Cyprus: Oldest Wine in the World

commandaria-cyprusAccording to the Guinness Book of World Records, Cyprus is home to the oldest wine produced in the world. Commandaria is a dessert wine that tastes like a sweet liqueur, rich in flavor and history.

It supposedly got its name from the Crusaders knights of the 13th century, but it appears that it was discovered much earlier, around 2000 BC.

Commandaria also holds the record for the older “designation of origin” product. In 1223, King Philip of France called Commandaria the “Apostle of wines” and it has since become known throughout Europe as “Commandaria,” which derives from the region where it was produced in the southwestern part of the island, named “Grande Commandarie” during the Crusades.

Other legends believe King Richard of England was drinking Commandaria at his wedding and calling it “the wine of kings and the king of wines.”

Over the years, the production of Commandaria has increased, while in 1879, British explorer Sir Samuel White Baker noted that Cyprus exported about 230,000 liters annually of the wine to Austria.

In Limassol, Commandaria is produced with a particular recipe and its name is protected as a unique product of Cyprus worldwide.

The recipe includes honey, herbs, vanilla, spices, dried fruits and a complex, sweet flavor. The distinctive element in the production of Commandaria is, that after harvesting the grapes, the producers leave them in the sun to dry for 10 days in order for them to lose their sugar.

The wine produced is then aged for two years in oak barrels and bottled. As the years pass, the liquid takes on an amber color and its sweet taste and thick consistency are intensified.


  1. Ioanna one small problem with the list of ingredients which I overlooked as a result of imbibing too much Commandaria. Vanilla comes from the New World (Mexico). Unless the Aztec’s forefathers traded with the Cypriots there is a slim chance the spice ever arrived until after Cortez’ return in the 1520’s.

  2. there is no recipe. all those you mentioned as ingredients are the aromas. the only ingredient of commandaria is the grape. and the grapes are not loosing sugar. they are loosing water and they have concentrated sugar