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Grape Festivals – September October

Cyprus is one of the world’s oldest vine-growing and wine-producing country. There is archaeological evidence that wine-making on our island may have existed 6000 years ago. The warm climate and the fertile soils are perfect for growing vines. Wine producers grow both many indigenous vines as well as new imported varieties.

Every September and October, is time to harvest the grapes and an opportunity for Cypriots to celebrate their long wine making history and tradition. Most of the celebrations take place in the so-called krasochoria (wine producing villages) area, which covers the hilly areas of Lemesos and Pafos districts.

ppalouzes
grape festival
stafili in cyprus
grapes tree

It is best to visit late in the afternoon at sunset. The wine villages are charming villages with traditional stone houses and cobbled streets. The surrounding forest cools the hot breeze of the Mediterranean Summer, which is still quite intense at the beginning of autumn. Yet, the leaves begin to turn yellow and foretell that the weather will change. Happy voices, music and grape juice aromas fill the air. Wine with its intoxicating, aromatic taste triggers your taste neurons. The people here have wine making in their blood, dating back to ancient times, when the faithful worshiped Dionysus the Wine God with paganistic feasts. Dionysos is the God of madness, of masks, of the sacred art of drama. Within his worship, the faithful often experienced ekstasis, which means literally to be outside of one’s self, and enthousiasmos, which is to be inspired, or filled with a divine spirit.

 

Nowadays there is still plenty of folk dance and music to watch and enjoy competitions in winetasting and revival of old traditional customs. Kiosks selling fresh fruit and vegetables, local products and traditional delicacies for you to taste.

Among all these activities, the preparation of traditional sweets from grape juice takes center stage. Palouzes, siousioukos and kiofterka are traditional sweets made from grape juice. Palouzes is a thin cream, which is made from white grape juice mixed with flour and is a very natural and healthy dessert. When the cream sets, the palouzes can be flavored with various aromas, such as geranium leaves, flower water, vanilla or mastiha (mastic resin). You can enjoy it warm or cold. Siousioukos and the kiofterka are made from palouzes. For soutzouko, almonds or walnuts are stringed on thick threads and then dipped in the palouzes. When the first layer has cooled, the thread is dipped again and the process is repeated until the layer becomes thick enough.

For the kiofterka, the palouzes that is not consumed is poured in flat pans and left to cool. After a few days, is cut into rectangular pieces and left in a shady place to dry and acquire an elastic texture. Kiofterka cut into small pieces and mixed with almonds can accompany a glass of wine.

 

Venues: Vouni, Vasa, Arsos, Omodos, Lofou, Salamiou, Pentalia, Stroumbi

Time:   September-October, on weekends

Organizers: Community Board of each village

Health protocols implemented to deal with COVID 19 pandemic have led to the cancellation or postponement of events, which require large gatherings. Our Heartland Events include annual/ bi-annual events and are listed here to help you organize your next trip. We will update our selection of events according to the latest developments, however please check with the event organizers before visiting.

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