About Cypriot Wine. Part 2: What Kind Of Wine Should You Buy From Cyprus?
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About Cypriot wine. Part 2: What kind of wine should you buy from Cyprus?

Кипрские вина

Our readers frequently ask a question – “Which wine to buy from Cyprus?”. On the one hand, the choice depends on the activity of the visitors on the island, on whether they can visit remote wineries, since the original products are not sold in the urban stores. On the other, it is dictated by the financial capabilities and perceptions of tourists on an acceptable cost of wine and some other factors. In our review of Cypriot wines we will tell you about the wines that can be purchased at nearby hotels and mention some of the types and varieties of wines for the “production” of which you have to visit far and more remote areas on the island.

a presentation of Cypriot winesIn this review we will hardly mention particularly scarce and valuable kinds of Cypriot wines but tell our readers and visitors in Cyprus about the wines that they can buy on their own, as well as on how to make the right choice of wine in Cyprus. After visiting the island you will encounter a wide variety of kinds of wines as varietal and blended as you can imagine. Also, we will deliberately not talk about blended wines and wines with well-known grape varieties. Our goal is to enable visitors to the island to feel “the taste of Cyprus” and to draw their attention to the local varietal wines.

One of the most popular types of wine in Cyprus is dry white wine made from Xynisteri grapes. For example, you will particularly enjoy the wine Alina (Vouni winery, not far from Paphos) or Xynisteri from Petridis winery. As a rule, these wines can be purchased at most periptera (kiosks) or supermarkets in Cyprus, these varieties will also be offered to you at most high category hotels. The cost of a bottle (0.75 liters) of wine of these brands is around 5-7 euros in supermarkets,  7-9 euros in kiosks and 20-24 euros in 5 * hotels (for example, Amathus and the Four Seasons in Limassol).

Cyprus red wineIf you are a fan of red wine tasting, then Cyprus will provide you with almost unlimited possibilities for your choice. Traditionally Cypriots, despite the proximity of settlements to the sea, are fans of meat dishes, which in turn is reflected in their wine selection.

When in Cyprus, be sure to pay attention to an interesting variety of wine, known as Maratheftiko. This is the “grape king” of Cyprus, its color tones being somewhat similar to the wine from the world-famous varieties of Shiraz. This wine’s alcohol content is usually 14%. The deep color of the wine – dark-purple – already sets guests at the traditional Cypriot meal. The unique flavor of the wine canbe described as: you feel nuances of pepper and oak, cherry and wild berries, truffles and cinnamon. And all this -in Maratheftiko. The cost of a bottle of this type of wine in supermarkets is between 7-8 euros, however, you will also find  more expensive options at a price of 15-20 euros.

Where to buy wine in Cyprus?

If you are staying in Paphos or Limassol, then it is better to go to the supermarket (Alfa Mega, Carrefour, Papas, Metro) for  wine. Most popular supermarkets offer quite an extensive selection of wines in different price categories.

various Cypriot winesAs a rule, a good Cypriot wine is possible to be purchased for 6-7 euros per bottle of 0.75 liters. There are, of course, more expensive and interesting items that can cost 10-15 euros and more.

Note that in the local small shops, some of which operate around the clock (typically in a tourist area) the cost of wine increases by 20-30%. But there are some special wines you will hardly ever find. The choice you have at supermarkets, of course,is quite variant, but they usually sell more common and usual wines, so the most original and interesting options are not always possible to be bought threre.
If you want to taste the true flavor of Cypriot wines, it is better to go to the local wineries of Cyprus. In Cyprus, there are five major wine routes or regions:

  • Laon Village (Laona, Akamas Peninsula);
  • Vouni Panagias – Ambelitis (Vouni Panagias Ampelitis);
  • Valley Diarizu (Diarizos);
  • Krasohoria region (Krasochoria, not far from Limassol);
  • Commandaria region (Koumandaria);
  • Pitsilia region (Pitsilia, Troodos).

signs for a wineryAny of these regions should be considered separately, since in each of them you can find their unique wines that are not available in large supermarkets and can not be exported abroad.

Going to wine-producing regions, do not expect  the cost of wines to be reduced by the local producers as compared to the shops. On the contrary, here winemakers produce small volumes of production, so the cost of a bottle of wine will be 10-15 euros, but you believe it, it’s worth it!

Traditional Commandaria and Zivania

CommandariaIt is worth mentioning the traditional Commandaria (sweet wine from white and red grapes 15-16% strength) and Zivania (“Cyprus whiskey” or “Cyprus vodka” 45% strength). As some experts say, the best Commandaria and Zivania can be purchased at Kykkos Monastery. About Commandaria, its flavour differs in the monasteries (by the way, Commandaria is also considered as church wine, familiar to us as Cagor wine), in the villages and in the cities; it is however consistently of high quality, and its cost varies slightly – the cost of a bottle of 0.75-1 l Commandaria is 10-15 euros.

Kykkos Zivania is different from the usual kind because of its of dark tint, obtained by adding to the traditional drink certain spices; therefore Kykkos Zivania is characterised by a dark golden color, while the traditional drink is practically transparent. The cost of Kikkos Zivania is 3-4 euros per liter.

Conclusion

So, if you want to enjoy the truly unique and original wines of Cyprus, then do not pay attention to the products of the largest wineries, which most supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and cafes in major cities offer. Well, if you are a true connoisseur, then you will probably not do without a trip to the small Cypriot wineries!

 

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  • Tanja

    I`m going to Cyprus on my winter holidays and have started thinking about what kind of gifts to bring to my family and friends as some of them are great wine-addicts! I appreciate good wine either but i used to buy it at the shops mostly. At the same time it would be very interesting to visit one of the wineries as i have never been to such a place before. As for the price… I find 10-15 euro per bottle quite all right, i just hope it tastes good. And i would like somebody to answer my question – how many bottles can i take with me onboard (I guess none)… so whats the best way to pack them so my luggage won`t get damaged?