Savatiano is a green grape from Greece. In spite of slowly losing in popularity, it is still the most planted variety in the country.
If you want to use Savatiano to produce high quality dry wines, you need to keep the yields low. Even better if you harvest early in order to keep acidity levels as high as possible.
Otherwise the grapes will be better to use for blending or to produce Retsina, one of Greece’s hallmark beverages. With its heat resistance, the variety is well suited for its growth place, which probably the reason for it having been used for many centuries.
You can find dry varietals made from Savatiano, some of very good quality, some not. Look for grapes that have grown on a bit of an altitude.
Savatiano will pair excellently with a seafood dish, for example crabs. The wine is best served at 8-10°C/46-50°F.
Where is it grown?
Savatiano is reported to be grown only in Greece. With its 9.920 ha/24,512 ac, it is the most planted variety in the country. As such, it has a relatively high degree of importance for the wine industry; its PTPA is 18%. The variety is however losing in popularity. Between 2000 and 2010, the area planted with Savatiano decreased with 2.827 ha/6,987 ac, corresponding to a decrease of 22%.
More than ninety percent of the acreage is on Greece’s mainland, in the regions around Athens, as well as east and north-west of the country’s capital.
Savatiano is an old variety, recognised as having originated in Greece, most likely in the area where it still has its heartland.