Traditional Wine Making
Wine making is truly a vintage pastime on the island of Cyprus. For more than 4000 years vines have been cultivated here, the ancient Egyptians, ancient Greeks and the Romans all delighting in the sublime climatic conditions that are more than beneficial to wine production in this part of the Mediterranean. Indeed, the oldest wine in the world hails from Cyprus. Commandaria - a sweet red wine - has a documented history going back to the late 12th century when the Knights Templars ruled the land. It is probable that this wine's origin stretches back further than the 12th century, but unfortunately there is little direct evidence for its earlier incarnations.
Commandaria became a big hit throughout Europe in medieval times, and to this day the wine remains at the core of traditional wine making in Cyprus, production continuing via a controlled appellation in the Limassol district. Other wines too have given the traditional wine making industry in Cyprus a good name. There are reds, whites and sherry wines now originating from Cyprus, the fifty or so regional village wineries employing time-honoured wine making techniques that have survived for centuries.
Tours of many of the regional wineries as well as the larger wineries and their estates can be arranged. You'll have the chance to see some traditional wine making techniques first hand, as well as the opportunity to sample some of the island's most loved wines. If you visit Cyprus during harvest time you'll also be treated to the spectacle of the legendary Cypriot wine festivals. The first one is the Limassol wine festival, held every year towards the end of August; the second is the Afamia grape festival in October.