Take a trip back in time and discover the secrets of the island’s most ancient and famous wine - the sweet dessert wine of Commandaria - that has been praised and world-renowned for centuries.
The route through 14 Commandaria villages goes back to 1192 AD when the knights of St. John were perfecting the production of the world’s first named wine. The sweet wine took its identity from the place it was mainly produced - ‘La Grande Commanderie’ - which is the area now known as Kolossi. So famed was Commandaria that it even won in the first recorded wine tasting competition - the ‘Battle of the Wines’ - which took place in the 13th century, and was held by the French king Philip Augustus.
This historic route passes through: Lemesos (Limassol), Kolossi, Erimi, Monagri, Agios Georgios, Silikou, Doros, Laneia, Trimilkini, Agios Mamas, Kapileio, Zoopigi, Kalo Chorio, Agios Pavlos, Agios Konstantinos, Louvaras, Gerasa and Apsiou.
Indigenous Mavro (red) and Xynisteri (white) grapes are picked late in the season and dried in the sun to intensify their natural sweet flavours, giving the drink its distinctive taste. The dried grapes are then pressed, with the run-off collected and fermented in tanks or huge earthenware jars – much like those used in bygone times.