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The world of fine Cyprus wine

Holidays on the notoriously beautiful island of love go hand-in-hand with divine gastronomic experiences and fine Cyprus wine. Whether you’re tucking into a rich meze or delighting the taste buds with satiating seafood delicacies by the water’s edge, your meal is bound to be accompanied by a glass of crisp white, delicate rosé, or heartwarming red. Hardly surprisingly, the gloriously sunkissed island boasts a winemaking history that stretches back millennia, making it one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world!

Evidence suggests that wine has been produced in Cyprus for over 6,000 years. During the medieval period, the Crusaders, Knights Templar and later the Venetians played pivotal roles in shaping Cyprus’ viticultural landscape.  

The satiating sweet Commandaria (one of the oldest wines in the world still in production) became internationally renowned after Richard the Lionheart proclaimed it the ‘wine of kings and the king of wines’. And when the Knights Templar took over the island, they enhanced this reputation, overseeing the production of Cyprus wine and shipping it to more ‘civilised countries’. Soon enough, it was enjoyed by rulers and royalty throughout Europe and beyond.

Today, Cyprus embraces an exciting resurgence in winemaking, combining indigenous grape varieties with modern techniques. Notable grape varieties include Xynisteri and Maratheftiko, contributing to a diverse range of wines that capture the essence of the island’s unique terroir. This contemporary Cyprus wine scene reflects a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, offering a taste of history in every glass.

Cyprus is the perfect destination for a wine-tasting holiday any time of the year. Curious wine-lovers can easily reach the finest boutique wineries in the country from all Kanika Hotels & Resorts in the Paphos region. This includes the Amavi, MadeForTwo Hotels, PaphosOlympic Lagoon Resorts, Paphos, and Alexander The Great Beach Hotel, Paphos. Simply hire a car from utmost convenience and embark on a sensory journey through the sunkissed vine-covered slopes of the Troodos mountains that rise above Paphos and nearby Limassol.

If you’re enjoying a blissful holiday at the Amanti, MadeForTwo Hotels, Ayia Napa or Olympic Lagoon Resorts, Ayia Napa on the glistening eastern shores of Cyprus, the wine-growing regions in the rolling hills outside Larnaca beckon. Let the flavourful journey begin!

There are countless winemaking villages to visit in the Paphos region. But Kathikas (just 23km north of Paphos) holds an extraordinary traditional charm. Streets are cradled by houses that serve as impressive examples of folkloric architecture, buzzing taverns dish up delicious local specialities, and old churches enhance the quaint character of the area. 

The village is proud of its reputation as one of the famous winemaking communities in the Paphos region and visitors seeking a taste of local produce often gravitate towards the well-known Vasilikon Winery. Established in the early 1990s by brothers Heracles, Georgios, and Giannis Kyriakides, the winery became famous for the award-winning Vasilikon Xynisteri and Agios Onoufrios. Today, Vasilikon is committed to producing estate-grown wines of the highest calibre and distinction across 16 hectares of vineyards.

Step out onto the beautiful winery terraces and take in panoramic views across the windswept vineyards of the Akamas Laona region. Contact the winery to organise a visit or wine-tasting session. 

Hit the winding country roads deep within the Limassol winegrowing region where ancient traditions meet modern excellence in every exquisite drop of wine produced. As you explore the  great outdoors, be sure to stop off in the tiny village of Agios Ambrosios, home to a lovely boutique winery that has put Cyprus on the map for its superb quality, internationally award-winning Rosé wines. The amber-coloured Zambartas Melusine Commandaria is also special, offering a contemporary taste of a mythical past, matured for ten years in oak barrels before bottling. 

Zambartas Wineries is run by a passionate husband and wife duo, Marcos and Marlene, who are always happy to organise a wine-tasting session upon request. Over 13 hectares of vineyards are managed organically by the dedicated team, well known for introducing the innovative ‘Single Vineyard’ range. Contact the winery to schedule a visit and book your Cyprus wine-tasting session. 

In the nearby Koiliani, another exquisite cutting-edge winery calls out for attention amid a breathtaking natural landscape. Also famed for producing some of the finest wines on the island, Vlassides Winery is especially well known for its stunning location, cutting-edge Bauhaus-inspired design, and highly knowledgeable founder/winemaker – Sophocles Vlassides. 

Winery in Cyprus, Vlassides winery

Sophocles is passionate about making wines that reflect the distinctive characteristics and specific microclimate and terroir of Cyprus, managing 21 hectares of vineyards with international and indigenous varieties.

Don’t leave the premises without trying the Vlassides Shiraz, one of Cyprus’ favorite rich reds with soft tannins, honoured with Bronze Medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Vlassides Winery offers daily tours and tastings, except on Sundays. Find out more about the Cyprus wine-tasting options here. 

Just a stone’s throw from Koilani, the bucolic village of Omodos attracts wine-loving crowds from across the country looking for glorious day out. Here, the rich tapestry of Cyprus’ wine heritage is woven into the landscape and fabric of the village’s history. 

Ktima Gerolemo winery is located about 1 kilometer north of the village at an altitude of 900 metres, in the heart of the wine-producing area. The modern family winery sits on a 127-acre estate in gently rolling countryside. It often forms a hub of activity as visitors crowd into the premises to sip on fine wines while enjoying spectacular views of the surrounding valley and vineyards. 

As you savour every moment of your Cyprus wine-tasting holidays, don’t miss the chance to indulge in a shot of the smooth and warm Gerolemos Zivania, a notorious Cyprus spirit made from grape skins. Wine tours and wine tastings are offered at the winery seven days a week. 

wine tasting, Cyprus winery,people, glass of wine

If you’re luxuriating in a coastal stay at Kanika Hotels & Resorts in Ayia Napa, head out on a day trip to enjoy a taste of the island’s winemaking heritage in the lovely Lefkara village, located on the south-eastern foothills of the Troodos mountains. Renowned as the birthplace of ‘Lefkaritiko’ lace and famed for its fine silverware, the pretty rural hot-spot is also surrounded by rolling hills easily accessed from Ayia Napa and is home to the well-known Dafermou Winery.

Above the Lefkara Valley just 7km from the main motorway, the winery blends harmoniously with the natural surroundings and rambling vineyards. New-world and old-world aesthetics combine while a deep respect for the estate’s unique terroir guides all aspects of production to ensure exceptional quality. Find out all about the Dafermou wine-tasting packages here.

Every Cyprus holiday offers a new opportunity to embark on a captivating wine-tasting odyssey where rolling hills meet azure skies. Explore the hidden gems of Cyprus’ wine country, wonder through sun-kissed vineyards alive with the sweet notes of ancient grape varieties, get to know local winemakers and raise your glass to the spirit of innovation as you indulge in a delicious symphony of flavours that pay homage to a fascinating heritage.

Once you’ve explored Cyprus’ winegrowing regions and broadened your horizons, consider ending your holiday with the ultimate wine-tasting experience. Head to the stunning heart of old town Paphos, immerse yourselves in history at Don Carlo’s cozy underground wine cellar, and indulge your senses at exclusive wine-tasting events guided by the knowledgeable George Kassianos, president of the Cyprus Sommeliers Association.

The immersive wine-tasting events are ideal for intimate gatherings, special occasions, hens and bachelor’s nights and birthday celebrations.

Celebrate the world of fine wine at Don Carlo today by contacting Vassilis Paschali at  +357 700 87047

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