Grand Gold for Com­man­daria Ala­sia

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE - Patrick Skin­ner

Let me start with the good thing about this com­pan­ion­able-look­ing lit­tle book: the pho­to­graphs of Cyprus vine and wine cul­ture are as graphic and well shot as any. Sadly, the text is ap­palling. It is ob­vi­ously a very poor unedited trans­la­tion of one that was not good to start with. Al­most ev­ery page is lit­tered with mis­takes of one sort or an­other. To give a typ­i­cal ex­am­ple: a dou­ble page pho­to­graph of a vine planter is headed “Bring Wine and wa­ter”, which has no mean­ing. In a plant­ing, one per­son digs a whole with the wooden im­ple­ment (beau­ti­fully pho­tographed on page 34) and shouts “NERO!” (“Wa­ter!”), where­upon a sec­ond per­son pours wa­ter into the whole. First per­son then shouts “AM­BELI!” (“Vine”!) and a third brings a rooted vine cut­ting, which is planted in the whole and the damp soil pressed around it”.

A tourist, or any­one want­ing to know some­thing about Cyprus wines to­day, would get an en­tirely lop-sided view of the scene.

There is no guide to the vine pro­duc­ers and what credit there is limited to a few of them. Much space is given to the Kosher wines of Chris Lam­bouris – a pioneer of mod­ern Cyprus wines and a good wine­maker, but oth­ers have blazed new and more ex­cit­ing trails. Credit is also given to one very poor win­ery and sev­eral in­dif­fer­ent ones.

Even if you take all this with a large pinch of salt and en­joy the pic­tures and some of the his­tor­i­cal parts, mis­takes like call­ing the in­stru­ments for cut­ting the bunches of grapes off the vines “Pli­ers” and not “Se­ca­teurs” is un­for­give­able. The fact that there is credit to a “Text Edi­tor” makes it quite won­drous.

If you want a pretty re­li­able, if not upto-the-minute Cyprus wine guide, Yian­nis Con­stanti­nou’s THE CYPRUS WINE GUIDE (2009, pa­per­back, 20 eu­ros at Mouf­flon Book­shop) is still avail­able. A new one, per­haps com­bin­ing good tast­ing notes, win­ery profiles and a pop­u­lar ver­sion of the CTO Wine Routes, might be a good idea.

Vet­eran wine­mak­ers LOEL in Li­mas­sol have been mak­ing ma­jor strides in re­cent years and their work is very of­ten re­ward­ing them with new ac­co­lades and prizes.

The Ala­sia Com­man­daria won the Grand Gold Medal, a just re­ward for LOEL that has come a long way in re­cent years.

At the awards cer­e­mony, the Ala­sia Com­man­daria also re­ceived a spe­cial com­men­da­tion for col­lect­ing the most votes in its cat­e­gory.

Both prizes should help LOEL place this Com­man­daria on the in­ter­na­tional map and pro­mote it bet­ter to lo­cals, tourists and com­man­daria lovers around the world.

LOEL wines are dis­trib­uted by LaikoCos­mos Trad­ing, a joint ven­ture be­tween LOEL’s par­ent com­pany Laiko and the Cos­mos Trad­ing Co.

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