Red-grape variety widely planted around Crete, Kotsifali originates from the word “kotsifi” a little blackbird that shows a particular preference for the variety’s grapes.

Usually made as a blend with the other local red-grape, Mandilari. They are excellent blending partners when Kotsifali accounts for approximately 2/3 of the combination. However, better viticultural practices have led to more varietal Kotsifali wines on the market.

Kotsifali wines have little colour, and managing the high alcohol can sometimes be a challenge. Contrary to Mandilari, it has ripe, juicy flavours of red fruits like cherry, plum, strawberry, thyme, and laurel. Tannins are soft and ripe, acidity is moderate.

Vigorous in the vineyard and very productive. If not managed carefully according to each specific vineyard characteristics, these characters can lead to thin, heavily alcoholic wines. It is best in hot sites, where flavours fully ripen. Low altitude vineyards with light sandy soils are preferred since they can naturally limit its vigour. Canopy management is essential to improve airflow and protect the grapes from botrytis bunch rot.

Main viticultural areas for Kotsifali are the Archanes PDO, but also Peza PDO and Handakas Candia PDO. In Archanes, the gravelly soils at elevations of up to 450 m (1,476 ft) allow grapes to ripen and show their intensly flavourful character to the full. At Peza and Handakas Candia, at elevations ranging from 500 to 600 m (1,640 to 1,970 ft), more delicate results are achieved, suited for three to four years ageing.

Wines from Kotsifali variety