Commandaria - Dessert Wines from Cyprus
Commandaria is a wine-growing region on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and is also the name of a Cypriot wine. However, Commandaria also represents a very old wine production, dating back to 800 BC in Cyprus. Chr. is documented and described by Hesiod, among others.
This fruity sweet dessert wine can resemble a sweet sherry.
Wines that are allowed to bear the Commandaria name come from a relatively small wine-growing region north of Limassol on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains. The vineyards are located at an altitude of up to 1200 meters on stony, barren subsoil. The vines are traditionally grown in bush form and must not be irrigated. Two autochthonous grape varieties are permitted for the production of Commandaria, the red Kypreiko or Mavro and the white Xynisteri.
The grapes must already contain very high sugar levels (over 230 grams/litre) during the harvest. Subsequent drying increases the sugar content to over 400 grams. The grapes of both grape varieties are pressed and fermented separately, traditionally in large clay jars that are partly buried in the ground or today also in stainless steel tanks. After this fermentation time, which lasts two to four months, the musts are usually blended in equal parts and sprayed with 15 to 20 percent by volume of alcohol and aged in large oak barrels by oxidation. Storage in oak or chestnut barrels lasts at least two years, but usually longer.
Depending on the mixing ratio of the base wines and the vinification, it is dark amber to dark reddish-brown.
The Mavro is called official Kypreiko , since the name Mavro only applies to Cyprus. Mavro (in Greek) means... black... The grape variety has probably been cultivated in Cyprus for several centuries. The varietal red wine of the variety is considered to be very strong.
The Xynisteri Grape is a white traditional grape from the island of Cyprus. The wines made from it are often light-bodied with a low alcohol content. The wine often has a taste of fruit or nuts. A taste of lemons, peaches and plums is typical. A number of wine experts are experimenting with this grape today and several other breeds have already emerged.