The white grape variety comes from Greece. Synonyms are Aspro, Dobraina Aspri, Dombraina Aspri, Doubraina Aspri, Doumpraina Lefki, Doumprena Aspri, Kountoura Aspri, Perachoritico, Perahoritiko, Sabbathiano, Sabbatiano, Sakeiko, Savathiano, Savvatiano, Savvatiano Perachoritiko, Stamatiano, Tsoumprena, Tsoumprena Aspre, Tsoumprena Lefki. It must not be confused with the Xynisteri variety, despite the fact that synonyms seem to indicate this. It is also not a mutation of the red variety Mandilaria (with synonym Kountoura Mavri). According to DNA analyses carried out in 2013, it is a presumably natural cross between Roditis x Karystino. However, this is based on only 20 DNA markers (see molecular genetics).
The very late-maturing and high-yielding vine is resistant to both types of mildew and especially drought, making it suitable for hot, dry climates. It produces simple, low-acid, neutral bulk wines. The variety is widespread in the regions of central Greece with Attica, Macedonia and Peloponnese, the Cyclades and on Kefallonia. Savatiano is the most important variety for the resinous retsina. It is also often used as a blending partner for the more acidic varieties Assyrtiko and Roditis for simple brand wines. With a total area under vines of 9,920 hectares in 2010, it is by far the most common grape variety in Greece. Compared to 1990, when the area was 20,396 hectares, there has been an extreme reduction of more than half in 20 years. It thus occupied 70th place in the worldwide grape variety ranking.