Wine Route 5 (Commandaria)
ROUTE: Lemesos (Limassol), Kolossi, Erimi, Monagri, Agios Georgios, Silikou, Doros, Laneia, Trimilkini, Agios Mamas, Kapileio, Zoopigi, Kalo Chorio, Agios Pavlos, Agios Konstantinos, Louvaras, Gerasa, Apsiou.
This route belongs to Commandaria, the legendary wine of the region. The 14 villages that produce it are to be found at an altitude of 500 to 900 metres. They are surrounded by vineyards of indigenous red Mavro and white Xynisteri, the grapes that for centuries have been the backbone of this gorgeous sweet wine. The vines share the landscape with thick, bushy wild growth and sparse woods. The first stop is the village of Kolossi, location of the castle which dates back to the age of the Crusaders. The Order of Knights of St John who were stationed here were early sponsors and developers of the unique sweet wine of the area, and provided the name that it proudly carries till today. Some researchers suggest that this is probably the mellow “Napa” known from historical times, first mentioned by the Greek poet Hesiod, who flourished sometime between 750 and 650 BC, in his writing “Work and Days”.
The rich flora and fauna are quite impressive, as well as the historic and archaeological monuments hereabouts. Here, too is the modern Kouris Dam, the biggest in Cyprus, by virtue of which, the land below it is gradually being transformed into an important wetland, with great ecological value. The area around the dam is ideal for nature walks, sports and environmental pastimes. Along the route you will find two significant wineries.
Climate: All 14 Commandaria villages Commandaria are at the height of 500 to 900 metres (1640 to 2625 feet) above sea level. The region is divided into two soil types: limestone and volcanic-sandy. It has limited levels of rainfall, which gives very dry growing conditions because the vineyards are not watered. They survive and prosper with what available rain water there is. These conditions of high temperature, sunshine and reduced humidity during summer, the altitude, the ground soil and the unique method of processing the grapes, combine to give Commandaria its very special flavour and aroma.
Terroir: In contrast with other wine producing zones, this area has a lot of shallow ground together combined with steep slopes and comparatively higher levels of calcium carbonate. Quite harsh in fact, and as a result, the vineyards’ crop per hectare is noticeably lower than those of the Pafos region.
Vineyards: All the villages along this route belong to the “Commandaria” OEOP appellation. As indicated above, most vineyards cultivate the indigenous grape varieties.
White varieties: Xynisteri.
Red varieties: Mavro.
Co-operative Vinegrowers Company (Kalo Chorio) Tel.: 25 542266, 99 534060
Panayiotis Karseras Winery (Doros): www.karseraswinery.com
Menargos Winery (Monagri): www.menargos.net
Revecca Traditional Winery and Museum (Agios Mamas): www.revecca.com