Meet the Corinth Currants! Dating back to the 15th century B.C., the Corinth Currants has been cultivated for many centuries in specific areas in Greece where it thrives and prospers. References of how the product dries and is finally mastered can be found throughout the Odyssey and in the texts of Aristotle; thus indicating the ancient tradition that Greeks have followed throughout time in growing this precious raisin. The peak of Black Corinth raisin (currants) cultivation can be found between the 16th and 19th centuries A.D. and for about 50 years, the Currants constituted 75% of all Greek exports. Furthermore, it is widely known that the growing of Currants was the key factor in Greece’s urban transformation as well as the incentive to have some of Greece’s most ambitious urban projects (such as the Corinth Canal and the railway network) designed and finally realised.
The name we have chosen for our product, Golden Black, was used in the past to describe Corinth Currnats because for Greece that product was exactly like oil for the Middle East. In other words, Currants were Greece’s black gold.
Our vineyards are located in the ancient region of Nemea (Greece) and more specifically in a picturesque place 300 metres above sea level called Xirocambos, where we cultivate our vineyards exclusively with organic methods. The cultivation of our vineyards is always based on the exceptional quality of the grapes we gather, and that is why the acre output in kilos is maintained at a low level. The collecting of grapes, or in other words the “vine harvest”, takes place during the last 10 days of August. However, there is always a small divergence depending on each year’s weather conditions, because we need to let the grapes ripen to the point at which they reach their best quality. The grapes are collected into baskets and are transferred straight away to the place where our sunshades are located and immediately placed to dry.
Right after the vine harvest comes the grape-drying where we place the grapes on handmade sunshades called “Skies” or “Iskiades”. These are wooden structures with parallel stainless steel wires all along their width, while on their ceiling rows of rustproof metallic sheets are placed, in order to create shadow for the grapes to be dried.
There we carefully hang the grapes one by one, so the grape berries are not damaged and we thus lose some of their juices, causing a potential decrease in the quality of our final product. After we hang our grapes, the drying process begins, without exposing the grapes to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and of course without letting the grapes touch the ground. After 30 to 60 days with constant daily checking of the drying process, we begin to take the almost-dried grapes down from the sunshades and we carefully place them by hand in a threshing floor nearby. Then we leave them under the sun for 1-2 days, so the drying process can be completed.
To finish, when the raisins are fully dried, we grate the grapes with special tools, trying to separate the stem from the berries and we separate them. We collect the Black Corinthian Raisins (Currants) and perform the initial processing on a machine called “Makina” where both very large and very small berries are shed, plus scraps are removed with light air pressure. Finally, our Black Corinth Raisins (Currants) are temporarily stored until their final processing and standardisation.