Cavus grape

Wines and grape varietals - Turkey

The word “cavus” means sergeant in Turkish, and this variety is so named for an army sergeant who brought it from Mecca to the sultan. It is a popular white grape variety and is primarily used as a table grape in Turkey. The grapes can also be dried or used to make pekmez, a light molasses-like syrup. The variety is of Anatolian origin and is also known as white Cavus, pink Cavus and Cavus of Bozcaada. Although it is also cultivated in some other regions of Turkey, Cavus is closely identified with Bozcaada Island, where it is considered to reach its highest quality thanks to the climate and terrior.Cavus grapes are large and oval-shaped and contain one to three seeds each. They ripen in September, and have a hazy, yellow-green color. They are extremely sweet with an intense aroma, and are low in tannins. The Cavus variety is rare among grape varieties because it creates female flowers only and therefore requires a pollinator. They are cultivated following the goble method, in which the 30 – 100 cm long vines are kept close to the soil. It is a common method used in old Turkish vineyards that is easy to set up, but not suitable for mechanization. The grapes are sensitive to diseases and fungi, and their delicate skin makes them difficult to transport. For these reasons, other varieties are much more popular for winemaking. Today, approximately 45 tons are grown per year.