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Ancient precursor of the Cypriot dessert wine Commandaria; see there.

A dark sweet wine from Cyprus known since ancient times, it is still one of the most famous wines of the island. As early as the 8th century BC, the Greek poet Hesiod (~750-680 BC) described a sweet wine made from sun-dried grapes called "Nama". He writes that the grapes were dried in the sun for ten days and nights, left in the shade for another five days, and then fermented into wine in jars. The English king Richard the Lionheart (1157-1199) conquered Cyprus in 1191 during the Third Crusade. At his wedding to Berengaria (1165-1230), a sweet wine was served that is considered the forerunner of Commandaria and was expressly praised by the king.

After the fall of Acre in 1291, the island came into the possession of the Knights Templar, who called their headquarters at Kolossi Castle "Grand Commandery". This is the origin of the name. After the ban of the Knights Templar in 1312, the Knights of St. John took over the property again and began to export the sweet wine, now already called "Commandaria", to many European ruling houses. Especially to the Habsburg house in Wien (Austria) large quantities were delivered annually. Commandaria was also...

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