It `s dynamic wine scene in Cyprus with age-old grape varieties being rediscovered, new wineries opening, and the first wave of small wineries are getting better at understanding Cypriot terroirs. Cyprus has a lot to offer and the wines deserve a place on the global wine stage.
Aphrosite`s island is perhaps the last undiscovered corner of the Meditarranean at least as far as wine is concerned. It has an ancient history of winemaking, dating back around 6000 years. But most importantly, today`s wine industry has more than 50 private wineries, the best of whom are dynamic and quality-focused, and it is not just on voice saying this but a panel of international judges at Decanter World Wine awards too. In 2017, 19 Cyprus wines sc ored 90 0r above across wines of all styles.
Cyprus is unique in so many ways and well worth exploring through the wines. The island may be best known for sun, sand and sea, but the Troodos Mountains towering in the heart oft he island make good winemaking possibly. Cyprus has some of Europe`s highest vineyrads, going up to around 1500m and the altitude means cool nights and fresh flavours. Cyprus has one oft he longest picking seasons of any wine country, starting as early as late July in the warmer lowlands and finishing in November fort he highest mountain sites.
Cyprus`s island status means it has never had Phylloxera so it has kept ist local varieties like Xynisteri, Mavro and Maratheftiko that grow nowhere else. Some of these vines may have roots dating back several centuries – so truly old vines. And `new` old varieties are being rediscovered all the time in amongst the ancient vineyards. Yiannoudi, Morokanella, Spourtiko, Promara and others are so new they haven`t made it into the „Wine Grapes“ bible yet.
I can`t fail to mention the one world-famous Cyprios wine, the sweet dark Commandaria, the oldest named wine still in production and still made by the methods documented in 800BC. This dark sweet wine made from sundried grapes is also undergoing a bit of a revival as newer producers seek to show their interpretations of this key part oft he Cyprus wine story.
Personally, I fell in love with Cyprus and her wines more than a decade ago, and I love following exciting proress oft he wine industry on this small but beautiful island.