so says the "New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia
in its pitifully small comment about Cypriot wine.
Huh! What little do they know?
It IS true that some Cyprus wines are pretty foul tasting, if not undrinkable, making it difficult to choose a decent wine at a restaurant.
Many visitors and ex pats tend to order "village wine" in a carafe which is frankly quite horrible served straight from a carton or worse from a huge plastic container. The wine is oxidised before it ever reaches your glass and then people wonder why it tastes like vinegar!
BUT we LOVE the wine in Cyprus and, having lived on the island for several years now, we've made it our mission to hunt out the best local wine.
And we've found it...!
NEW Cyprus wine tours - CONTACT US for prices and dates
Cyprus Wine Facts
White wine comes mainly from the Xynisteri grape which produces a fresh, crisp white, best drunk young. Red wine is made from a variety of local grapes such as Mavro, Opthalmo and the unique tasting Maratheftiko. Whilst most red wines are also best drunk when young, more mature wines are now being produced, blended with other grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Mataro and aged in oak casks.
Good value everyday table wines:
Dry, light and crisp, a bit like a Sauvignon, but not quite...well it's just Xynisteri!
Fruity, dry and light, good value for everyday drinking and great COLD on a hot Summer's day too...
We like these wines because they are ALWAYS good and the red seems to get better every year.
Both wines are produced by the Kiriakydis family at the Vasilikon winery in Kathikas. You can buy a case for € 45 AND you get a free bottle too!
Tip: They usually sell out of the white Vasilikon well before the end of the season so make sure you stock up before the end of the Summer!
The Kolios Amforeas winery in Statos near Pano Panagia is another popular winery which caters for a larger market by offering meze lunches with a wine tasting. The views from Statos at 1000m are spectacular on a clear day.
Our favourites from this winery are:
Ayios Fotios - a fruity everyday red, and Maratheftiko, a delicious unique tasting red made from the indigenous Maratheftiko grape - but we have had several bottles corked so it has gone down a little on our list of favourites.
Or if you prefer crisp, chilled wine to ice cream on a hot day, then try their aptly named
Less well known and hugely under-rated is the Tsalapatis winery in Polemi village. Established for 20 years, Andreas the owner produces some excellent wines including the dry white Regina and a lovely Sauvignon Blanc.
The Paphos region also has some newer wineries producing higher quality wines. Our favourites amongst these small new wineries are the Ezousa winery at Kannaviou and the Tsangarides winery situated in Lemona village.
For seriously good Shiraz, you should also try the superb reds from the Domaine Vlassides winery in the Limassol area (Koilani village).
If you love wine as much as we do, then why not take a wine tour?
If you need advice on where to go or how to get there, just CONTACT US for prices and dates.
P.S. Tip: If you're just ordering a GLASS of wine somewhere, the village RED is always better than the village WHITE which tends to have a very yellow colour and usually tastes...well...not very nice!
Better still, forget the awful village wine, order a bottle and take the rest home with you!