Cyprus Wine Competition

The Cypriot Vineyard

Cypriot viticulture is characterised by its small vineyards.  The vine growing area in Cyprus has declined vastly during the last years.  According to the Vine Registry, at the end of 2010, an area of only 9.782,8 hectares was cultivated with vineyards.  The sharp decline of the viticultural land due partly the large scale of agricultural activity abandonment, to the application of subsidised vineyard abandonment schemes and partly to the use of generous incentives aiming to concentrate the vineyard within the specified regions of quality wine production.   Currently, the native grape variety of Mavro covers 46,51%, while Xinistery covers 22.76% of the total vineyard area

The wine sector has always been closely linked to the agricultural sector of Cyprus, not necessarily due to its contribution to the GDP but rather to the social, environmental and cultural aspects of viticulture and wine production of the island, which were the main occupations of Cypriots since ancient times.

The importance of viticulture does not lie solely in the fact that grapes are turned into wine, but also because mountainous and semi-mountainous areas with mainly barren, rocky and steep terrain are utilised.

The vineyard is an essential part of the landscape and contributes to its conservation. In addition to helping to protect the environment, it prevents soil erosion, ensures man’s continued presence in remote rural areas and contributes to the development of alternative (rural or agro) tourism.

The vine growing capacity of Cyprus is not static but changes year by year depending on the conditions and demands of the modern competitive market.

Specified regions: For the production of wine

The Cypriot vineyards are divided into four communes eligible to produce wines with a protected geographical indication (regional wines). The four regions are Lemesos, Pafos, Larnaca and Lefkosia. One third of the total wine production concerns regional wines.

The five areas eligible for the production of wines with a protected designation of origin are “Laona Akama”, “Commandaria”, “Vouni-Panayia -Ampelitis”, “Pitslia” and “Krasohoria Lemesou”.

The use of these indications is controlled, approved and certified by the WPC.

Production yield

At the end of the 2010 harvest period, the grape production was estimated at approximately 288 874 hectokilos (1 hectokilo = 100 kilos), as compared to 319.690 hectokilos in 2009. Of this volume, 157.000 hectokilos of wine grapes were disposed exclusively for the production of commercial wine in 2009 in comparison to 193.080 hectokilos during the previous year.

The vine growing capacity for indigenous and new wine producing varieties on 31/12/2010 was as follows:

Indigenous varieities in red.

Variety Area (hectares) Percentage of Total cultivation
Occupied by Variety.
Mavro 4.549,70 46,51%
Xynisteri 2.227,00 22,76%
Soultanina 515,90 5,27%.
Carignan Noir 365,80 3,74%
Cabernet Sauvignon 279,30 2,86%
Cabernet Franc 266,70 2,73%
Syrah 257,20 2,63%
Maratheftiko 178,00 1,82%
Mataro 148,90 1,52%
Malaga 134,90 1,38%
Chardonnay 130,60 1,33%
Ofthalmo 126,00 1,29%
Lefkada 96,30 0,98%
Grenache Noir 94,80 0,97%
Alicante Bouschet 81,20 0,83%
Merlot Noir 68,90 0,70%
Oeillade 57,40 0,58%
Palomino 55,80 0,57%
Semillon 36,10 0,37%
Sauvignon Blanc 34,60 0,35%
Other 77,70 0,79%
Total 9.782,80 100,00%