35° 11' 8.04" N


33° 22' 56.19" E




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about this region

The Lefkosia wine region, located in the north-central area of Cyprus, is a key player in the island’s viticultural landscape. Bordered by the Larnaka, Lemesos, and Pafos wine regions, Lefkosia is known for its unique terroir and a rich tradition of winemaking. Currently, the region features 2 subregions: the Lefkosia PGI and the Pitsilia PDO.

Lefkosia is home to numerous small and medium-sized wineries, which contribute to its diverse and high-quality wine production. These wineries emphasize traditional methods and local grape varieties, including Maratheftiko, Yiannoudi, Xynisteri, and Promara, which thrive in the region’s varied soils and climatic conditions.

The region’s vineyards are often located at higher altitudes, benefiting from the cooler temperatures and well-drained limestone and volcanic soils. These conditions are ideal for producing wines with distinct flavors and excellent aging potential. Wine tourism is also an important aspect of the Lefkosia wine region, with many wineries offering tours and tastings that showcase the unique characteristics of their wines and the region’s rich cultural heritage.

The Lefkosia wine region stands out not only for its contributions to Cyprus’s wine industry but also for its dedication to preserving traditional winemaking practices while embracing modern techniques to enhance the quality and reputation of its wines.


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Vineyard Hectares




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Discover Terroir

Landscape Characteristics of the Lefkosia Wine Region

The Lefkosia wine region, located in the central part of Cyprus, is known for its diverse and picturesque landscape, which plays a crucial role in its viticultural identity. Here are some key characteristics of the landscape in this region:

Mountainous Terrain

The Lefkosia wine region is largely characterized by its mountainous terrain, particularly in areas such as the Troodos Mountains. This topography includes steep slopes and high elevations, which are beneficial for grape cultivation as they provide excellent drainage and diverse microclimates. Vineyards are often found at altitudes ranging from 600 to 1,200 meters above sea level, which helps in the gradual ripening of grapes and the development of complex flavors​​​​.

Scenic Villages

The region is dotted with quaint, traditional villages such as Fikardou, Alona, and Kakopetria. These villages feature cobbled streets, stone and adobe houses, and well-preserved historical architecture. Fikardou, for example, has been declared a national monument and showcases remarkable 18th-century woodwork and folk architecture. These villages not only enhance the scenic beauty of the region but also offer a glimpse into the rural life and cultural heritage of Cyprus​​.

Forests and Natural Beauty

The landscape of Lefkosia is also enriched by lush forests and natural areas. The region includes parts of the Pitsylia area, known for its dense forests and biodiversity. These forested areas contribute to the scenic beauty and ecological diversity of the region, providing a natural backdrop to the vineyards and enhancing the overall environment​​.

Agricultural Land

In addition to vineyards, the Lefkosia region supports various other agricultural activities. The landscape is interspersed with olive groves, almond trees, and orchards, which add to the region's agricultural diversity. This blend of vineyards and other agricultural lands creates a rich tapestry of cultivated fields and natural vegetation​​.

Historical and Cultural Sites

The region is rich in historical and cultural sites, which are often situated in its scenic landscape. These include ancient monasteries, historical churches, and traditional wine presses, which reflect the long-standing cultural and religious heritage of the area. The integration of these sites into the natural landscape provides a unique cultural dimension to the Lefkosia wine region​​.

The Lefkosia wine region's varied landscape, combining mountainous terrain, scenic villages, lush forests, and rich agricultural land, creates an ideal environment for viticulture. This diversity not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the region but also contributes to the unique qualities of its wines.

Climate of the Lefkosia Wine Region

The Lefkosia (Nicosia) wine region in Cyprus experiences a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. This climate plays a significant role in the viticulture of the region, influencing the growth cycles and quality of the grapes.


The region enjoys warm to hot temperatures throughout the year. During the summer months, temperatures often reach highs of around 99°F (37°C) in July and August. Winters are mild, with average high temperatures in January and February around 60°F to 63°F (15°C to 17°C). Nighttime temperatures can drop to around 45°F (7°C) in the winter, providing a necessary cool period for the vines to rest.


Rainfall in Lefkosia is relatively low, typical of Mediterranean climates. The region receives most of its annual precipitation during the winter months. January is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of about 4.88 inches (124 mm). In contrast, the summer months, particularly July and August, see minimal rainfall, often less than an inch (25 mm). This dry summer period is beneficial for reducing the risk of fungal diseases in the vineyards.

Humidity and Wind

The average humidity in the region varies, generally lower in the summer months around 37-42% and higher in the winter months, reaching up to 69% in January. Winds are moderate throughout the year, averaging around 11 to 13 mph, which helps in cooling the vineyards and reducing the likelihood of disease.


Lefkosia enjoys abundant sunshine, especially during the summer months. This high level of solar exposure is ideal for the ripening of grapes, ensuring that the fruit develops the sugars and flavors necessary for quality wine production.

These climatic conditions make Lefkosia an ideal region for viticulture, supporting the growth of both indigenous and international grape varieties that thrive in warm, sunny environments with dry conditions during the critical ripening period​​​​​​​​.

The Lefkosia wine region in Cyprus is renowned for its diverse and rich soils, which play a significant role in shaping the character and quality of its wines. The two most common soil types in this region are limestone soils and volcanic soils. These soils provide unique mineral profiles and drainage properties that contribute to the distinct terroir of the Lefkosia wine region.

Limestone Soils; Limestone soils are prevalent in the Lefkosia wine region and are highly regarded for their beneficial properties in viticulture. These soils are well-drained, which helps prevent waterlogging and ensures that the vines receive the right amount of moisture. The high calcium content in limestone soils enhances the structure and minerality of the wines, often resulting in a crisp and well-defined flavor profile. Additionally, limestone soils retain heat, which aids in the ripening process of the grapes, ensuring balanced acidity and sugar levels. The mineral-rich composition of these soils contributes to the complexity and aging potential of the wines produced in this region​​​​.

Volcanic Soils:Volcanic soils are another significant soil type found in parts of the Lefkosia wine region, particularly near the Troodos Mountains. These soils originate from weathered volcanic rocks and are known for their excellent drainage capabilities. Volcanic soils are rich in basalt, which provides essential nutrients and minerals that are beneficial for vine health and grape quality. The porous nature of volcanic soils allows for deep root penetration, helping vines access water and nutrients from deeper layers. This results in vigorous vine growth and grapes with concentrated flavors. Wines from volcanic soils often exhibit unique minerality and a distinctive character, reflecting the volcanic origin of the soil​​​​.

The combination of limestone and volcanic soils in the Lefkosia wine region creates a diverse and dynamic environment for viticulture. These soils not only support the growth of high-quality grapes but also impart unique characteristics to the wines, making the Lefkosia region a notable area for wine production in Cyprus.


Most Common Grapes from the Lefkosia Wine Region

The Lefkosia wine region of Cyprus is renowned for its diverse and high-quality grape varieties. Among the most notable are Maratheftiko, Yiannoudi, Xynisteri, and Promara. These grapes thrive in the region's unique climate and soil conditions, contributing significantly to the island's viticultural heritage. Below is an exploration of the agricultural and climatic requirements for these key grape varieties.

Most Common Red Grapes

Maratheftiko: Maratheftiko is a rare indigenous red grape variety that is particularly challenging to cultivate due to its unique pollination requirements. It needs to be planted alongside other grape varieties, such as Spourtiko, for successful pollination. The grape thrives in the high-altitude vineyards of Lefkosia, which provide the necessary cool nights and warm days. Maratheftiko requires well-drained soils with a good mix of limestone and clay, which help maintain the moisture levels and provide essential nutrients. The region's Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters, is ideal for the slow and steady ripening of Maratheftiko grapes, ensuring they develop the complexity and depth for which they are known.

Yiannoudi: Yiannoudi is another indigenous red grape variety that has garnered attention for its adaptability and resilience. This grape prefers high-altitude conditions similar to those found in the Lefkosia region, where the altitude helps moderate temperatures, providing cool nights that are crucial for the development of the grape's acidity and structure. Yiannoudi vines thrive in well-drained, sandy soils that are rich in minerals. The Mediterranean climate, with its long, dry summers and brief, wet winters, allows Yiannoudi grapes to mature slowly and evenly. The minimal rainfall during the growing season reduces the risk of disease, making it easier to maintain healthy vineyards with minimal intervention.

Most Common White Grapes

Xynisteri: Xynisteri is the most widely planted white grape variety in Cyprus, known for its ability to thrive in the island's varied climatic conditions. In the Lefkosia region, Xynisteri benefits from the high-altitude vineyards that offer cooler temperatures and increased diurnal temperature variation. This helps maintain the grape's acidity and freshness. Xynisteri prefers limestone-rich soils, which enhance its mineral characteristics and provide excellent drainage. The region's dry, warm climate, with plenty of sunshine, is ideal for Xynisteri, as it ensures a steady ripening process without the risk of fungal diseases that can occur in more humid conditions.

Promara: Promara is a lesser-known indigenous white grape variety that has recently been rediscovered and cultivated for its unique characteristics. This early-ripening grape requires the cooler temperatures of high-altitude vineyards, such as those in the Lefkosia region, to achieve its full potential. Promara vines thrive in rocky, limestone-rich soils that provide excellent drainage and prevent waterlogging, which can be detrimental to the vines. The Mediterranean climate, with its long, dry summers and short, mild winters, ensures that Promara grapes can mature fully and consistently. The low humidity and ample sunlight of the region are crucial for reducing disease pressure and promoting healthy vine growth.

In summary, the Lefkosia wine region's combination of high altitudes, limestone-rich soils, and Mediterranean climate creates an ideal environment for the cultivation of these distinctive grape varieties. Each grape's specific agricultural and climatic requirements are met by the region's unique terroir, contributing to the production of high-quality wines that are emblematic of Cyprus's rich winemaking tradition.

Most Common Wines from the Lefkosia Wine Region

The Lefkosia wine region of Cyprus is renowned for its diverse and high-quality wines, crafted from both indigenous and international grape varieties. Among the most prominent are Yiannoudi, Mavro, Maratheftiko, and Xynisteri. These wines reflect the unique terroir of the region, characterized by its high altitudes, limestone-rich soils, and Mediterranean climate. Below is a detailed exploration of the aromatic and flavor profiles of these wines, organized into sections for red and white wines.

Red Wines

Yiannoudi: Yiannoudi wines are celebrated for their complex and robust flavor profile. Aromatically, these red wines often exhibit rich notes of dark berries, such as blackberry and black cherry, intertwined with subtle hints of spices like clove and cinnamon. On the palate, these red wines are full-bodied. and show firm tannins and a balanced acidity. The wine's deep color and dense structure are complemented by flavors of ripe plum, blackcurrant, and earthy undertones, often finishing with a touch of peppery spice that adds depth and intrigue.

Mavro: Mavro, one of the most traditional  grape varieties of Cyprus, produces red wines that are typically light to medium-bodied. The aromatic profile of these red wines includes red fruits such as cherry and raspberry, accompanied by floral notes like rose petals. On the palate, Mavro wines are usually smooth and approachable, with soft tannins and moderate acidity. Flavors of red berries dominate, often highlighted by subtle herbal and mineral nuances. Mavro wines are known for their easy-drinking nature and versatility in food pairings.

Maratheftiko: Maratheftiko wines are known for their bold and distinctive character. Aromatically, these red wines are rich with dark fruit notes, including black cherry, blackberry, and plum, often accompanied by hints of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla from oak aging. On the palate, Maratheftiko is full-bodied with high tannins and vibrant acidity, creating a robust structure. The flavor profile includes layers of ripe dark fruit, complemented by complex notes of spices, tobacco, and earthy undertones. The finish is long and persistent, making Maratheftiko a wine with significant aging potential.

White Wines

Xynisteri: Xynisteri is the flagship white grape variety of Cyprus, producing dry white wines that are fresh and aromatic. The nose of Xynisteri wines is often characterized by citrus notes like lemon and lime, along with green apple and delicate floral hints such as jasmine and honeysuckle. On the palate, this white wine is light to medium-bodied with a crisp and refreshing acidity. Flavors of citrus and green fruit are prominent in the profile of Xynisteri, often with a subtle minerality that reflects the limestone-rich soils of the Lefkosia region. The clean and vibrant finish makes this white winean excellent choice for a variety of culinary pairings, especially seafood and salads.

In summary, the wines of the Lefkosia region offer a rich tapestry of flavors and aromas, each reflecting the unique characteristics of the local grape varieties and terroir. From the bold and complex reds of Yiannoudi and Maratheftiko to the fresh and aromatic whites of Xynisteri, these wines provide a true taste of Cyprus's viticultural heritage.


600-1200 mm


40-80 mm


The most common soils within the region are volcanic soils and limestone soils.

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History of wine

History of the Lefkosia wine region

The Lefkosia (Nicosia) wine region of Cyprus boasts a rich and ancient winemaking heritage that has evolved significantly over millennia.

Ancient Beginnings

Winemaking in Cyprus dates back to around 3,500 BC, making it one of the oldest wine-producing regions globally. Early evidence from Chalcolithic wine jars found in Erimi suggests that wine was a significant part of ancient Cypriot culture. This ancient tradition laid the foundation for the island's enduring relationship with viticulture​​​​.

Medieval Era

During the medieval period, particularly under the Lusignan rule (1192-1489), Nicosia emerged as a crucial commercial and administrative center. The Lusignan dynasty's establishment of Nicosia included the construction of significant fortifications and infrastructure that facilitated trade, including the export of wine. This period saw an increase in the production and trade of Cypriot wines, contributing to the region's prosperity. The subsequent Venetian rule (1489-1571) further enhanced Nicosia’s role in the wine trade, solidifying its reputation as a significant winemaking region​​​​.

Ottoman Period

The Ottoman conquest in 1570/71 brought changes to the wine industry in Lefkosia. Despite the socio-economic shifts under Ottoman rule, winemaking continued to be a part of the region’s agricultural activities. However, the industry faced challenges due to different administrative and economic conditions imposed by the Ottoman Empire​​​​.

Modern Era

The 20th century marked a period of modernization and expansion for Lefkosia's wine industry. Following Cyprus’s independence in 1960, there was a concerted effort to improve wine quality through the introduction of new grape varieties and modern winemaking techniques. This era saw the establishment of new wineries and an increased focus on producing high-quality wines that could compete on the international market. The decline of the Soviet bloc in the late 1980s, which had been a major market for Cypriot wines, prompted further advancements in wine quality and diversification of export markets​​​​.

Contemporary Developments

In recent decades, Lefkosia has embraced sustainable viticulture practices and quality-driven wine production. The development of small regional wineries and adherence to European Union appellation regulations have further elevated the reputation of Lefkosia wines. These efforts ensure that the wines reflect the unique terroir of the region, characterized by its high altitudes, limestone-rich soils, and Mediterranean climate. Today, Lefkosia stands as a beacon of Cyprus's rich winemaking tradition, blending ancient practices with modern innovations to produce exceptional wines​​​​.

Lefkosia's journey through history showcases its resilience and adaptability, maintaining its significance in the world of viticulture while continuously evolving to meet contemporary standards.


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