34° 41' 32" N


33° 1' 43" E




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about this region

The Lemesos wine region, also known as Limassol, is a vital part of Cyprus's viticultural landscape, located in the southern area of the island. It is bordered by the Larnaka, Lefkosia, and Pafos wine regions, creating a diverse and interconnected network of wine production areas. Currently, the region has 5 subregions: the Lamesos PGI and the Commandaria, Krasochoria Lemesou, Krasochoria Lemesou-Afames, and Krasochoria Lemesou-Laona PDOs.

This region is known for its extensive vineyard area, accounting for 45% of Cyprus's total vineyard coverage. The varied terroir, including both limestone and volcanic soils, provides ideal conditions for cultivating a wide range of grape varieties. The primary grapes grown in Lemesos include indigenous varieties like Maratheftiko and Yiannoudi, as well as international favorites such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Xynisteri, and Chardonnay.

Lemesos's wine culture is deeply rooted in its history and traditions, making it a key destination for wine enthusiasts and a central player in Cyprus's wine industry. With a blend of traditional practices and modern innovations, the region continues to produce high-quality wines that reflect its unique terroir and rich heritage.


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Vineyard Hectares




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Discover Terroir

Landscape Characteristics of the Lemesos Wine Region

The Lemesos (Limassol) wine region in Cyprus is renowned for its picturesque and diverse landscape, which significantly contributes to the area's viticultural success and charm.

Mountainous Terrain

The Lemesos wine region is primarily situated on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains. This mountainous terrain provides an ideal environment for viticulture, with vineyards often planted on terraced slopes that enhance drainage and reduce soil erosion. The elevation ranges from about 250 meters to 1500 meters above sea level, offering varied microclimates that are beneficial for different grape varieties.

Scenic Villages

The region includes a collection of traditional wine villages, collectively known as "Krasochoria." These villages, such as Omodos, Vouni, and Lofou, are characterized by their picturesque settings, cobblestone streets, and historic architecture. The charming and unspoiled nature of these villages makes them popular destinations for wine tourism, offering visitors a glimpse into the local culture and winemaking traditions.

Cultural and Historical Sites

Lemesos is rich in cultural and historical landmarks. The area is home to significant archaeological sites like the ancient city-kingdoms of Amathus and Kourion. These sites add a historical depth to the region, blending the past with the present-day viticultural practices. The region's wine routes often include visits to these historical sites, enhancing the overall experience for wine enthusiasts.

Natural Beauty and Biodiversity

The landscape is dotted with natural features such as the Germasogeia Dam and Akrotiri Salt Lake, which are notable for their ecological significance. These areas provide habitats for a variety of wildlife, particularly birds, and contribute to the region's biodiversity. The lush vineyards, coupled with these natural landscapes, create a stunning backdrop that enhances the visual appeal of the region.

Traditional Agriculture

Beyond vineyards, the Lemesos region also includes diverse agricultural activities. Olive groves, almond trees, and citrus orchards are commonly found alongside the vineyards. This mix of agriculture adds to the region’s aesthetic and economic diversity, providing a varied landscape that supports sustainable farming practices.

In summary, the Lemesos wine region's landscape is a blend of mountainous terrain, scenic villages, cultural heritage, natural beauty, and traditional agriculture. This diversity not only supports high-quality wine production but also makes the region a captivating destination for visitors.

Climate of the Lemesos Wine Region

The Lemesos (Limassol) wine region in Cyprus enjoys a Mediterranean climate, characterized by its warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. This climate is ideal for viticulture and contributes significantly to the quality of the wines produced in the region.


Summers in Lemesos are typically hot, with average daytime temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). The high temperatures during the growing season help in the ripening of grapes, ensuring they develop the necessary sugars and phenolic compounds. Winter temperatures are mild, averaging around 10-15°C (50-59°F), which allows the vines to rest and rejuvenate for the next growing season.


The region experiences most of its rainfall during the winter months, from November to March, with January being the wettest month. The annual rainfall in Lemesos averages around 500 millimeters (20 inches). This seasonal rainfall pattern ensures that the vines receive adequate water during their dormant period, while the dry summers reduce the risk of fungal diseases that can affect grape quality.

Humidity and Wind

The humidity levels in Lemesos vary throughout the year, being higher in the winter and lower in the summer. This variation helps in reducing disease pressure during the critical growing and ripening periods. Additionally, the region benefits from cool breezes, especially in the vineyards located at higher altitudes on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains. These breezes provide a cooling effect, which is crucial in mitigating the heat during the summer and maintaining the balance in the vines.

Altitude and Microclimates

The vineyards in the Lemesos region are often situated at altitudes ranging from 250 to 1,100 meters above sea level. The higher altitude vineyards experience cooler temperatures and greater diurnal temperature variation, which enhances the acidity and flavor complexity of the grapes. This range of microclimates within the region allows for the cultivation of both early and late-ripening grape varieties, contributing to the diversity of wines produced.

Overall, the Mediterranean climate of the Lemesos wine region, with its hot summers, mild winters, seasonal rainfall, and beneficial breezes, creates ideal conditions for growing high-quality grapes and producing distinctive wines.

The Lemesos (Limassol) wine region in Cyprus is renowned for its diverse and distinctive soils, which play a crucial role in the quality and character of its wines. The region's soils can be broadly categorized into two main types: limestone soils and volcanic soils.

Limestone Soils: These soils are prevalent in many parts of the Lemesos wine region, especially in the Krasochoria Lemesou area. Limestone soils are well-drained and rich in calcium carbonate, which is beneficial for vine health. They provide excellent drainage, preventing waterlogging and encouraging deep root growth, which helps vines access essential nutrients. The high mineral content in these soils contributes to the distinctive minerality and complexity of the wines produced in this region. The elevation and the limestone-rich terrain create a terroir that enhances the aromatic intensity and structural integrity of the wines.

Volcanic Soils: Found primarily in the northern parts of the region, such as the Commandaria area, volcanic soils are derived from ancient volcanic activity. These soils are typically rich in basalt and other volcanic materials, providing a unique mineral composition that enhances vine growth. Volcanic soils offer excellent drainage and heat retention properties, which are ideal for grape maturation. The porous nature of these soils allows roots to penetrate deeply, accessing water and nutrients from lower soil layers. This contributes to the robustness and depth of flavor in the wines produced from vines grown in volcanic soils.

The combination of these soil types, along with the region's Mediterranean climate and varied topography, creates a unique environment for viticulture. This diversity in soil composition supports a wide range of grape varieties, including indigenous grapes like Xynisteri and Maratheftiko, as well as international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The soils of the Lemesos wine region are integral to the production of high-quality wines that reflect the unique terroir of Cyprus.


Most Planted Grapes in the Lemesos Wine Region

The Lemesos wine region in Cyprus is renowned for its diverse and high-quality grape varieties. These grapes thrive in the region's unique terroir, characterized by its Mediterranean climate, diverse soils, and varying altitudes. The following sections provide insights into the agricultural and climatic requirements for the most commonly planted red and white grape varieties in Lemesos.

Most Planted Red Grapes

Maratheftiko: Maratheftiko is a rare and ancient red grape variety that requires careful attention in the vineyard. It has difficulty self-pollinating, necessitating the presence of other grape varieties like Xynisteri or Spourtiko to aid in pollination. This grape thrives in well-drained, limestone-rich soils, which help manage its water needs and provide essential minerals. Maratheftiko benefits from the warm, sunny conditions typical of the Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters that allow for slow and even ripening.

Yiannoudi: Yiannoudi is an indigenous red grape variety that has gained popularity for its resilience and adaptability. This grape prefers high-altitude vineyards, where cooler temperatures help preserve its acidity and structure. Yiannoudi vines thrive in well-drained, sandy soils rich in minerals. The Mediterranean climate, with its long, dry summers and short, wet winters, is ideal for this variety, promoting healthy vine growth and optimal grape maturation.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon is a widely planted international variety in the Lemesos region. Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in a range of soils but performs exceptionally well in well-drained, gravelly soils that provide good drainage and heat retention. The warm Mediterranean climate, with plenty of sunshine and moderate rainfall, ensures that Cabernet Sauvignon grapes ripen fully, developing the desired tannins and complexity.

Syrah: Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is another popular international variety in Lemesos. This grape prefers warm climates and thrives in rocky, well-drained soils that retain heat. The Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters, is perfect for Syrah, allowing the grapes to develop their full potential. Syrah vines benefit from minimal rainfall during the growing season, which reduces the risk of fungal diseases.

Most Planted White Grapes

Xynisteri: Xynisteri is the most widely planted white grape variety in Cyprus, particularly thriving in the Lemesos region. This grape is well-suited to the region's limestone-rich soils, which provide excellent drainage and essential minerals. Xynisteri benefits from the Mediterranean climate, with its hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The high-altitude vineyards help maintain the grape's natural acidity, producing fresh and vibrant wines.

Chardonnay: Chardonnay is an international white grape variety that adapts well to the diverse conditions in Lemesos. It thrives in cooler, higher-altitude vineyards where the temperatures are moderated, allowing for slow and even ripening. Chardonnay prefers well-drained soils, such as those found in the region's limestone and volcanic areas. The Mediterranean climate, with ample sunshine and moderate rainfall, supports the growth of healthy Chardonnay vines and the production of high-quality grapes.

By understanding the specific agricultural and climatic requirements of these grape varieties, viticulturists in the Lemesos wine region can optimize their cultivation practices to produce exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of Cyprus.

Most Common Wines from the Lemesos Wine Region

The Lemesos (Limassol) wine region in Cyprus is known for its exceptional wines, ranging from sweet dessert wines to robust reds and refreshing whites. This region benefits from a unique combination of Mediterranean climate, diverse soils, and varying altitudes, which contribute to the distinctive character of its wines. Below, we explore the most common wines from Lemesos, highlighting their aromatic and flavor profiles.

Dessert Wines

Commandaria: Commandaria is one of the oldest known wines in the world, with a history dating back to ancient times. This sweet dessert wine is made from sun-dried Xynisteri and Mavro grapes, resulting in a deep amber color. Aromatically, Commandaria is rich with notes of dried fruits such as figs and raisins, complemented by hints of honey, caramel, and spices. On the palate, it is lush and full-bodied, offering flavors of toffee, nuts, and a lingering sweetness balanced by a touch of acidity.

Red Wines

Maratheftiko: Maratheftiko is an indigenous red grape variety that produces bold and complex wines. Aromatically, it exhibits intense dark fruit notes, including blackberry and black cherry, along with floral hints of violet. The flavor profile of Maratheftiko includes rich layers of dark berries, spices such as black pepper and clove, and subtle earthy undertones. The wine typically has firm tannins and a balanced acidity, making it suitable for aging.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon from Lemesos is known for its robust and structured profile. The wine presents classic aromas of blackcurrant, cassis, and cedar, often accompanied by hints of green bell pepper and tobacco. On the palate, it is full-bodied with flavors of dark fruits, such as black cherry and plum, intertwined with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and oak from barrel aging. The tannins are firm yet well-integrated, providing a long and satisfying finish.

Syrah: Syrah, also known as Shiraz, thrives in the warm climate of Lemesos, producing wines with a rich and spicy character. Aromas of ripe blackberries, blueberries, and plums dominate the nose, complemented by peppery and smoky notes. The palate is full and velvety, with flavors of dark fruits, black pepper, licorice, and a touch of leather. Syrah wines from Lemesos often have a smooth texture and a long, spicy finish, reflecting their Mediterranean origins.

White Wines

Xynisteri: Xynisteri is the most widely planted white grape in Cyprus, producing fresh and aromatic wines. The nose of Xynisteri wines is characterized by citrus notes like lemon and lime, along with green apple and floral hints such as jasmine. On the palate, these wines are light to medium-bodied with a crisp acidity. Flavors of citrus and green fruit are prominent, often enhanced by a subtle minerality that reflects the limestone-rich soils of the region. The finish is clean and refreshing, making Xynisteri an excellent choice for pairing with seafood and salads.

Chardonnay: Chardonnay from Lemesos showcases a range of styles, from crisp and unoaked to rich and buttery. Aromatically, it presents notes of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, citrus, and sometimes a hint of vanilla and toast from oak aging. On the palate, Chardonnay is versatile, offering flavors that can include green apple, pear, citrus, and melon, with more complex examples showing butter and brioche. The wine is typically well-balanced with a good acidity, making it suitable for a variety of food pairings.

The wines from the Lemesos region reflect the rich viticultural heritage and unique terroir of Cyprus, offering a diverse array of flavors and styles that appeal to a wide range of wine enthusiasts.


250-1500 m


60-90 mm


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

top varietal

Maratheftiko, Yiannoudi, Cabernet Sauvignon, Xynisteri, Chardonnay

History of wine

History of Viticulture Development in the Lemesos Wine Region

The development of viticulture in the Lemesos (Limassol) wine region of Cyprus has a rich and storied history, deeply intertwined with the island’s cultural and economic evolution. This region, located on the southern coast of Cyprus, has long been a hub for wine production, benefiting from its favorable Mediterranean climate and fertile soils.

Ancient to Medieval Periods

Viticulture in Lemesos can trace its roots back to ancient times, with references to wine production on the island appearing in historical texts and archaeological findings. The region's reputation for high-quality wine was well-established by the time of the Byzantine Empire, continuing through the medieval period under the Lusignan and Venetian rule. The introduction of European winemaking techniques during these periods significantly influenced local practices, laying the foundation for modern viticulture in the area.

Ottoman Period to British Rule

During the Ottoman period (1570-1878), viticulture in Lemesos experienced challenges due to the general economic and social decline. However, the resilience of local winemakers ensured that wine production continued, albeit on a smaller scale. The British colonial period (1878-1960) brought new opportunities for expansion and modernization, with the introduction of better infrastructure and access to international markets. This era saw significant improvements in vineyard management and wine production techniques.

Post-Independence and Modern Era

Following Cyprus’s independence in 1960, the Lemesos region underwent substantial modernization in its viticultural practices. The establishment of large wineries such as KEO, SODAP, LOEL, and ETKO played a pivotal role in revitalizing the wine industry. These wineries not only expanded production but also focused on improving the quality of Cypriot wines through technological advancements and adherence to international standards.

In recent decades, there has been a strong emphasis on sustainable viticulture, with local wineries adopting organic and biodynamic practices to enhance environmental stewardship and wine quality. The region's wineries are also leveraging renewable energy sources and efficient water usage techniques to minimize their ecological footprint.

Cultural and Economic Impact

The Lemesos Wine Festival, first organized in 1961, has become a significant cultural event, celebrating the region's winemaking heritage and attracting thousands of visitors annually. This festival underscores the importance of viticulture to the local economy and cultural identity, promoting Cypriot wines both domestically and internationally.

Today, the Lemesos wine region continues to thrive, blending traditional practices with modern innovations to produce wines that are celebrated globally. The region’s commitment to quality and sustainability ensures that it remains a cornerstone of Cyprus’s viticultural landscape.


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