A Visit to the Cyprus Wine Museum
- The museum: Filled with intriguing exhibits and artifacts, this beautifully restored 150-year-old stone building is a shrine to the art and history of winemaking in Cyprus.
- Wine sampling: Commandaria is Cyprus' sweet claim to fame. Given its modern name by 12th-century Crusaders, it's been revered for much longer. One taste and you'll understand why.
- Appetizing accompaniments: Between sips of the Cypriot varietals you'll be tasting, cleanse your palate with traditional bread, nuts, raisins, or halloumi cheese.
About this Limassol tour
Greek poets and philosophers wrote of its fine balance and complexity. Cleopatra served it with pride in her palaces, as did the emperors of Rome. The Knights Templar and the Knights of St. John exported it throughout medieval Europe, and Richard the Lionheart declared it the "the wine of kings and the king of wines" at his 1191 wedding celebration in Cyprus.
For over 5,000 years, the intoxicating amber dessert wine known as Commandaria has enjoyed a fiercely devoted following. And after this tour, you'll likely be among them.
Made from a blend of white Xinisteri and red Mavro grapes whose sugars are concentrated by ten days of sun-drying before fermentation, Commandaria is thought to be the world's oldest continuously produced wine a second treasure from the ancient island where Aphrodite herself was born.
As you walk through the Cyprus Wine Museum's visual displays and collections of ancient artifacts, you'll learn all about Cyprus' rich history of winemaking the facts and the fables. Then enter the St. Hilarion tasting room, where the sipping and nibbling happens.
The museum is located in the village of Erimi, occupying a building that was once an inn for wine merchants on their way to the market at nearby Limassol. So the spirits in this place are themselves in good spirits.
The museum has a selection of bottles available for purchase, so you can share these delicious wines with others back home or along your journey's path. Just like the Knights of old.
Richard the Winehearted
King Richard I of England, known as Lionheart for his bigger-than-life military prowess in the Crusades, was a huge fan of the Cypriot wine then known as Nama. Soon after his unplanned but strategic conquest of Cyprus in 1191, he sold the island to the Knights Templar who renamed the wine Commandaria and ramped up production. Richard continued on to the Holy Land with a fattened war chest and, no doubt, ample supplies of the elixir aboard his fleet.
Arriving by cruise ship? Please proceed pier side and look for our tour representative with the displayed logo sign.
The sun is very strong, be sure you are well protected. A small backpack may be useful for all your purchases.
Expect a walk of less than a half mile. Access ramps available; museum is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair users must be able to transfer from their chair in/out of the van. Bring a companion to offer any assistance. Folding wheelchairs only please.
Cultural, Food and Wine
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages. If you are under 21 years of age you won't be able to drink wine on this tour. 21 is the legal age to consume alcohol in Cyprus. Bring your ID to prove your age if you are asked.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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