Commandaria is an amber-coloured dessert wine produced in the island of Cyprus since 4000 years ago. It is produced by local Cyprus grapes mavro (black) and xinisteri (a fruity white grape). The initial references about Commandaria are going back to ancient Greek poet Homer who mentions a sweet wine produced in Cyprus.
Commandaria gets its name from the Gran Commanderie, an area surrounding the well preserved Kolossi Castle which is located west of Limassol.
The Castle was the Commanderia (Headquarters) of the Knights Templars in the 12th Century. The wine became very famous among the Knights. It was consumed locally but also was exported to many European Royal Courts.
Soon the wine became synonymous with Gran Commanderie and afterwards this name was extended also to the area where the wine was produced. During his Marriage with Berengaria, In the 12th century Richard the Lionheart pronounced Commandaria as the “wine of the kings and the king of the wines”