Mandilaria (aka) Mandilari is red wine grape variety, prolific in the Greek wine regions of Aegean islands and in Crete (esp. in the Peza and Archanes Appelations). It produces sturdy wines with saturated colour and robust tannic qualities that require some ageing to temper their mild astringency.

Its typically low alcoholic content makes mono-varietal vinification quite challenging. Domaine Lyrarakis is in the vanguard of experimentation with the grape: Their single-vineyard, unblended, low-yield bottling of Madilaria has set new standards with an astounding 14% alcohol and impressive levels of fruit concentration.

Typically, Mandilaria is ideally suited as the blending partner of the red Kotsifali grape , yielding red wines that benefit greatly from ageing. For Kotsifali, Mandilaria reinforces its tannin structure, moderates its considerably higher alcohol levels and enhances its characteristically low colour.

In Santorini a prime example comes from Paris Sigalas, a blend of Mandilaria with the succulent Mavrotragano that yields a fleshy, opulent, savoury style of wine that has been likened to a New World Zinfandel and Syrah for its power and concentration. On Chios island, Mandilaria grapes are sun dried for a week to produce an opulent sweet wine.

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