It is the oldest wine holding a Protected Designation of Origin and it is a trademark of local tradition and production. Commandaria, stately, exuberant, elegant, hides a long history. Aside from historical details, however, we will present you 15 unknown facts about the “Cypriot nectar”.

1. Euripides called it “Cypriot nama”.
2. It is the oldest wine in the world, as mentions of the sweet nama of Cyprus are found in Hesiod’s texts.
3. Its name derives from the military administration of the Knights Templar in Limassol, which was called la Commanderie.
4. In the 15th century, vineyards from Cyprus were planted in Madeira, Portugal, in an attempt to replicate the wine there. This is how the famous Madeira wine, which is similar to the Cypriot commandaria, came about.
5. It is also called the “Apostle of wines”, the “King of wines”, “divine nectar”, while Elizabeth Browing stated that commandaria “is as sweet as the lyre of the Muses. It has the colour of a lion or Rhea and shines much better than the eyes of the Paphite goddess. It is as light as her step, and the honey produced by the black bees of Hymettus cannot exceed the sweetness of the wines of Cyprus”.
6. Commandaria’s production is controlled and is regulated by national law, while its name has been protected at European level since 1990, when it was recognised as the first wine of Cyprus.
7. Only 14 villages hold the right to produce and use the name commandaria as a wine of controlled designation of origin.
8. Commandaria is produced from native varieties Xynisteri and Mavro, after their grapes have over-matured under the sun for about a week on special decks.
9. Grapes have to come from short height and small harvest vineyards.
10. Commandaria is a sweet wine from sun-dried grapes.
11. It must mature for at least two years in oak barrels.
12. It is rich in natural sugars.
13. It is served chilled, at a temperature of 8-10ºC, in a special dessert wine glass.
14. Commandaria is consumed both as an aperitif with dried fruit and nuts, and as a dessert with traditional Cypriot sweets, anari cheese with honey or carob honey, or even with chocolate sweets.
15. The commandaria festival and technical symposium is annually organised at the villages found within the geographical zone of commandaria production.