The island’s longstanding tradition of winemaking needs no further proof than its claim to the world’s oldest named wine still in production – that of Koumandaria (Commandaria), proclaimed by Richard the Lionheart as the “wine of the kings and the king of the wines.”
Although relatively new, wine production in the Larnaka region marries the old viticultural history of the island with the new, modern face of the winemaking industry, and is now included in the island’s official wine routes. Connoisseurs can indulge in a spot of wine tasting both in the cellars of the city and at the wineries of the mountainous villages, offering two very different experiences, but both equally as enjoyable.
Located in the picturesque hillside village of Kato Drys, Ktima Christoudia welcomes visitors with an informative tour around its premises and cellar, followed by wine tasting of its vintages. The winery produces most of its bottles from Cypriot grape varieties cultivated in the vineyards that surround the premises, along with a selection from vines grown in the Pafos area – and all in limited quantity to emphasise the uniqueness of each wine.
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Ktima Dafermou Winery
Located in the beautiful hills of the Lefkara Valley, Ktima Dafermou winery welcomes visitors and offers information and tours on how wine is made and the grape varieties used, along with wine tasting. The winery produces vintages in limited quantities to ensure maximum quality using the local grape varieties of ancient Maratheftiko (red) and common Xinisteri (white), along with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blank, Assyrtiko and Ayiorgitiko varieties.
Oak Tree Wine Cellar
Established for over 50 years, Oak Tree Wine Cellar is located in the heart of the old city centre and offers premium quality wines that are mainly produced by relatively small, regional producers who use indigenous grape varieties for authenticity. Aside from stocking an array of vintages and wine accessories, the cellar also runs wine tasting courses, as well as organising private wine tasting sessions with a state-of-the-art wine dispenser that can accommodate eight different varieties, which can also be accompanied with meat and cheese platters for an alternative evening out.
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Located in the rural village of Livadia, Cavaway offers the largest range of alcoholic drinks on the island, incorporating an extensive range of wines produced both locally and abroad, including fortified and sparkling varieties. The 800 square metre showroom offers private wine tasting sessions, wine tasting events and wine tasting lessons and seminars, and also adjoins a 4500 square metre warehouse.
Mountainous Larnaka – Lefkosia
Passing through 10 villages, this varied route comprises the expanse of the mountainous areas of both Larnaka and Lefkosia and takes in three wineries, quaint museums and workshops. Even though it is outside of the traditional wine regions, there are active winemakers here who have planted vineyards with the Assyrtiko, Malvasia Aromatica, Chardonnay and Maratheftiko grape varieties, ensuring their fast integration into the island’s winemaking portfolio.
A love of wine is combined with other cultural aspects along this route, such as the inclusion of the village of Lefkara – famous for its handmade lace embroidered linens and delicate filigree silver – along with the village of Fikardou, which is home to one of the oldest traditional wine presses in Cyprus.
This enlightening route passes through: Lefkosia, Skarinou, Lefkara, Kato Drys, Vavla, Ora, Odou, Farmakas, Gourri, Fikardou and Kalo Chorio.
Courtesy of the CTO