Corinthian raisin is cultivated in Greece since the Homeric years, while written references for its trade exist since the 12th century. At the end of the 19th century, raisined exports accounted for up to 75% of all Greek exports, which contributed to the reconstruction of the modern Greek state on the eve of the Balkan Wars, to the creation of the first industrial cores and to the urban transformation Greek society at the same time. It is considered to be a world-wide unique product since more than 80% is produced in Greece and is a dual-use variety, that is, it can be dried or lead to winemaking.The sultana has been cultivated mainly in Crete since 1922 and as a cultivated variety it is a triple use, that is to say it can be used as a fresh grape product, dried or lead to winemaking. He comes from the Sultan district of Iraq, from which he took his name. From there it was originally moved to Asia Minor, from where its cultivation was spread to other countries. The substantial expansion of cultivation in Greece began after the persecution of the Greek element of Ionia (1912-24), when many sultanas merchants and growers resorted to Greece, while a new impetus was given in 1923. During this period its cultivation grew rapidly in Crete . He then developed in Corinth, where he found appropriate climate and soil conditions and finally expanded to other parts of the country.
Greek currants (Corinthian and Sultanian) compete in a global market where a total quantity of about 1,050,000 tons is traded and 260,000-300,000 tons of Turkish sultanas are sold, about 300,000-350,000 tons of dried grapes in California, about 200,000 tons of different types of currants from China, 4,000-7,000 tons of currants from the US and Australia, as well as quantities produced in Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Australia, Chile and elsewhere.
Around 250,000-280,000 tonnes of currants (Corinthian and Sultanian) are consumed annually in the European Union and is the main recipient of Greek currants (mainly Corinthian). The total demand of the EU is covered by imports from third countries, mainly from Turkey, USA, Iran, South Africa and Chile.
Two types of currants have been registered as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products. This is the “Corinthian Raisin Vostitsa” produced in the region of Aegialia in the prefecture of Achaia and the “Raft of Zakynthos” produced in the prefecture of Zakynthos. “Stafida Ilia” is a type of currants that has been recognized as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) product, while PGI is also the “Raft of Sultanina of Crete”.