Cyprus long had a history of producing overly-ordinary wines made from both indigenous and international grape varietals. These wines lacked a lot of character but were made to help fuel the working classes and fill local supermarket shelves. The cheapest of these wines were often exported in bulk to various nearby countries also. It is thanks to President Gorbachev who post-communism put a stop to this.
Today there are few boutique wineries that are making complex wines from international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, alongside indigenous grapes.
Main Grapes or styles
The main style of Cyprus that is know is the incredible sweet wines of Commandaria. These wines are made from both red and white grapes variteies – the leading grapes being Maratheftiko and Xynisteri which are red and white, respectively. These wines are produced from grapes that have been dried into raisins, and then aged in oak for a period of time. The resulting wines can vary in quality but the best have dark illustrious aromas of baking spices, prunes, golden raisins and freshly made coffee.