Based in an attractive traditional house in the village of Erini, some 10km west of Lemesos centre, the excellent Cyprus Wine Museum provides the lowdown on over five thousand years of wine production on the island, as well as, of course, the opportunity to sample a few vintages. With almost divine appropriateness, shortly after the museum was opened in 2004 wine flasks were discovered close to Erini village and dated to around 3500 BC, among the earliest evidence of wine production in Europe. Divided broadly into the past (upstairs) and present (downstairs), you’ll find lots of information on these discoveries and the evolution of the famous Commandaria sweet white wine under the Knights Templar. There’s a range of good-quality wine-related merchandise for sale, effective use is made of quotations from ancient writers and depictions in ancient mosaics, there are photographs and tableaux, an interesting audiovisual presentation and a useful pictorial wall map of the vineyards of Lemesos and Pafos districts.
A recent development – the Commandaria Orchestra (and friends) – is based at the museum, which plays a variety of classical, Greek and Cypriot music all over the region. It’s worth noting that the museum might open a few minutes late on a Sunday morning – it depends on the length of the service at the local church, at which the museum curator (and son of the owner) is a chanter.