Friday, August 27, 2010

Xynisteri – The Wine surprise of Cyprus

tsangarides-wineriesToday I had a short 20 minute drive to Lemona to visit my good friend Angelos Tsaggarides in his winery. The heat was unbearable in Pafos by the sea so I thought I drive to the hills and by the way see how the harvesting goes.

When I arrived at the winery Angelos as usual opened a bottle of wine to “celebrate” the occasion. This time he opened a bottle of white wine, last years white he said, but still very alive. It was the first time I was going to try his white wine. A crystal clear white wine that has almost no colour, at the beginning I though , oh well , another tasteless white, (being myself a lover of red), but I must admit I was very surprised of its fruity smell and even more surprised of its smoothness. Light, refreshing and full of “appleness” Tsagarides Xynistery was a very pleasant surprise.

Xynistery is the most local variety of Cyprus “cepage”, cultivated in Cyprus since ever Xynisteri is a component of Commandaria. Alone always had a bad reputiuon as a very acid variety, not stable and a headaque generator. Its juice was used also to produce sweets such as Palouze and Sioutziouko, Xynistery earned its but reputation for its acididy, Xino in Greek means acid.

But today the young winemakers like Angleos understood the value of this local variety and took measures to create a wonderful white wine that we can be proud of.

This is defiantly the most live example of turning around a bad reputation. Xynistery white wines are now taken seriously in mouths of wine experts such as Dr. George Soleas who lives and works in Toronto Canada and during the wine tasting just before the opening of the wine festival in Lemesos in Cyprus he has literally said that Xynisteri is an example to follow for other local varieties worldwide.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

50 Years of Cyprus Tourism - 50 Years of Republic of Cyprus

Heritage Travel in CyprusThe 16th of August 1960, Archbishop Makarios III representing the Greek Cypriots and Dr. Fazil Küçük representing the Turkish Cypriots have signed the independence of Cyprus from the British Empire.
Since then the history of Cyprus has not been very easy.  Nevertheless, tourism has grown spectacularly basically due to private initiative of the then young tourism entrepreneurs.

People like Louis Loizou, founder of Louis Group, Yiannis Skyrianides, founder of the Cyprus Hotel Association, Renos Solomides, hotelier and ex Minister of Commerce and Industry, Katsellis Family, owners of the emblematic Dome Hotel in Kyrenia, the poet Costas Montis, the first president of the Tourism Counsil, which has later been transformed to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, and many, many  others who believed that tourism could be the major source of income for the Cypriot economy.

50 years after our Independence, we look into the future with perplexity,  questioning and  wondering if the present model of tourism development in Cyprus is a model that assures the future of tourism and the future of a healthy economy.

The global and deep financial crisis has made us understand that we cannot continue with practises of the last half century.  The tourism pioneers of the 60’s have dared to change the agricultural economy of Cyprus into a service economy.  Today is our duty to move towards Experiential Economy and accompany our visitors to their travel experience before even they land and after they arrive back home.
The use of new technologies, investment in training, collaborative projects, local management of tourism and return to our traditions, preservation and regeneration of our natural environment, sustainable resource management and last but not least extreme customer awareness and care should be the ingredients of the new strategic and action plan of the Cyprus Tourism in general.

The booklet below is a document created by the Cyprus Hotel Association and is document that shows the history of Tourism in Cyprus even before the independence.