Commandaria, known to Omer and Isiodos as Nama Kyprion, was once associated with culture and aristocracy.
It was named after the Headquarters (Grand Commanderie) of the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, who were the first to produce and export this sweet wine. They came to Cyprus when the Lusignan Kings bought Cyprus from Richard the Lionheart, and they were given 46 villages under their command - many in the Pitsilia area.
Only mature grapes are used to make commandaria, so the grapes are picked after mid-September. They are then left under the sun for 10-15 days in order for the water to evaporate and the sugar to concentrate. The grapes are then brought to the wineries and pressed and the juice is placed in wine container and left to ferment.
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