Caroline Gilby MW on the wines and styles of Cyprus
This show was published 02 December 2016
Caroline Gilby MW, among other things, is an expert on Eastern European wines and the wines of Cyprus. Cyprus produces around 150,000 tonnes of wine grapes making about 3.5 million bottles of wine and the same quantity again which is sold in tetra packs/wine boxes and as bulk wine. Mavro (meaning black) is the most planted red grape variety but is also consumed as an eating grape and the leaves are used for stuffed vine leaves. Xynisteri (meaning low acidity) is the most planted white grape variety unique to Cyprus, first documented in 1881. Cyprus, being an island, was phyloxerra free and so has vines that may be centuries old. The oldest style of Cypriot wine is a dessert wine called Commandaria which has to be produced from grapes from 14 villages near to Limassol and is made from sun-dried grapes and aged in barrels. It can be fortified but doesn't have to be. The wine regions tend to be coastal and some vineyards are planted at higher altitudes.
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