Cypriot Wine

winefestival1Wine Festival in Limassol wineharvest1Traditional Wine Harvesting comandriawineCommand Aria Wine – The Oldest Wine in Cyprus


He discovered the vine yards, and got even more popular when he started the wine production. “Dionysus”?? Yes, Dionysus, the God of Wine. And one of the Dionysia (festivals) is the Lemassol Wine Festival named after the God of Wine (Dionysus).

What about wine, and what kinds of vine yards and grapes used in the making of the tasty Cypriot wine?

Command aria the sweet red wine has a history back since the 12th century. It is the oldest wine in the world and where it came from was Cyprus.

Wine has been formed in Cyprus, as a very well known fact, for over 4000 years till now. And it is said that farming of the vine in Cyprus is as historic as the roots of first people who landed in Cyprus.

Xynisteri (the White) and Mavro (the Red), are the traditional home grapes used in the production of the very fine Cypriot tasty wine. The Xynisteri is the grape used to make the fine White Wine. While the Xynisteri Grape is grown in large amounts on slopes at high elevations –from sea level up to 1500meters- it is known for its small acidic levels.

Mavro (black in Greek and Cypriot) the major red grape, is grown-up in larger quantities than the Xynisteri. In view of the fact that the major characteristics of the Mavro grapes are the soft color and the little acidic level, it is usually mixed together with other higher acidic and less pale colored grapes.

As a matter of fact, the soil and climate of Cyprus especially in the city of Lemassol (lemassos in Cypriot), the house of wine, played a vital role in the cultivation and growing up of fine grapes, and in 1987 Lemassol was declared “The City of Wine And Vine”. Besides, the environs of limassol and the hills of Cyprus, like Trodos Mountains, formed a very friendly atmosphere for the grapes to grow up in as if it was a gift of a natural world.

Moreover, every house in Limassol was a small wine producer since every family grew vines in their lands. And families by that time were conceited of their own hand made aging wine.

Beside that the Mavro Grape casing 73% of the total wine grape area and the Xynisteri covering 13%, other natures of grapes and wine are found in Cyprus which are the Malaga, Ophtalmo, Maratheftiko, Promara, Spourtico and Kanella. On the other hand there are new kinds of non-traditional Grapes that were lately introduced into Cyprus; among them are the Grenache, Mataro, and Palomilo not to mention the many more others.

The four big wineries now in Cyprus are: KEO, ETKO, SODAP and LOEL. Lately wineries were put up amidst vine yards in the vine villages and Trodos Mountains. 30’s of modern wineries were built there which helped better the wine quality. Around 50 wineries are found in Cyprus now.

Now what about if we have a short look at how wine is produced in Cyprus:

At present, there are 23, 500 hectares of vines. at the present time, there are around 50 wineries in Cyprus all of them good equipped to produce fine quality wine.

In the old times, Mountain and hill stony lands were to be cultivated by bare hands of grape growers. It was a really hard and exhausting job. Grapes were to be collected in large baskets, and carried on donkeys in long rides under the heat of the sun to the presses to remove the seeds and the clusters before the fermentation process. The Grapes would then lose juice, freshness, taste and quality during this time of being exposed to high temperatures of the Mediterranean sun. Lately, grapes are now being collected in smaller crates, carried by small vans to the modern equipped wineries.

Try not to Miss the Wine Festival in Limassol:

Wine Festival:

The wine festival was born in September, in its parent’s city, the City Of Wine, Lemassol.

As a major explanation of the festival, it could be that man worshiped the Gods, Aphrodite (the goddess of beauty and love) and Dionysus (the God of Wine), but also enjoyed himself!!! This was how man worshipped this God and Goddess, by drinking wine.

The first festival took place in 1961 and since then it became and yearly festival.

Guests as well as locals are present at the festival every year. The festival is carried at the Municipal Garden of Limassol (near the sea) in September of every year.

The Festival itself is well thought-out as an important cultural and traditional event. And apart from that, it’s a great occasion for Cypriots to promote their fine Cypriot wine and for poets, essayists and novelists to be enthused too by the festival warm inspiring atmosphere.

When going there, you have to pay an entrance fee at the gate, you will see the festival sign back from the 1961 days, and the new signs of the modern wineries like ETKO, KEO, LOEL, SODAP, and LAONA. All you can taste and drink of wine is free of charge, so you can taste as much as you like without paying anything. But when it comes to eating, low charged great dishes are available for the visitors. More than 10,000 visitor every year to the festival enjoying the night, with Greek music, comedy, fun, happy ambiance, traditional dances and local plays.

Did you know that in Cyprus there is a wine museum?

Wine museum:

Go to 42 Paphu Street, in Erimi village (at the crossroads of wine routs of Cyprus) in Limassol and you will find it there. November,2004 the Wine Museum was established in a 150year old traditional building.

A sightsee in the museum will surely amaze you and give you a extensive idea about wine in the ancient days. The museum is a must visit.

A collected works of art-crafts, old jars used for wine in the ancient days. However, you will notice also a great collection of photos picturing the ripe, harvest and production of wine back in the old times. As well as many other magnificent ancient wine art.

Old papers and instruments show you the aged ways of wine manufacture and how it was stocked up alongside the historic snapshots with new audiovisual tools to help you comprehend the history of ancient traditional Cypriot Wine production.

Places you should stopover to enjoy the great panoramas of vine yards and wine production facilities:

Limassol vine yards where the four large wineries are established, they offer wine tasting in their shops; trodos mountains road is a great place of sightseeing; more wineries in Koilani and Mandria Moreover, give Paphos mainly the north side a visit as well as  the white village of Omodos.

You will never forget what you saw!

At Last a look at the wines available in Cyprus

Wines in Cyprus:

Fikadros Winery Platanico Wines Sterna Winery Harma Family Winery Monolithos Winery
Ayia Mavri Winery Nelion Winery Byron Panayiotou Tsiakkas Winery ETKO

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