WINES WITH THIS VARIETY
Mavrodaphne is a dark-skinned wine grape variety from the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece. It is used most often in the production of sweet, fortified wines, such as those from the coastal town of Patras. In the past, Mavrodaphne was generally blended with other, higher-yielding varieties of inferior quality – most often Black Corinthiaki. Happily, a more quality-focused approach to winemaking is now being adopted in various parts of Greece, allowing oak-aged Mavrodaphne to exhibit its trademark exotic aromas of marzipan, caramelized dark fruits and spices.
Beyond the Peloponnese, Mavrodaphne is grown in limited quantities on the Ionian Islands, particularly Cephalonia. Here, it is most often used to produce dry wines, and is most often blended with other local varieties. A rare clone of Mavrodaphne, known as Thiniatiko, can be found in small pockets on the island and produces even richer red wines.
Mavrodaphne means “black laurel” in Greek. ‘Mavro’, meaning black, is a common pre- and suffix in Greek wine names: varieties like Xynomavro, Mavrud and Mavro are unrelated, save for their etymology.