Grand Gold for Commandaria Alasia
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.