‘L’incontournable’ of Cyprus Wines
Stars are never dormant, otherwise we would never know of them.
Such is Commandaria wine, the classic style of fortified wine from Cyprus, perceived as a dormant gem yet with a reputation anchored in history, whose quality remains defiant to all modern still wines made on the island.
The Golden standard set by Commandaria, as judged annually in competitions, is today not only a standard in wine making but also one of wine appreciation, a unique taste that has resisted yesterday’s rush for homogenization and market standardization by maintaining the innate qualities that are borne out from the sun, the vineyards and a wine making process that is authentically Cypriot.
This authenticity in a glass is as modern as can be, a wine that perfectly heralds any gourmet experience and welcomes the time and space for the pleasure of enjoying its complex expression – in other words – “on boit du goût, et pas de l’étiquette”*
Pictured: Sun drying harvested grapes for Anama Wine in Zoopigi, Commandaria region
About Commandaria Wine
Commandaria is a sweet fortified wine known to be produced since antiquity on the island of Cyprus, as late harvest Cyprus grapes Mavro (red grape) and Xynisteri (white grape) are sun dried and let to ferment for months before being fortified and matured in casks using the traditional system of ‘mana’, where older stocks of wine are topped off by younger ones.
Initial references about Nama date back to ancient Greek poets Hesiod, Homer and Euripides, and only in middle-ages that Commandaria’s legendary link is traced to Richard Lionheart, who bewedding Berengaria, pronounced Commandaria as being the “wine of the kings and the king of wines”.
‘Le vin de la Commanderie’ – Commandaria gets its name from the ‘Grande Commanderie’, a central stronghold for crusador knights of Guy de Lusignan, surroundings of what today is the preserved Kolossi Castle just west of Limassol, the port city of Cyprus, with its inland region linked to the winemaking of the first AOC wine of Cyprus.
* “drinking flavors and not labels” – From François Audouze, fine wine connoisseur and fortunate winelover of 1845 Vintage Commandaria.
** More about contemporary brands of Commandaria Wines
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