Not everyone loves wine, but when you go on a wine route in Cyprus there is so much more to see, feel and savour. The history of the island’s wine, for a start, is something anyone can admire, as Cyprus is where the world’s oldest wine – Commandaria – comes from. The villages where wine has been produced for a long time now, still follow the same traditional procedures, while the modern wineries have largely expanded over recent years.
In order to get the feel of local wines and wine production, join one of the following wine routes.
Commandaria Wine Route – Commandaria is a sweet dessert wine praised and world-renowned for centuries. It is the world’s oldest wine, still in production. Discover its roots in the 12th century and the crusades by traveling through the 14 Commandaria villages and stopping off at the four wineries on this route. Smell the floral aroma of the grapes and soak up the culture, medieval feel and sheer beauty of the landscape along the way. The route goes back to 1191 AD when King Richard I (known as Richard the Lionheart) conquered Cyprus on his way to the Holy Land. The Knights Templar then purchased the island and settled at a place they called ‘La Grande Commanderie’ (now known as the area of Kolossi) and hence giving the local wine its name: Commandaria.
Diarizos Valley Wine Route – discover the relaxing and tranquil essence of nature while journeying along the Diarizos River and seeing the picturesque vineyards. Here you will find the lesser-known wine-producing region of the Diarizos Valley. This route includes 18 different types of vines and a stop-off at two wineries, where you will taste the local nectar of the Gods.
Krasochoria of Lemesos Wine Route – Lemesos is the city where wine is king. This is because of its history in excellent wine making and its annual Wine Festival. The winemaking villages in the Limassol district are collectively called the Krasochoria, which is a combination of the two Greek words for wine and villages. The area consists of 20 villages and 16 wineries, producing first-class wine from local grapes.
Laona – Akamas Wine Route – this route offers you a journey through rugged coastlines and villages which are decorated with vines and a rustic feel. Here you will taste the famous Xynisteri (white) grape variety and the red Maratheftiko type.
Mountainous Larnaca – Nicosia Wine Route – this wine route will let you experience the history and modernity of wine making in both Larnaca and Nicosia. On your way to some serious wine tasting, you will pass by ten villages. You will visit three wineries, museums and workshops. In this not-so traditional wine area, you will taste a variety of red and white wines, made from the finest, local grapes.
Pitsilia Wine Route – get to know Cyprus and the wine country better as you pass by 11 villages and visit two of the most well-known wineries in the area. At this altitude, the grapes mature slowly, making the aroma and taste of the wine rich and long-lasting.
Vouni Panagias – Ambelitis Wine Route – wine is not the only thing you will savour on this picturesque route, you will also enjoy fragrant pine forest, discover the region’s vegetation and animals. The star of the ten wineries on this route is the Xynisteri (white) grape, which primarily grows here. But for those who prefer red wine, the area also produced red wine from Maratheftiko grapes.