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The island in the eastern Mediterranean politically forms the Republic of Cyprus, which under international law covers the entire island with 9,251 km². In fact, it only consists of the larger southern part with 5,384 km², because the smaller north with 3,355 km² forms the Turkish Republic of Cyprus (which is not recognized by almost all states). Two British military bases with a land area of 255 km² are subordinate to England as a remnant of the colonial period. The distance to the south coast of the Turkey is only around 70, to the east coast of the Greek island Rhodes almost 400 and to the mainland of Greece even over 800 kilometers. Winegrowing dates back to the third millennium BC. BC back. According to mythology, the Greek wine god preferred Dionysos for his drinking, wines from this island. The foam-born Aphrodite rose from the sea at the “Roman rock” and went ashore at the northwest peninsula of Akamas. The Phoenicians and Greeks founded in the antiquity the tradition of sweet wines. Floor mosaics with wine motifs in the port city of Paphos on the southwest coast testify to this ancient wine culture.
After the third crusade in 1191 the island came into the possession of the Order of St. John, later the Order of the Templars and from 1312 after its dissolution the St. John again. The order managed so-called coming (goods with vineyards). Its headquarters was the Kolossi Castle, still known as the "Grand Commandery", which is the famous wine-growing region and the legendary sweet wine Commandaria gave the name. At that time, this coveted wine was delivered to many European rulers. Between 1489 and 1571 Cyprus belonged to the Republic Venice, The Ottoman rule from 1571 to 1878 and the related alcohol ban brought about a total decline in wine culture. Under the British administration from 1878 to 1960 there was an upswing again. The Commandaria and similar wines previously known as "Cyprus sherry" developed into export runners.
From the early 1990s, Cypriot viticulture was reinvented, so to speak, by young, well-trained descendants of long-established families and some investors in Cypriot viticulture. This new generation broke with the old myths and began to combine tradition and Middle Eastern lifestyle with western dynamism. A number of modern, well-equipped wineries were built in the villages of the Troodos Mountains. The small vineyards in the barren scrubland form a perfect wine ecosystem, largely without artificial ones irrigation and can do without chemical pesticides. The phylloxera has never reached the island, which is why the vines are ungrafted in the soil. European varieties were not introduced to Cyprus until the 1970s. The Blend 2010:
The majority of the wine-growing regions are located in the south-west of the island in the southern foothills of the Troodos Mountains at an altitude of 250 to 1,500 meters, making them one of the highest vineyards count in Europe. Pitsilia and the northern half of Commandaria have volcanic soils, the other areas mostly limestone. There is a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers and low rainfall. In 2012, the vineyards covered 9,000 hectares, of which 107,000 hectoliters of wine were produced. The majority of the grape harvest is used for the production of table grapes and raisins, In the past, the Cypriots were not too great wine lovers, but above all they have beer, the pomace brandy Zivania and ouzo consumed. However, there is a trend reversal in favor of wine.
Only with the accession of Cyprus to the EU was an origin-oriented classification model based on the French model introduced, which became effective in 2006. A total of five areas are defined for so-called OEOP wines with designation of origin (OEOP = Oinos Eleghomenis Onomasias Proelefsis). These wines must come from vineyards that are more than 600 meters above sea level. 85% of them have to be made from domestic varieties such as Xynisteri (white), Maratheftiko, Mavro or Ophthalmo (all red). Furthermore, the proportion of the Mavro variety may amount to a maximum of 60 or 70% depending on the growing region. The vinification and bottling must take place in the OEOP areas. The designation of origin for country wines corresponds to the political division with the four districts Larnaka, Limassol, Nicosia and Paphos. Here the winemakers are free to design, especially with regard to the use of international grape varieties. The five OEOP areas are:
Commandaria : The area comprises 14 municipalities in the southern foothills of the Troodos Mountains north of Limassol. It was the first to be defined in 1980.
Krasohoria Lemesou : The area comprises 20 municipalities in the southern foothills of the Troodos Mountains north of Limassol. Two sub-areas are Afames and Laona.
Laona Akamas : The area comprises six coastal communities in the northwest of Paphos. The mythical peninsula of Akamas is protected due to its special abundance of plants.
Pitsilia : The largest area comprises 32 villages on the eastern edge of the Troodos Mountains above Commandaria and is also known for its fruit trees and rose crops.
Vouni Panayia Ambelitis : The double area is located in the central west of the island on the western edge of the Troodos Mountains northeast of Paphos.
Most of the production is done by the four large companies Etko, Keo, Loel and Sodap based around Limassol in the south of the island. These mainly produce for export, mainly wine for industrial processing (e.g. Sangria and wormwood ), Grape must concentrate or RTK (e.g. for British Wine ) and liqueur wines. These companies also own some regional wineries. The more than 50 private wineries produce only around 15% of the volume (with an increasing tendency) with increasingly high quality standards. These include Aes Ambelis, Amforeas (Kolios), Ampelokipeftiki, Antoniades, Ayia Mavri, Bolita, Chrisorogiatissa, Constantinou Distillery, Costas N. Erimoudes, Ezousa, Fikardos, Gaia, Hadjiantonas, Harma, Krelan, Kyperounta, Kykkos Monastery, Lagria Linos, Menardos, Nelion, Nicolaides, Nikolettino, Vouni Panayias, Shoufas, Tsalapatis, Tsangarides, Tsiakkas, Vardalis, Vasa, Vasilikon, Vlassides Yiaskouris Zambartas, Zenon.