The History of the Currant

The production of Currants dates back to ancient times. According to the historian, Zografos, written evidence for the trade of Currants can be traced back to the 13th and 14th Centuries.

Zografos wrote that the cultivation of Currants started in the areas of Patras and Aeghion in Greece. The word Currant comes from the name of Corinth, a city of ancient Greece, in the Corinthian Gulf, where the currants were first grown. Currants were loaded for export at the ports across the region.

During the 18th and 19th century, Currants were produced in the region of Patras, Aeghion (Vostizza), Corinth, Pyrgos, Amalias, Kalamata and the Ionian Islands.

Vostizza Currants
Production of the Vostizza Currant
Gallery of factory images


Vostizza Currants

Only the finest Vostizza Currants are used in the production of ‘Real Lancashire Eccles Cakes. Why Vostizza Currants?

Vostizza Currants are the finest currants produced anywhere in the world. Today most of the world’s currants are produced on the west coast of the Peloponnese area of southern Greece, stretching some 250 miles from Corinth in the north, to Calamata in the south.

In exactly the same way as the great wines of France are produced in small areas where the soil and climatic conditions are favourable, so the Vostizza Currant benefits from its cultivation high in the hills surrounding the town of Aeghion. This outstanding fruit proudly bears the ancient name of that town, Vostizza where it is exclusively produced.

Indeed, so outstanding is the character of this fruit that the Vostizza name and quality was protected from the introduction of inferior qualities by Presidential decree and later by Greek law. Since 1993 the European Union certified Vostizza Currants as a product of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO No. 1549/98).


Production of the Vostizza Currant

In the production of Vostizza Currants, five tonnes of grapes are needed to produce one tonne of currants. Over 6,000 families are involved in the care and cultivation of the vines and the average production per vineyard is less than two tonnes.

Harvesting in the mountainous region takes place some three weeks later than the lowlands. Drying is carried out in the traditional manner by alternate periods exposed to hot sun and the shade. It is thought that the slowness of this process imparts such exquisite flavour to the Vostizza Currant. Certainly, it is responsible for the softness of texture and the high retention of natural sugars.

From the vineyard, the fruit passes to factories for cleaning, grading and packing for export markets. Lancashire Eccles Cakes Limited approves only one factory for the preparation of their Currants. This is the modern and hygienic plant operated by the Agricultural Cooperatives Union of Aeghion. This packing station is regarded as being one of the finest sites in the world for the production of dried vine fruits with an outstanding reputation for product quality, cleanliness and safety. ISO 9001:2000, ISO22000 and BRC systems are in place.

At the packing station the fruit is carefully graded, double washed in fresh running water and handpicked to remove any remaining vine stems on static picking tables. Before packing it is finally passed through metal detection and x-ray equipment. Only the finest selected fruit graded Vostizza-A is used by Lancashire Eccles Cakes in the production of their ‘Real Lancashire Eccles Cakes’.


Tour of the Vostizza Currants Factory

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