Liatiko grape.

Liatiko is an ancient black-skinned grape variety grown on Crete. In the 21st Century, only a handful of producers make wine from Liatiko, but the variety was once of great importance to Crete’s winemakers, particularly during the Middle Ages, when the island was under Venetian rule.

The name Liatiko is a short-form of the Greek word for July, an allusion to the fact that the grape ripens early in the growing season. Despite the name, it would be extremely unusual to see Liatiko grapes actually being harvested in July – few vines in Europe, even as far south as Crete, are ever harvested before mid-August. The above is all also true of Italy’s distinctively perfumed and similarly named Aleatico, although the two varieties are not related.

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