Cyprus, Nicosia

The famous Cypriot wine Commandaria

Updated: 1 month ago

"Commandaria" is one of the most well-known and authentic Cypriot wines, famous not only for its taste characteristics but also for its religious and cultural traditions associated with it.

Let us tell you a little about the key points you should know before purchasing and consuming this symbol of Cyprus.

Commandaria in Cyprus

Коммандария вино Кипр

Name

The name refers to the "great commandery" - the residence of the commander of the Knights Hospitaller order: the knights harvested grapes for wine precisely in the area of this fortress (now known as Kolossi Castle).

History

The Crusaders began producing this wine as early as the 13th century, but even before their arrival on the island, wine was made from sun-dried grapes. In the Middle Ages, "Commandaria" was exported, and this brand was already known in Europe. It is also known that Richard the Lionheart drank "Commandaria" when celebrating his wedding in Limassol.

Characteristics

"Commandaria" is a sweet red wine with a rich aroma of caramel, spices, and dried fruits. Its taste is characterized by a harmonious sweetness and pleasant acidity. The wine is made from local grape varieties, such as Mavro (red) and Xynisteri (white), which give it a unique character and flavor. The alcohol content is usually around 15 degrees but can reach up to 20 in some cases.

Producers

There are several wineries in Cyprus specializing in the production of "Commandaria." The most famous ones are KEO, ETKO, SODAP, and LOEL. These factories maintain a long tradition of producing "Commandaria" and offer various options of this wine.

Commandaria Wine Museums

In Cyprus, there are places where you can learn more about the history and production process of Commandaria wine. One such place is the museum in the village of Silikou. This museum offers tours and tastings, allowing guests to delve into the world of Cypriot winemaking and, of course, taste Commandaria wine. You can also visit LOEL and other major wineries for tours and tastings.

Frequently Asked Questions About Commandaria

Where can you buy "Commandaria"?

You can purchase Commandaria wine in various wine shops and local grocery stores throughout Cyprus. It can also be found in restaurants and cafes serving typical Cypriot dishes. In general - anywhere alcohol is sold.

Is "Commandaria" produced throughout Cyprus?

No, this wine is of protected geographical indication; it is only produced in 14 villages in the Troodos Mountains. We have already talked about some of these villages.

Commandaria wine is not only a delicious beverage but also a part of Cyprus's rich cultural history, which can be explored through its taste and visits to places associated with its production.

However, we warn that excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to your health, and Commandaria, with its 15-degree strength, can be deceivingly easy to drink.

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