Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pachna, Cyprus

The wine roads of Cyprus
Phivos Nicolaides
Writes from Lefkosia, Cyprus Phivos

Among the many pleasures of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus is the tradition and history of its wine-making. The southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains north of Limassol (Lemesos) constitute the main wine growing areas of the island, with wine areas also scattered near Paphos.

Pachna is a large, busy village in Limassol district with roughly 1,000 inhabitants. It is divided into Pano (upper) and Kato (Lower) Pachna. It has preserved its traditional style and customs, as well as thriving businesses and rural industry.

It is situated on three ridges at an altitude of 750 metres on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains. Chalky soil, its elevation and the ideal climate, have made Pachna a perfect location for viticulture.
It is one of the largest vine-growing villages in the Limassol district and it has long been the heartland of the Cypriot «wine villages».

The name Pachna is thought to originate from the ancient Greek word «pachni» which relates to the morning white frost. Another explanation could come from the alternative meaning of «pachni», a manger, in reference to its protected location amidst the surrounding high hills.

Its cultural heritage is mirrored in the traditional stone houses and the various chapels and churches scattered throughout the village.

The best way to find out about the island’s wines is to take a trip to the mountains and visit the villages where they are produced, like Mariela and Mario did.
In the beautiful village of Pachna, you will have first hand experience of the genuine and warm hospitality, offered by the polite and friendly people, like charming little Maria and his father Phokas.

Phokas, a local showing the traditional oven to Mariela and Mario.
This is the central village square where a annual event, the Pachna Grape Festival is organized usually in August.

This old village square was renovated by European funds as a special project.
There are strong religious feelings that are reflected in the fact that there are seven churches in the village.
Several of which are well worth visiting.
The village has two main churches, St. George (Ayios Yeorgios) and St. Paul (Apostolos Pavlos).
Pachna is surrounded by vines.
The two local wineries (Yiaskouris Winery and Monolithos Winery) have developed a reputation for quality whilst using mostly local grape varieties. Phokas Sofroniou ownhs a small winery.
The wine producer Phokas, friendly enthusiast tells us all about the grapes, the wines and how they make their particular vintage.
The pleasure of wine tasting, by Phokas father, Augustinos, helps you appreciate the best Cyprus has to offer.
You can enjoy some of the homemade, local, traditional products.

Most of the older buildings, and many houses are built in the local Pachna stone which has its own unique chalky yellow colour. Phokas renovated old house now being used as a summer home.

Το χωριό Πάχνα της επαρχίας Λεμεσού
Στο δρόμο του κρασιού
Του Φοίβου Νικολαΐδη Phivos

Η Κύπρος έχει παράδοση και ιστορία στην παραγωγή κρασιού, μια από της πολλές απολαύσεις της Μεσογείου. Οι νότιες πλαγιές του Τροόδους Όρη βόρεια της Λεμεσού (Λεμεσός), αποτελούν τις κύριες αμπελουργικές περιοχές του νησιού, με κρασί και διάσπαρτες περιοχές κοντά στην Πάφο.
Σήμερα, η Κύπρος έχει μια ακμάζουσα βιοτεχνία, με περισσότερες από τριάντα μικρές μονάδες οινοποιίας που παράγουν μία εκλεκτική ποικιλία κρασιών.
Η Πάχνα βρίσκεται στους πρόποδες της οροσειράς του Τρόοδους, σε υψόμετρο 745 μέτρων στην επαρχία Λεμεσού, από την οποία απέχει 35 χιλιόμετρα. Θεωρείται ως το μεγαλύτερο αμπελοχώρι της Κύπρου και συγκαταλέγεται ανάμεσα στα κυριότερα αμπελοχώρια της Κύπρου.

Σύμφωνα με μια εκδοχή, η ονομασία του χωριού προέρχεται από το ότι είναι κτισμένο ανάμεσα σε τέσσερις λόφους και μοιάζει σαν πάχνη. Μια άλλη εκδοχή είναι το καιρικό φαινόμενο της πάχνας που παρουσιάζεται το πρωί.
Το χωρίο φημίζεται για τα γαλακτοκομικά του προϊόντα, τα σταφύλια, το κρασί και την παραδοσιακή ζιβανία.

Υπάρχουν δυο ωραιότατες εκκλησίες, του Αγίου Γεωργίου και των Αγίων Πέτρου και Παύλου.
Υπάρχουν επίσης, τα παρεκκλήσια της Παναγίας, των 12 Αποστόλων, του Αγίου Ανδρόνικου και τα ξωκλήσια του Αγίου Στεφάνου και της Αγίας Μαρίνας.
Το χωριό χωρίζεται στην Πάνω και την Κάτω Πάχνα. Οι γύρω λόφοι προσφέρουν ωραίες φυσικές εικόνες.
Με τόση παράδοση στην παραγωγή κρασιού, δεν είναι περίεργο που πολλοί παράγουν το δικό τους κρασί. Στη φωτογραφία ο Φωκάς Σωφρονίου με υπερηφάνεια μπροστά στις εγκαταστάσεις του μικρού του οινοποιείου.
Ο Φωκάς Σωφρονίου εξηγά στους φίλους του το κάθε τι για την παραγωγή του κρασιού.


Debbie Petras said...

I'm so glad that you share your special part of the world with us. I didn't realize they made wine in Cyprus. See, you teach me things too. I always enjoy your photos too.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Debbie. Hi my dear friend Debbie. The history of producing wine in Cyprus goes back five thousand years ago!
Thank you so much for your kind comments. Be sure that I also enjoy your beautiful blog!

Maria Verivaki said...

this is a very pretty village - it is amazing top have a view of the mountains. we also have a view of mooutains from our hosue, and right now, they are covered in snow

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Mediterranean kiwi. You have to invite us Maria, to see by ourselves, your place as well, which I guess is beautiful!!!

Kim said...

A new wine region to discover. Just one more reason to come visit.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Kim. You have already many reasons to come. We are always waiting that blessing day. Please do it!

Laura in Paris said...

Next time I go to a wine shop I will check for wine from Cyprus!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

A World in a PAN. There is another option. I bring it to you next time we are in Paris!

Maria Verivaki said...

great stuff here.
i love cypriot wines. i was given a gift of a couple of bottles once - if only i remembered the name!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Mediterranean kiwi. Thank you very much dear Maria!

Natassa said...

γνωρίζεις ποιά είναι η τοπική ποικιλία σταφυλιών ?
αυτή την "βόλτα" πολύ θέλω να την κάνουμε κάποια στιγμή :)

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Natassa. Νομίζω ότι είναι Κυπριακή (τοπική) ποικιλία. Θα ρωτήσω όμως τον Φωκά. Όσο για τη βόλτα, είστε ευπρόσδεκτοι, όποτε μπορέσετε, να την κάνουμε μαζί και να σας δείξουμε και άλλα μέρη της Κύπρου.

angel said...

Que passeio delicioso você me proporcionou, amigo, Mesmo que virtual pude me sentir ali e posso até dizer que sentir o perfume do vinho e de tudo aquilo que ali se produz.
Fazia um tempo que não aparecia por aqui, mas confesso me fazia muita falta.
Agradeço a oportunidade que nos dá de conhecer lugares e suas peculiaridades.
Abraço enorme