Cyprus

Joining the EU in 2004 brought an finish towards the Cuprus wine industry's subsistence company of promoting heavily subsidised, low high quality bulk wine to Europe, and dramatic modifications have followed. These days you will find about 50 wineries on the island, using the very best creating increasingly thrilling and person wines from each nearby and international grapes.

Geography and background

Joining the EU in 2004 brought an finish towards the Cuprus wine industry's subsistence company of promoting heavily subsidised, low high quality bulk wine to Europe, and dramatic modifications have followed. These days you will find about 50 wineries on the island, using the very best creating increasingly thrilling and person wines from each nearby and international grapes.

Cyprus really has 1 from the longest wine histories in Europe, with traces of wine residues in pottery dating back to three,500 BC. Cyprus also lays claim towards the world's oldest named wine nonetheless in continuous production in its lusciously sticky Commandaria. Pleasant as Commandaria may be, such fortified wines are falling out of style and it is the new generation of dry table wines which are growing gaining the limelight.

It might be sun and sand that bring guests to Cyprus, but it is the Troodos Mountains that give grapevines a fighting opportunity within the move towards greater high quality. Vineyards are a few of the highest in Europe, ranging as much as 1,480m at Kyperounda. High mountain viticulture is costly and you will find no economies of scale when every thing has to become carried out by hand on tiny steep plots.

Nevertheless, the island continues to be Phylloxera totally free, so you will find lots of genuinely ancient bush vines that advantage from high levels of UV light at altitude, providing colour and flavour ddevelopment. The cooling mountain breezes and temperature drops at evening also assist retain important acidity and fruit freshness.

Grapes

International varieties have already been on Cyprus for a minimum of 50 years; southern French varieties especially appear to suit the climate. Promising Shiraz has appeared lately whilst you will find also some effective Mediterranean blends based about Grenache, Mataro (Mourvedre) and Carignan. Greater up you will find decent Cabernets and Merlots also, whilst Ayia Mavri make a scrumptious Grenache rosé.

These international varieties maybe assist to create Cyprus wine accessible, but it is the nearby reds that produce a point of distinction. The commonest, Mavro, is uninspiring at very best, but Maratheftiko is believed by some to become the grape with possible to turn out to be Cyprus's Carmenère. The similarities continue in that Maratheftiko tends to become inter-planted with Mavro, but ripens a lot later, and is prone to uneven yields. An additional nearby red attracting interest is Lefkada.

As for whites, it is nearby Xynisteri that dominates production and it features a reputation for easy, young drinking whites that may lack acidity. You will find two options to this issue. 1 would be to develop at altitude exactly where it could create fragrant, fresh mineral wines, perfect for within the Cyprus climate.

The Fantastic Divide

Wine production on Aphrodite's Island is divided in between a handful of large producers and also the burgeoning quantity of little boutique wineries, generally family-owned, and passionately committed to what they're performing. It is right here that a few of the most thrilling and dynamic producers are to become discovered.

It's the large 4 wineries - Keo, Etko, Loel and SODAP - which have been hit hardest by the EU's ban on direct subsidies. They crushed 19,000 tonnes (out from the island's total of just below 24,000 tonnes) in 2006, but this really is tiny fraction of previous volumes (almost 100,000 tonnes a decade ago) Maybe they ought to have gazed into their crystal balls earlier, but all 4 have now recognised the have to make smaller quantities of a lot much better wines. They're investing in vineyards, controlling fruit high quality and developing wineries up within the hills close to the vines and away from the brutal summer time temperatures on the coast.

All in all, Cyprus's producers are creating giant strides in transforming their vinous landscape from industrial towards top quality. The island nonetheless lacks a sense of pride in its wines, maybe justified previously but no longer accurate these days. Numerous from the wineries do not export, but most are open to guests and nicely worth looking for out for anybody going to the island.