Driving you to Drink

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Stop Whining & Start Wining

Wine, Whine, Wine
If you’re wondering what to do on these hot summer days why not retreat from the heat and check out this article by a very good friend ‘Stanna’ who helped me launch What’s On! Magazine in Paphos and Limassol, back in 2000 …

The Book
This article was originally published in our Christmas issue in 2003, much has changed, mainly because of European legislation, we now have modern fermenting equipment to assure that next years wine tastes exactly the same as this years.  Stanna went on with her passion in the wine world, eventually writing a book called ‘Stop Whining Start Wining’ which btw is an excellent book on Cypriot Wines, I still have a few copies somewhere if anyone wants one …. Anyway, I imagine there’ll be a few clinking bottles en route, during this heartily recommended Driving You To Drink tour …

The Route
Heading for the beautiful vine clad hills above Limassol, take the main road to Platres, leaving the highway at junction 28 towards Ayia Fylaxi in Limassol.  Skirting north of the beautiful Alassa Dam take the exit for Lofou, in order to view and appreciate a stunning, unspoilt Byzantine village with traditional architecture.  Explore the really narrow stone paved streets, the protected buildings and the time honoured stone built houses.  This is an ideal spot for our morning break, which includes a shot of the famous distilled liquid, ‘Zivania’ – certain to warm your ‘cockles’ …

Lofou Taverna
Is a wonderful renovated Cypriot house, with stone walls and floors and open wood fires for those chilly evenings.  Costas, your host come chef, come musician, is one of those guys you’ll think you’ve known for ages.  The menu of course includes a traditional meze, served impeccably and finished off with a glass of their own labelled wine and a maybe a bit of live bouzouki.  Open for lunch or diner, Costas tells me he has some studio flats for rent, so if you fancy getting away from it all.  Booking is recommended.  Tel: 0035725470202 or 0035799468151 … I stopped here on a few of my cover shoots in the mountains and can highly recommend it, Ed …

It’s never too early
Continue your journey through picturesque villages with splendid views of the Troodos mountain range, onto Solitou and past Ayia Mavra.  At the junction with the main road, turn left and then exit left again to return back southwards towards Perapedi and then onto Kilani. The village of Kilani has historic roots dating back to the Byzantine period and beyond.  It’s wine making skills were recognised even then and the wines have been recorded in historical documents dating from then and the medieval period when Franks and Venetians discovered their unique high altitude wines.  Boasting several wineries, most notably of which include …

Erimoudes Winery
Produces a heady, full bodied and complex Cabernet Sauvignon, Constantino, a really good accompaniment to Christmas red meats and hearty winter dishes; Nicolina, quite a well balanced Grenache; Miltiades, a very well blended, spicy dry red from Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mavro grapes; and finally light and fruity white Xynisteri, Athina.

Erimoudes is small and friendly winery with pleasantly helpful owners and staff.  For wine tasting and purchase contact Costas Erimoudes at least the day before your trip …
Tel: 0035725470669 or Mobile: 0035799625826

Ayia Mavri Winery
Produces several excellent Ayia Mavri wines including two wonderfully sweet and aromatic Muscats both in red and white an ideal accompaniment to rich sweet desserts; a full bodied, oak-barrelled Cabernet Franc/Sauvignon blend; a fruity yet pleasantly dry Xynisteri white and a clever blend of Cabernet, Grenache and Carignan dry red.  All this plus five more Kilani Village label wines makes this winery well worth the visit … It’s best to call in advance … Tel: 0035725370777 or Tel: 0035725470225
e: info@ayiamavri.com www.ayiamavri.com

Marki Winery
Utilising a variety of grapes from the famed Afamis region produces the Vardalis range of wines which include; a rich, dark oak barrelled, mountain berry Cabernet Sauvignon; an aromatic, velvety blended dry red of Mataro, Grenache and Carignan: and two whites, an intense dry and a smooth medium dry from the traditional Xynisteri.  A knowledgeable winery, producing increasingly high standard wines, again well worth a visit …
Tel: 0035725470261 or Tel: 0035799421411

Healthy Eating
Continuing south through Potamou Vouni and down to Ayios Amvrosios, a stop at the Ayios Amvrosios Winery is a must visit for all you ecologically sound travellers who fancy an organic accompaniment to a nut roast.  Producing several excellent wines, the wonderfully delicate tones of their rose, Oinanthi, will suit most palates, whilst their robust red, Salome, will fool the most heartened sceptics of organic wine as it boasts a professional and distinctive nose, flavour and after taste … Contact Joanna on Tel: 00357 25 943981

Stocked up enough for summer yet? … No?

Time to Kill
So, re-join the E601 southwards through Pano Kivides and onto the highway A6, close to Episkopi.  Time permitting, you can extend this trip with a small detour to the medieval castle of Kolossi, famous for it close associations with King Richard the Lionheart who married Berengaria and crowned her queen of England here in 1191.  Built by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in the 13th century, the castle is also famed for ‘Commandaria‘ the world famous Cyprus Dessert Wine, and what better place to sample this than the castle itself or the Cyprus Wine Museum only a few kms down the road at Erimi …

Who’s turn to drive ?
So a short trip, with plenty of stop-offs offering something for everyone I hope, and if you have a glass or two left after celebrations, remember our Stanna who, I am told, prefers a bottle of the above wines in no particular order, ohhh and we have a few of these tours so I suggest you take it in turns to drive … oh, and the driver gets the first bottle back home!

Stop Whining and Start Wining
By Stanna (Wieclawska) Kyriacou
Cover design by Jaquie Dynamou