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Edition No. 10

Edition No. 10

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Edition No. 10

Edition No. 10

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Cyprus has long been renowned for its wines and all the evidence suggests that the cultivation of the vine first began 6 000 years ago. The scenes depicted on the famed mosaics at Kato Paphos indicate the enormous importance of grapes and wine in the daily life of the inhabitants of Cyprus in ancient times.

It is not by chance that Cyprus has a long tradition of viticulture. The climate and the soil are the two main contributing factors in the production of top quality grapes and wine. Long, sunny summers, mild winters and limestone soil are the essential elements that give grapes and wine their special taste and aroma.

The main regions where grapes are grown for the production of wine are on the southern slopes of the Troodos mountains, while table grapes are cultivated in fertile coastal areas stretching from Limassol to Paphos. Vineyards cover approximately 19 000 hectares, representing 13% of the island’s total arable land. Some 1 000 families, or 20% of those involved professionally in agriculture, depend almost entirely on viticulture for their living.

Despite the steady decline in both the size of the area under cultivation and the amount of grapes produced, viticulture remains one of the most important agricultural sectors in Cyprus, not only in terms of the economy but also from an environmental, cultural and social standpoint, since it encourages a large section of the rural population to remain in the countryside, particularly in mountainous and hilly areas which would otherwise be abandoned.

Bearings: 35°00
΄N, 33°55΄E

©Yann Arthus-Bertrand,
In the framework of the Exhibition “Earth from Above” in Cyprus,
Nicosia – 16/09–20/11/2005