HELLENIFERA is a research centre specializing in the clonal selection of the vine and more generally in the detection, labelling, study, preservation and certification of rare and rich plant material of vine varieties in south-eastern Mediterranean.

It is a unique collaboration at a global level, where a nursery, VNB, and the largest vineyard organization in the world, the French Institute of Vine and Wine (IFV), meet in one of the most historic and aged vineyards in the world.

Hellenifera has essentially started their activity since 2004, carrying out numerous research projects in Greece, Cyprus and the Balkan countries. During these missions more than 280 known and unknown varieties and more than 1500 candidate clones have been identified.   

The process of clonal selection begins with the detection of candidate clones in aged vineyards in the centres of origin of the varieties. The globally recognized and specialized knowledge of the scientific team of Montpellier and VNB, guarantees the targeted and successful labelling of the clones. Labelling is a fundamental process in terms of the quality characteristics of each clone as these will appear 15 years later.

After 3 years of monitoring the specific plants, regarding the stability of the characteristics for which they were labelled, their tinges are collected for phyto-sanitary and genetic analysis.

For the phyto-sanitary status, HELLENIFERA sends the samples collected to the French Institute of Vine and Wine (IFV) in Montpellier, where ELISA and PCR tests are performed in order to determine whether the sample is free of the main harmful viruses of the vine.

At the same time, genetic identification is carried out, where appropriate and necessary. This identification results from the analysis of the SSR markers of the sample, according to the database of the INRA genetic material bank in Vassal.  Genetic identification is a highly valuable process as homonyms (similar name for different varieties) and synonyms (different name for the same variety) are encountered quite often.

Preliminary tests are followed by the sanitization of plant material where required (over 85%) of candidate clones needed for this process. The unique experience of IFV laboratories in Montpellier, France, guarantees the best and most ideal result.

The time for the final check has arrived and it is being carried out by grafting the candidate plant material into indicator plants, the so-called
“indexing”.  This is the only official method to date worldwide that can guarantee 100% purity of plant material from the viruses we are interested in.

Once the above procedures are completed and there are confirmed results for both the phyto-sanitary status and the identity of the plant material, HELLENIFERA proceeds to the root development of grafts and their introduction into the specially designed insect-proof mesh gardens in Leontio Nemea, in Greece. All healthy samples are kept there and now officially constitute the first bank of healthy genetic material in Greece.

Then the selected and healthy plant material is planted in mountainous Argolis, in the area of Alea: (37°46'01.7''N & 22°28'09.7''E). There, in the VNB rootstock nurseries, all Hellenifera clones are planted. This area is unique because of its  special characteristics: altitude 630 meters, Huglin Index 2400, Cool Night Index Cl+1 13°C, average annual precipitation 650 mm and most importantly, an isolated location away from conventional vineyards. 

In this location, all the experimental vineyards with the new Hellenifera clones are installed. The planting density is 4000 plants / 2.475 acres, the shaping system is double spur pruning (cordon royat), with 8-10 branches per plant. The height of the trunk is 80 cm and the ground is of medium composition with a high gravel content.

All agronomic and oenological measurements are carried out on the grapes produced in these experimental vineyards. Following the first measurements in 2014, Hellenifera can boast more than 8 years of measurements regarding their first clones. These measurements are always complemented by micro-vinification and blind wine tastings by the dedicated Hellenifera team.

So from 2022 onwards Hellenifera SARL is happy to release their first 20 clones.


Agiorgitiko N ENTAV-INRA® 001VNB
Aidani white B ENTAV-INRA® 003VNB
Assyrtiko B ENTAV-INRA® 004VNB
Vidiano B ENTAV-INRA® 007VNB
Corinthiaki N ENTAV-INRA® 010VNB
Kotsifali N ENTAV-INRA® 011VNB
Limnionas N ENTAV-INRA® 013VNB
Monemvasia B ENTAV-INRA® 016VNB
Moschofilero N ENTAV-INRA® 017VNB
Xinomavro N ENTAV-INRA® 018VNB
Roditis Rs ENTAV-INRA® 019VNB
Savatiano B ENTAV-INRA® 022VNB
Sultanina B ENTAV-INRA® 024VNB
110 Richter ENTAV-INRA® 026VNB
140 Ruggeri ENTAV-INRA® 027VNB
Crimson Seedless ENTAV-INRA® 028VNB
Red Globe ENTAV-INRA® 029VNB