What a connoisseur or just a wine lover, who come to a new country, do not want to taste the wine, known for its centuries-old history? Or to get acquainted with the modern process of wine making, created from the vine that grows in Cyprus since time immemorial and has not been damaged by phylloxera – aphids, which in the XIX century has threatened the wine industry in Europe, virtually destroying planting vines.
The history of wine in Cyprus
It is known that the wine in Cyprus began to produce even 5000 years ago. During the archaeological excavations have been discovered clay amphorae in which wine was stored in those days. Earlier in Cyprus wine was very sweet and thick and was called “Nama”. It was served in a variety of feasts, and according to legend, Cyprus Commandaria, which is an analogue of “nama”, even was submitted to the feast of the Three Kings in the UK. Although, experts say, it is just a myth.
But the history of the production of Commandaria – sweet dessert wine – not a legend. Knights Crusaders, whom Richard the Lionheart sold Cyprus, launched in the castle Kolossi stormy economic activity and began to supply wine to the royal houses of Europe. Even after Cyprus was resold to French kings Lusignan Manor Kolossi remained the property of the Knights Templar.
According to the official documents of that time transferred property called «La Grande Commanderie», and later called “Commandaria”, after this name it became known the whole area adjacent to the colossus.
According to the legend, the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the time by Selim II, known for his passion for wine, invaded Cyprus only to master the secrets of making sweet wine, and the Cypriot vineyards. But rather, it is just a myth invented by the Cypriot wine makers to raise the value of viscous drink.
By the way, it says that the grapes from which produce the Commandaria, has been exported to Portugal and became the basis for the world-famous port wine.
However, Commandaria needs no legends. Intense, pungent taste of this dessert wine has long gained popularity both by the locals and guests of the island. Experts say that it is best to drink with ice cubes 3 as digestives wine or dessert wine.
If you want to know more about the history of the Cyprus Commandaria, you should go to the village of Silicou, where the sole caretaker of Cyprus Commandaria museum will tell you amazing stories and treat you with best Commandaria on the island. By the way, the museum is located in the former home of the grandmother of President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.
Modern winemaking in Cyprus
Many of those, who come to the island, do not have time to taste the charm of this regional Cyprus wines, buying the products one of the major manufacturers. Of course, the choice of wine – it’s personal choice. But only trying the wines from a small regional wineries, you’ll understand why Cyprus wines have always been appreciated by connoisseurs.
Thanks to the efforts of Cyprus winemakers, Cyprus wines are improving every year and win well-deserved awards at prestigious international competitions.
In our opinion, the best Cyprus winemakers succeed rosé wines, made from a variety of grapes, both local and imported into Cyprus from other countries.
Many people ask the question: what wine to try in Cyprus?
Among the dry white wines should give preference to those that are made from the local grapes Xynisteri, which grows only in Cyprus. Among the wineries that produce white wine worth trying the products of Zambartas & Tsiakkas.
Rosé is also very popular on the island. Its taste varies, depending on the variety of grapes used in its production, we do prefer rose wine from Vasilikon & Zambartas wineries, repeatedly wins prestigious international awards.
The absolute king of Cyprus red wine is wine made from local variety Maratheftiko. Especially good red wines produced at the Makkas & Hadjantonas wineries.
Many people prefer semi-sweet wines to dry wines, and although not all believe semi-sweet wines worthy of attention, the Cyprus winemakers seek to give everybody a bit of joy. Good semi-sweet wines produced at the winery STERNA.
Well, we are completing our brief review of the history and current state of the Cyprus wine, ahead of us still a lot of stories about the Cyprus wine and wineries, but now it’s the time to finish our story and strongly recommend to try nectar made from the fruit of the sun caressed Cyprus grapes.