Mavro (Greek: μαύρο, meaning "black") is an indigenous red grape cultivated on the island of Cyprus.[1] The grape takes its name from its dark colour. The Italian ampelographer, Count Giuseppe di Rovasenda refers to it in 1877 as Cipro Nero (Cyprus black).[2] An ancient variety, its suitability to the hot Cypriot climate has made it the dominant cultivated vine on the island. It accounts for 70% of cultivated vines.[3] Of note is that Mavro continues to grow on ancient rootstock unlike most mainland European grapes that are grafted on North American rootstock. This is a consequence of Cyprus’ escape from the phylloxera epidemic that had devastated most other European vineyards, in the 19th century.[4]

Mavrud is a Bulgarian wine with a similar name made from mavrud grapes. Recent genotyping has shown that these two varieties (Mavro and Mavrud) are not related.[5]

Mavro grapes are used in the production of several (predominantly red) local wines.[1] Most notably however, Mavro is blended with the Xynisteri grape for the production of Commandaria, a well-known Cypriot dessert wine.[6][7] It is also used in the production of the spirit zivania.[8] Harvesting usually takes place in September.


  1. ^ a b "Κρασί κυπριακό : Μια παράδοση 5500 χρόνων". foodmuseum.cs.ucy.ac.cy (in Greek). Cyprus Food Virtual Museum. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  2. ^ di Rovasenda, Giuseppe (1877). Saggio di Ampelografia Universale (Essay on Universal Ampelography). Italy. 
  3. ^ page 454, Larousse Encyclopaedia of Wine by Christopher Foulkes, ISBN 0-600-60475-6.
  4. ^ "Cyprus wine comes of age". Caterer and Hotelkeeper (Archive). CatererSearch. 13 January 1994. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  5. ^ Hvarleva, T; Hadjinicoli, A.; Atanassov, I.; Atanassov, A.; Ioannou, N. (2005). "Genotyping Vitis vinifera L. cultivars of Cyprus by microsatellite analysis". Vitis. 44 (2): 93–97. 
  6. ^ Mastropavlos, Nikos. "Οι δρόμοι του κρασιού στη Μεγαλόνησο". tovima.gr (in Greek). To Vima. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  7. ^ Meuse, Stephen (June 6, 2010). "Winemaking in transition". The Boston Globe. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  8. ^ "Zivana (zivania) product description". LOEL Ltd. Retrieved 2007-10-30.