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Athiri is the oldest Greek white wine grape variety, indigenous to the Cretan vineyard. “Thireos oenos” has been known since the 2nd century C.E. A further reference by Ptochoprodromos in the 13th (or 14th) century C.E. to “Cretan Athyrin” hints at the cultivation of Athiri in Crete in earlier centuries. It is believed that Athiri was already known in Classical times under the name “Thiraiki” and was used during the Middle Ages as the main part of the Cretan Malvasia blend. According to Logothetis (1975), the name of the grape variety derives etymologically either from “thirea grapes” (thirea>thiri>athiri); or from the verb athyrein (αθύριν) which in Greek means to alter, to vary. Today, it is cultivated in a surface area of 1200-1500 ha in almost all viticultural regions extending from Macedonia to Crete (Dodecanese, Cyclades, Thrace, Central Greece, Peloponnese, Ionian islands).

Classification Schemes




Ampelographic Description

by AUA

Genetic profile

Microsatellites VVS2 VVMD5 VrZAG62 VrZAG79 VVMD7 VVMD25 VVMD27 VVMD28 VVMD32
Source A1 A2 A1 A2 A1 A2 A1 A2 A1 A2 A1 A2 A1 A2 A1 A2 A1 A2
VIVC 133 143 242 248 188 200 243 257 239 249 239 241 180 186 244 244 252 258