ROUTE 5 LEMESOS, KOLOSSI, ERIMI, ALASSA, AGIOS GEORGIOS SILIKOU, DOROS, LANEIA, TRIMIKLINI, AGIOS MAMAS, KAPILEIO, ZOOPIGI, KALO CHORIO, AGIOS PAVLOS, AGIOS KONSTANTINOS, LOUVARAS, GERASA, APSIOU, PARAMYTHA, PALODEIA, AGIA FYLA
As we drive north out of Lemesos on the B6 main road, leaving the hustle and bustle of the city behind, a feeling of some anticipation occurs. The road rises up steadily and soon open country is around us. We are going to see a lot of villages today and we are going to investigate Cyprus’s great wine tradition that of a sweet wine produced since time immemorial. The very word sounds romantic and historic: Koumandaria”. Now it covers not just the wine, but the denominated region of its production, too. Fourteen villages make it and they are to be found at altitudes of between 500 and 900 metres, encompassed within an area of 12 kilometres which lies parallel to the coast, approximately 25 km away. This is a captivating tour with splendid views all around as we drive along the heights of a wide valley, above and below. The wine we have come to discover is renowned in history. Today’s name, Koumandaria, dates from 1191, when Richard Coeur de Lion sold Cyprus to the Order of the Knights of the Temple. It is thought that this wine was served at his wedding to Queen Berengaria in that year. The territories in which the Templars settled they called “Commanderies”. In Cyprus, the largest was at Kolossi Castle, which, as we have noted on a previous page, is well worth a visit. So the wine took its name from the Knights who were involved in its making and exporting it to the Courts of Europe and the Mediterranean region. Therefore, for more than sentimental regions, this tour starts at Kolossi, and as we explore the castle, we can transport our minds back to the Mediaeval feasting that once went on in its rooms, where the vast roasts and other dishes were accompanied by this luscious sweet wine, whose consumption we confine today to desserts, a digestif, or -if we are adventurous with Paté de Foie Gras.
As we drive upwards, the road takes a dip downwards, running along the northern edge of the Kouris Reservoir. This is an interesting region, with seasonal interests for bird-watchers and other nature seekers, as well as hikers, walkers and ramblers. There are ancient sites, too, and everywhere vistas in the foreground, middle ground and northwards in the mountainous distance. Along the way, there are two wineries to visit.
Red varieties: Mavro, Ofthalmo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Koumandaria
White varieties: Palomino, Malaga, Xynisteri
· “PANAGIOTIS KARSERAS” winery – Try “Koumandaria” sweet red wine
· “COOPERATIVE COMPANY OF VINICULTURE”- “Xynisteri”
For more information and details for this Route, Wineries and Places of Interest please visit http://media.visitcyprus.com/media/eBrochures/High/wine_booklet_eng_lrg.pdf
Source: Cyprus Tourism Organisation