Wine is considered a sophisticated beverage and is the choice for many parties and functions. However over the last few years, more and more people have chosen to drink at home instead of the local bar and this has led to wine being the most popular drink in Europe, America and Australia.
Over the years, a well organised wine trading and distribution system has been established in most countries. This system has a strict, three-tier arrangement of sales in place in which the producer depends entirely on the wholesaler to distribute his products into the various regions and the retailers depend upon the wholesaler to provide them with wine to sell.
This universally used practice serves the larger wineries and the superstores well, because they are focusing on the mass market and not on the wine lover or tourist. This is also attractive to many wine retailers who buy in volume, and are able to offer the wines at less than the list price recommended by the winery.
However more recently, we are witnessing an increase in popularity across the world of direct sales to the consumer by a number of wineries. These are mostly smaller wineries that found alternative routes to the consumer who are discovering more reasons to taste and “celebrate” with a bottle of wine. Smaller production wineries have a limited distribution and are more difficult to find in retail wine shops. The only way to buy their wines is either at the winery or through the winery’s website. As a result, small wineries are trying to build greater direct sales aimed at getting consumers to visit wineries where bottles can be sold “out of the cellar door”. Wineries in many places hold wine tasting events, wine appreciation courses, cooking classes and even larger events like wedding receptions, festivals and concerts.
Direct-to-consumer sales have traditionally been done through the winery tasting room. It is therefore not surprising that wine tasting and winery tours are now emerging as one of the most popular activities. Wine tourism is growing day by day and new trends are also emerging. Wine tourism has been a “New World” (California, South Africa, Australia) region’s activity and, to a lesser extent, an attraction in some major European wine producing countries (France, Italy Spain). In most places of the “Old World”, this is a relatively new development.
The Mediterranean basin, as an historical region, offers a mosaic of societies and cultures that influence one another. Mediterranean countries such as the Balkan states, Greece and Cyprus and have long been associated with wine production. However, only recently have wine and tourism been utilized for regional development. The advancement of this approach in the Mediterranean region could be essential to the creation of sustainable tourism since so far, wine tourism has been only encouraged to prop up economic activity in difficult times, rather than for a long term branding.
Wine tourism is something more than just a visit to a winery. It includes visitation to vineyards, wine festivals, and wine shows for which wine tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of grape producing regions are the prime motivating factors for visitors. In the New World, wine tourists seek an overall experience rather than just a focus on wine. Therefore, the first motive is not simply for the wine, but more the experience of travelling through the fields or hills where the grapes grow and discovering spectacular countryside.
In addition, tourists and wine connoisseurs have the opportunity to meet the winemaker and learn about the produce. Others are looking for a relaxing day and a unique experience. One can learn about the wine making process and enjoy wine tasting sessions to the limit, with an opportunity to taste different vintages, learn how to tell them apart by their taste and bouquets, and ask as many questions as you like about the production of the wine in your glass.
With more than 70 wineries in Cyprus, it is hard to determine which one will be lucky enough to catch your attention. Most of these wineries are small, family-run concerns that carry on a great agricultural tradition. They have involved their livelihood in a sustainable value-added agricultural business that is growing. They are all different and each has its own unique characteristics and particular style of wine, so that is why touring Cyprus wineries can be such an enlightening journey. Not only will you be able to experience many types and flavours of wine – and people – but you will also discover the significance of wine in Cyprus history and tradition.
Perhaps the most prominent vineyards in Cyprus are those that are spread out over the southern slopes of the Troodos mountain range. It is the well-known area of “Krasochoria Lemesou” (the wine villages of Limassol) which offer the traveller everything. Natural scenery, pretty villages, local produce and, at a break in the journey, rest, relaxation and delicious wines to tempt the palate. All local wines are produced from the grapes of vineyards that cover most of the hills of this well-drained countryside. A bountiful and sun-drenched land filled with contrasts, Krasochoria is known for its warm welcomes and its winemakers, whose wines express the local special character.
The best way to discover the wines of Krasochoria is therefore to visit the wineries in the region to get a first-hand look at this unique environment of the region and its exceptional “terroir”. Whether you are resident in or just visiting Cyprus, there has never been a better time to go and visit a winery, since there is nothing finer for wine lovers than to drink handmade wine at the place where it was produced.
During the pleasurable task of learning more about Cyprus wines by following the winery routes map, you will be supporting local business while tasting the flavour of the land from people who love working it. When touring the area, we suggest that you visiting two to four wineries per trip. This provides a leisurely, relaxed pace that allows you time to talk with the owners at each winery and enjoy the surroundings. Expectations in wine tasting rooms are different to those at wine festivals or in busy bars.
Wine tastings are not a “one size fits all” experience; they are continuously changing as industry trends change and are specific to each individual winery. The diversity in vineyard sources gives each wine a different character and individual personality. Visitors should look out for the visual aspects of the vine – its leaves, grape bunches and berries. Colour, shape, productivity and of course the integrity of the plant – the presence or (ideally) absence of diseases, dead leaves and mould – can help visitors to distinguish different varieties and can maybe tell them something about the vintage and help them understand how meticulously a vineyard was tended.
The tasting room is one of the best places to grab a bottle or two of a wine you love, especially one that may only be available at the winery. The goal is to give enthusiasts the chance to sample a variety of wines in a classy or more relaxed gathering, with a focus on the customer’s overall experience as for many, wine tasting goes beyond simply enjoying a taste of the latest wines. The thing that’s the most fun about a winery visit is chatting with the people behind the bar, who are often the owners or winemakers, especially at smaller establishments. How the inside of a winery looks can tell you a lot about the philosophy of the winery and the winemaker and about the style of the wines that they make. Plus you may even get the chance to taste some fermenting grape juice if you are lucky enough to be in the area during autumn.
For sure, the most interesting period in which to learn the most about a vineyard and vineyard work is just before harvesting, when visitors can examine first-hand the composition of the soil, the training system, the planting density, the exposure and the respective influence on the vine, and can also see and taste the “result” of all the decisions made and the work done before.
There are several wine trails that are deservedly popular with locals and tourists – and, not too many miles off the beaten trails, there are a few hidden gems that are well worth exploring. These wineries offer visitors not only wine tastings but also scenic picnic areas, special events and a variety of reasons to linger. Each has its own distinct personality.
Monolithos wines located near Pachna (the biggest village of the Krasochoria domain) are made from grapes hand-picked from vines growing at a height of 750m (2,200 feet) above sea level. It is a magnificent site for growing grapes, with a wonderful vineyard, winery, and tasting room with a commanding view towards the Troodos Mountains. Nestled among graceful mountain slopes, Monolithos Boutique Winery provides a picturesque, natural setting for outdoor gatherings, from business to family picnics. When visiting our wine tasting room, consider yourself a guest. We are proud of our facility and want everyone to enjoy their visit. Share a bottle of award-winning wine as you enjoy the picturesque surroundings from a hilltop terrace.
In keeping with the winery’s name and the local history, a collection of pictures, maps, engravings and other artefacts can be viewed on the multifunction and tasting room walls. Visitors can bring picnics, listen to music, and enjoy the views from the veranda. As part of a tour, we accompany visitors around the vineyards and through the cellars, where the vinification process is explained from the pressing of the grapes to the bottling process. At the end of the tour, the wine tasting is accompanied by typical products of the region such as local cheeses, smoked salami, prosciutto, and of course local fresh bread.
We always think of wine as an experience so environment, company, and food play a huge part in wine enjoyment. So if you have a free weekend and wish to experience wine tasting with friends, call in advance before you make the journey. All details are on our website.
We hope to see you soon!