Usually known as Verzami on Cyprus, Lefkada originates from central Greece, the Peloponnese, and is also grown on the eponymous Ionian island. Its plantings on Cyprus exceed those in its homeland and Lefkada has been adopted as a native Cypriot red grape. It produces small bunches of thick-skinned grapes, with resulting wines of a deep colour and excellent structure.

Cypriot wine producers are experimenting with Lefkada, both bush-trained and trellised, and are in the process of determining its optimum terroir. At lower, warmer climes, it tends to produce too much alcohol and loses its balance of red berries, cherries and its savoury character, whilst at cooler, higher altitudes, Lefkada struggles to ripen fully.

Managing the tannins of this grape, both in the vineyard and in the winery, will require considerable experimentation. However, Lefkada shows all the signs of being a very worthwhile investment for Cypriot wine producers.

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