Wine making, is a tradition in Cyprus, with the dessert wine "Commandaria", being one of the only wines in the world bearing the same name since the 12th century.
Cyprus is said to have produced the oldest known wine in history, "Cyprus Nama", used for the celebrations of Aphrodite worshippers. Appropriately, Cyprus was the home of Dionysos, (better known as Bacchus), the god of wine.
King Richard the Lionheart made the local wines famous during the Crusades by exporting them for the first time to England. "I must return to Cyprus if only to taste this wine again", he is reported to have said.
Similar praise, but of an unwelcome kind, came from Sultan Selim in the 16th century. "We must capture Cyprus", he told his generals as he sipped Commandaria. "Within this island there is a treasure which only the king of kings is worthy of possessing". This treasure, growers insist, is still the same wine today.
Nowadays numerous small wineries have sprung up in many small villages in the wine districts, in addition to the larger industrial wineries. Join a group and go on a tour of the different wineries where you can also watch the old wine producing methods.