Beach, sun and fun might be what most tourists crave on this golden island in the Mediterranean, but there is much to discover for those who fancy exploring what lies beyond the coastline. If you find yourself staying in the south-eastern region and enjoy wine, a visit to the Dafermou Winery might just be right up your street.
The road towards Lefkara from the coastroad between Larnarca and Limassol rapidly ascends into the mountains. Before long you can see the newly established Dafermou Winery hugging the hillside, with its 50 hectares of vines.
Cyprus has an ancient relationship with wine and was most likely instrumental in the development of wine production dating back almost 5000 years. After a break in wine production under Ottoman rule, Cypriot wine burst back onto the scene when the British came to power in the 1870’s and helped fill the void left by the huge swathes of European vines destroyed by the phylloxera pest. The nectar of Dionysis, God of Wine, was back to stay in Cyprus.
The Dafermou winery embraces both the past and the future and is a place of striking contrasts, both blending in and standing out in the landscape. Engaging the latest in bioclimatic techniques, the innovative design of the building uses structural shapes, vents and blinds to make the most of the properties of hot air, maintaining the perfect temperature inside without the need for external energy input. Combining these modern methods with traditional building skills, Dafermou is the first winery in Cyprus to use this type of design. It is a testament to its success that it is not only Co2 neutral, it even creates surplus energy.
Inside, the stylish design and furniture of the building shows the owner’s love of the juxta-position between the ultra-modern and old-fashioned. His collection of furniture is the result of years of procuring and hunting down spectacular pieces from all over the world. The window sills, for example, are made of dark wood from a reclaimed shipwreck, perfectly set off by slick white Italian design sofas.
The wine tasting cave in the belly of the building features tables made from huge slabs of marble rescued from local bakery ovens, resting on a selection of unique table legs. These are contrasted by an elegant bar, complete with a lit up wall featuring bespoke compartments for wine bottles.
Dafermou have chosen four types of red and four types of white grapes. The reds include Cabernet Sauvignon and Maratheutico, a local variety and Savignon Blanc and Chardonnay complement local varieties Assyrtiko and Malvasia in the white arena. All are grown organically and within strictly limited quantities to respect the local soil.
With superb views and plenty of quality space both inside and out, the Dafermou team plans to complement wine making with luxury event and conference hosting. If you would like to visit Dafermou it is best to call ahead to ensure someone is available to show you around. You can find details on their website.
Dafermou is just one of many wineries in Cyprus. The Cyprus Tourism Organisation have created six self drive wine routes around the island so if wine is your passion, this is worth checking out. Another thing to consider is having either a designated driver or a guide/driver to keep things nice and safe!