September is the month of the grape harvest from the vineyards covering the rolling slopes of Cyprus – especially around Kathikas, Stroumbi and Polemi.
Families get together to harvest the years grapes before taking them to the local wineries to have them turned into Cyprus wine.
The vineyards have been a hive of activity since March when the vines were pruned. Under the hot sun the vines have grown rapidly to the point where the grapes are now ready for harvesting.
The entire family – often spanning three generations or even more – then get together to gather the grapes and take them to the wineries. Its also an excuse for a lot of laughter and fun.
The bigger wineries – for example SODAP at Stroumbi – have to schedule on what days they can accept what type of grapes.
That leads to a degree of pressure on the farmers to harvest the grapes at the last possible moment and then to be at the winery early on the right day.
Once there, the queues of lorries and pick ups all filled with grapes leads to a lot of banter amongst the locals. Given the time it takes to queue up and deliver the grapes, tempers sometimes fray but ultimately its all very good natured!
Cyprus is one the places credited with being the birthplace of wine as we know it. If you want to experience traditional viticulture, Cyprus is a great place to see it.
See more pictures of the grape harvest and the vineyards around Polemi, and see more pictures of the SODAP Kamanterena winery.
If you’d like to learn more about Cyprus an its wines, check out the Cyprus Tourist Organisation video ‘The Roots of Cyprus Wine’
Read more about SODAP and it’s wines.