Kydonitsa (white)


[Grape Variety]

This very rare, old Greek variety probably comes from the area north of Monemvasia, an island and once an important port in Laconia, the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese.

Kydonista, or Kidonitsa, meaning 'little quince' and named for its characteristic aroma and flavour, had been almost forgotten until one or two dedicated producers made a concerted effort to restore its fortunes. They value the grape not only for its potential to make fresh, aromatic dry varietal wines but also as a probable component in the legendary blended sweet wine made from sun-dried grapes and known historically as Malvasia – an intense, honeyed and apricot-laden but fresh wine now protected under the appellation Monemvasia-Malvasia. (The name Malvasia is particularly confusing because it is also used for various grape varieties in several European countries.)

Dry Kydonitsa tends to have a quince-like tang but may lean towards flavours of citrus and apricot, sometimes lightly floral.

The few producers who make a varietal Kydonitsa include George and Elli Tsibidis at Monemvasia Winery, as well as Yiannis Vatistas and, in Sparta a little further north, Theodorakakos.

Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson MW, Julia Harding MW and José Vouillamoz;

All rights reserved by Future plc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Decanter.

Only Official Media Partners (see About us) of may republish part of the content from the site without prior permission under strict Terms & Conditions. Contact to learn about how to become an Official Media Partner of