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Savatiano is probably Greece's most well known and most widely grown grape varietal, as it is the primary grape used in the production of Retsina, where the fermenting juices of the Savatiano varietal are flavored with pine resin in order to make this distinctive and famous wine. One of the reasons for the wide cultivation of this grape is due to its hardiness, and resistance to drought conditions. In the sun-drenched and dry, rocky Greek landscapes, this makes it an ideal vine to grow for wine-makers who require a strong and bounteous yield each year.
However, there are plenty of examples of Greek white wines which use the Savatiano grape but withhold from the addition the pine resin flavoring, allowing the true characteristics of this varietal to shine through. The result is often very pleasing indeed, with Savatiano grapes generally producing extremely well balanced and rounded white wines, with a juicily fruity flavor. Their aromas can vary quite a lot, with many Savatiano wines bearing the fragrance of citrus fruits, and also occasionally having a strong floral aroma reminiscent of elder and rose. Due to the relatively low acidity of Savatiano grapes, the wines which use them (including Retsina) generally bolster themselves with the addition of smaller quantities of more acidic varieties, such as Assyrtiko or Rhoditis, in order to improve their sometimes weak structure.