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Cyprus Wine Routes
Cyprus Wine Route 1: Laona-Akamas, Paphos Region
This specific route follows age-long pathways in north-western Cyprus. It offers uniquely interesting vistas, not merely associated with vines and wines. Lovers of food and wine will have the opportunity to visit five wineries and to try some interesting wines, which they will find complement our Cyprus food. The bonus, however, is the remarkable panorama of scenery and the cultural and geological interest before us. There is very little else like it on the island. Generally speaking we shall travel along secondary roads, on the E701 and E709. The road ascends steadily, passing from cultivated fields to taller vegetation and the picturesque loveliness of the patch-work of the vineyards. One fascinating vista follows another as we drive upwards through delightful valleys to the forest areas. And then, unexpectedly, we come to tiny villages which dot the landscape -the area is sparsely populated and this contributes to a lovely rustic, rural atmosphere… Nature’s crowning glory of this vines and wines region is the Akamas Peninsula. Away from building development -the unspoilt area of Cyprus, with flora and fauna rooted in the mists of time. In the set of the land, its close association with the sea, in its vegetation and wild life, Akamas is a wondrous place. The traveller, perhaps replete from Cyprus hospitality with its ever-ready supplies of food and drink, can enter here another world, a perfect antidote to the pleasures of the table.
The paths we take in Akamas quickly demonstrate what a unique place it is, with much more than superficial views. For anyone interested in geology, vegetation and wild life, it is a place where time spent rewards the visitor. The peaceful environment and the charm of many rural buildings ensure that the route is a pleasure for the walker and lover of nature. And, almost wherever we go, we encounter vines, vines and more vines. Along our route we shall find five wineries we can visit.
Climate: From sea level, the land rises to hilly undulations of 450 to 600 m altitude. Annual rainfall is about 620 millimeters. The climate is generally mild.
Terrain: Most vine yards on this route grow on limestone formations while some, on gypsum-clay beds.
Vineyards: The region of Kathikas is best known for white varieties, mainly the indigenous Xynisteri. Most of the villages on the route are classified with the “Controlled Denomination of Origin” (WCNO) “Laona - Akamas”. Nineteen grape varieties are cultivated:
White varieties: Plant X Malvasia G., Plant X, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Semillon, Chardonnay, Muscat, Xynisteri.
Red varieties: Mavro, Ofthalmo, Carignan, Mataro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Alicante B., Grenache, Shiraz, Merlot, Lefkada, Maratheftiko
Cyprus Wine Route 2: Vouni Panayias-Ambelitis, Paphos Region
The North-East wine route from Pafos (Paphos) it is hilly and we can see the south-western ridges and peaks of the Troodos range. Open vistas of vineyards and other cultivation change as we wind our way upwards where groups of oak trees (Quercus infectoria) may be seen. In the north-eastern corner of this itinerary occur handsome and of en dense pine woods. Sometimes the region is almost wild, and so is home to plentiful wild life -plants, trees, animals and birds. It also offers us the chance to visit seven wineries.
Climate: The region reaches an altitude of 1,141 meters at its highest, which naturally brings higher rainfall than lower areas. The climate is mostly mild.
Terrain: Flanking the narrow valley alongside the river running through the area, the region’s grounds possess a mostly clay to gypsum-clay structural composition.
Grape Varieties: Most of the villages of this way belong in the region of production “Controlled Denomination of Origin” (WCNO) “Vouni Panagias - Ampelitis”. There are no less than 27 different grape varieties to be found, with substantial plantings of Carignan Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Among others present are Muscat of Alexandria and Palomino.
White Grapes: Xynisteri, Palomino, Malvasia L., Malvasia G., Ugni Blanc, Plant X., Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Semillon, Chardonnay, Sultana, Malaga, Muscat of Alexandria
Red Grapes: Mavro, Ofthalmo, Maratheftiko, Lefkada, Carignan Noir, Mataro, Oellade, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Alicante B., Black Muscat, Grenache, Shiraz, Merlot
26723224, 99519268, 99450568
SHOUFAS WINERY LTD
99447424, 99435436, 22442744
KOLIOS WINERY LTD
Statos - Agios Fotios, www.koliosvineyards.com
VOUNI PANAYIA WINERY LTD
26722770, 26722878, 99453138
Cyprus Wine Route 3: Diarizos (River) Valley Route, Paphos Region
This itinerary leads from the city of Pafos and covers the valleys of the rivers Ezousa, Xeros and Diarizos. After a coastal climb the south-western foothills of the Troodos mountain range observing the course of the River Diarizos, crossing it several times. It's a circuit with fourteen mountain villages en route and visit two small - yet interesting wineries. Something more; we shall discover the places where a Goddess, the pre-Christian Venus of Pafos, was worshipped. There are unusual and interesting rock formations to wonder at, too, in the Mamonia area. Life has gone on for millennia in these fertile valleys. Hints are everywhere of its continuity and customs. Each succeeding kilometre reveals pictures, scents and sounds of the circle of fertility. With every little look into the surroundings, discoveries and monuments attest to its worship. Venus passes on her influence to the Virgin Mary, mother of today’s faithful.
The Diarizos Valley lies south-west of the Troodos hills and takes its name from the river that runs through it. In a relatively small area, this valley has a wide variety of fauna and flora.
Climate: The region is characterised by a relatively gentle climate moderately cold in the winter and temperate in the summer.
Terrain: Following the ancient creation of Cyprus as a result of volcanic activity, the Troodos Mountains were thrust above the rest of the terrain. In the region we also find the “Mamonia Area”, a complicated tectonic concentration of volcanic and sedimentary rocks.
Vineyards: This region does not have a “Controlled Denomination of Origin”. Nevertheless, we shall encounter some interesting wines and come across 18 grape varieties.
Red varieties: Mavro, Ofthalmo, Maratheftiko, Lefkada, Carignan, Mataro, Oellade, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Alicante B., Grenache, Shiraz, Merlot.
White varieties: Xynisteri, Palomino, Chardonnay, Sultanα Malaga.
Cyprus Wine Route 4: Pitsilia( Region) Route, Troodos Region & Mountain Range
This route runs through the eastern aspects of the Troodos Mountains. It is called Pitsilia, and the tourist comes upon 14 villages involved in vine growing or winemaking in one way or another. The road twists upwards and round the steep hills and villages are dramatically revealed as we round the bends. The peaks of Troodos look down on the vineyards, the highest, Olympus, at 1952 m, followed by Madari at 1672 m and Papoutsa at 1530 m. In this almost wild landscape, cultivated land clings to the steep slopes, a tribute to man’s determination. Trees abound, in orchards, gardens, streets and yards. But the loveliest array of greenery is that of the vineyards. Their produce supplies the two wineries we can visit on this itinerary.
Rural life in Cyprus has always been hard. People’s lives were related to the land and geared to the seasons and the moon’s phases. Many growers still plan their pruning and other aspects of the vine year by the moon’s positions -which some modern organic winemakers are returning to. For the wine-lover each season brings something different: the cold winter lull in vine growth and vine pruning… Spring, and the warming of the air bringing shoots of new growth. Then, summer and the watch to ensure healthy vines and grapes. And, finally, as the hot months fade into autumn, the making of the year’s wine. Vine leaves turn gold, red and dark and then fall -their greenery replaced by new grass and plant growth following the autumn and winter rains.
Plenty goes on in Pitsilia villages, quite a lot of it to do with food and wine. The area is surrounded by four forests: Troodos forest in the west, Machairas forest in east, the Adelfoi Forest in the north, and Lemesos forest to the south. It is dominated by the peak of Madari (1,672 m). Generally, there is ample rainfall here. Noted for its scenery and its many activities, the Pitsilia area is also well known for the friendliness and hospitality of its residents. Two wineries lie before us to look at, taste and enjoy…
Climate: This is pleasant light Alpine -winters can be fresh and cold, with frosts and snowfalls. Summers are warm and pleasant with the altitude to temper the sun’s heat,
Terrain: The region is mountainous, but there are substantial cultivated areas that co-exist with the natural vegetation and woodlands. The soil is usually grey in colour, as befits a limestone area, with some sandy constituents
Vineyards: 32 villages of the region are included in the area of production of “Controlled Denomination of Origin” (WCNO) “Pitsilia”. Apart from local Mavro and Xynisteri, 11 other varieties of vines are cultivated.
Red Varieties: Ofthalmo, Maratheftiko, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro, Mavro, Shiraz, Lefkada.
White Varieties: Xynisteri, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malaga.
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