Wine Route 6 (Pitsilia)
ROUTE: Lemesos (Limassol), Trimiklini, Pelendri, Potamitissa, Dymes, Kyperounta, Chandria, Polystypos, Alona, Agros, Agios Ioannis, Agios Theodoros.
This route passes through the mountainous area east of the highest peak of Troodos. This is Pitsilia, a popular name in folk songs. The wine lover can visit 11 villages, nestling below three proud mountaintops – Olympus at 1,950 metres (6391 feet), Madari at 1,600 (5249 feet) and Papoutsa at 1,400 (4593 feet) - overlooking Pitsilia’s vineyards. In this rugged landscape, every accessible slope - and hence cultivated - is regarded as a gift from God and the local people have not left an inch unplanted: almond trees, olive groves, walnuts and apples adorn every street and every yard. But of, perhaps, greater interest is images provided by the expanse of vineyards, with the pine forests behind them. The long-ripening grapes here, the highest vineyards in the country, are picked and taken to two local winemakers.
Pitsilia, one of the most complex mountainous areas of Cyprus, is surrounded by four forests: Troodos in the west, Machairas in the east, the “Adelphoi” in the north and the Limassol forest in the south. It has several high peaks, the main one being Papoutsa at 1,540 metres (5052 feet). Due to good levels of levels of rainfall the area is extremely fertile.
Climate: The region has a pleasant moderate climate, with more variation between seasons than elsewhere. In winter the temperature drops below zero, often with ice and snow at its highest levels. In summer it is mild, warm and enjoyable. Spring and autumn seem quite short.
Terroir: The region is intensely mountainous, but the arable lands are interspersed harmoniously with tracts of wild growth and forest. The soil is usually rather grey in colour, mild to mid-mechanical composition with a high level of sand.
Vineyards: The region has 32 villages within the “Pitsilia” OEOP appellation. Apart from the local Mavro and Xynisteri, a further 11 grapes are cultivated.
White varieties: Xynisteri, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malaga.
Red varieties: Ofthalmo, Vamvakada (Maratheftiko), Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mattaro, Mavro, Shiraz, Lefkada, Yiannoudi.
Vasilikon Kyperounta Winery (Kyperounta): www.photiadesgroup.com/kyperounda/
Tsiakkas Winery (Pelendri): www.tsiakkaswinery.com
Ekfraseis Winery (Chandria): www.facebook.com/ekfraseiswinery