With a history of wine production dating back over four millennia and more than 50 wineries dotted around the island, wine lovers will find plenty of opportunities to expand their palates in Cyprus. Here’s what you need to know about Cypriot wine and how to sample it during a tour.
Once dominated by just a handful or so of large producers, Cyprus is now home to an increasing number of small-scale winemakers. Winemaking mostly happens across five designated appellations: Vouni Panayias, Laona Akamas, the Wine Villages of Lemesos, Commandaria, and Pitsilia. While international varieties, including chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet, Syrah, and merlot, are widely planted and do well in Cyprus’ Mediterranean climate, Cypriot winemakers have been increasingly turning their attention to indigenous grape varieties. More and more producers are experimenting with native reds such as Maratheftiko and Lefkada. Xynisteri, an indigenous white grape, is paired with the red mavro grape to produce Commandaria, a rich and characterful dessert wine that the Guiness Book of World Records lists as the oldest named wine in the world.
- Follow the Commandaria Wine Route, stopping to sample the amber-hued dessert wine—Cyprus’ most famous wine export.
- Explore the diverse styles of Cypriot wine during a guided wine tasting in Larnaca.
- Visit the Cyprus Wine Museum in Limassol to find out more about the lengthy history of wine production in Cyprus.
- Meet the winemakers who run small-scale vineyards and family wineries around the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains and the Paphos district.