Aspro* is a green grape from Cyprus, possibly more known under the name Xynisteri.
When cultivated in high altitude vineyards it will give wines with floral and fruity aromas, lemon, some tropical fruit, and minerality. Levels of acidity are medium high.
Aspro is used to produce dry, white wines as well as the local spirit Zivania. It is also blended with Mavro in order to produce the Commandaria, a fortified dessert wine with an alcohol level of 15-20 percent alc/vol.
A nice food pairing with a dry varietal Aspro will be oven baked salmon with green pesto. Serve the wine at 8°C/46°F – 10°C/450°F.
Where is it grown?
Aspro is only cultivated on Cyprus. It is the islands most planted green grape (covering some thirty-three percent of Cyprus’ vineyard area), second only to the black grape Mavro. In 2010, the plantings were reported to cover 2.092 ha/5,169 ac, a decrease with 650 ha/1,606 ac in ten years.
The grape is recognised as being indigenous to Cyprus, supposedly with a long history. The amount of historical evidence that can confirm how long its history might be is, however, so far scarce.
*The name Aspro is also used as a synonym for another variety (the Greek Savatiano), which has no known connection to the variety presented here.