Called 'Nama' in antiquity, it so reminded Marc Anthony of Cleopatra's kisses that he gave the whole island to his legendary lover.
Nama was later renamed after Richard the Lionheart sold Cyprus to the Knights Templar. (The Grand Commandarie itself was the estate of the Knights at Kolossi).
The oversized Commandaria grapes are grown on the high southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains, picked late in the season and sun-dried to enhance the sugar content. The wine is produced by fermentation in open jars.
Several other world class Cyprus wines are produced from indigenous grape varieties.
More then 100 varieties are cultivated in all, more than half of them in the Paphos District. Limassol is the main winemaking city and export centre, and home to the four large wineries, KEO, ETKO, SODAP and LOEL, which all offer guided tours.