines and had become all but extinct. Today, it is one of the highly-touted varieties employed in producing reds. With its future appearing more auspicious than ever, Mavrotragano combines the exotic with the singular in an outstanding, all-inclusive package!
Showcasing it, however, was no mean feat for Santorini winegrowers who were forced to search the island’s volcanic soil vine by vine before being able to identify and then multiply the handful of old Mavrotragano vines left. At the winery, winemakers were then faced with the onerous task of bringing to the surface the variety’s exquisite aromas, evocative of premium, flower-bursting Latin American coffee, smoke, and sweet red fruit. Lastly, wine growers had to work toward taming the variety’s robust tannins which complemented the rich, mineral-heavy mouth of the rare, unusual wines Santorini’s Mavrotragano yields.
It is certain that their efforts have not been in vain. Despite the fact that Mavrotragano has revealed but a small part of its potential (it has been planted frugally outside the terroir of Santorini), it shows promise of being as unique as the land that has given it birth: an outstanding variety with the potential of offering one-of-a-kind experiences capable of overturning the habitual wine routine of each and every wine explorer!