There is archeological evidence that winemaking on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus may have existed as many 6000 years ago. Its location off the southern coast of Turkey and relatively near the Greek islands has always made it an attractive trading hub, as well as easy target conquered by many civilizations over the centuries. Its wine industry became especially prominent during the Middle Ages and the Crusades, as European traders found a market back home. A version of the sweet wine still produced today known as Commandaria (the highest ranking knights were “commanderies”) rose to prominence in the 12th century and was said to be a favorite of the Plantagenets. This is an early precursor to foreign English-stronghold fortified wines like Madeira and Marsala. Wine production on Cyprus came to a near standstill during the Ottoman occupation between the 17th and 19th centuries until the British Empire stepped in again around the 1870s. While most of the world suffered from the Phylloxera Read more »
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