Proti Stagona

Proti Stagona

on WIne Tour

We turned the corner and there was Koullis. We turned another corner and there were Anastasia and Stavrakis sitting at a café chatting to Aunt Timothea.

Proti Stagona  (First Drop) is my favourite Cyprus TV Series - one that is shot in the two Lefkaras. In fact I like it so much that on occasion I watch the weekend repeat, even if I have seen the original showings on Monday and Tuesday.

It felt as if I knew them. I wanted to go up and say “Hello”, but the English, more reserved, side of me took over and I thought they must get fed up with strangers going up to them in the street. Joseph was less reserved and called out with one of the series’ catchphrases to Koulli when he happened to walk to the café where we were sitting. He was very friendly and came and chatted with us and spoke in English to our English guests.

We’d taken our guests on our advertised one-day “Wine Tour Taster”. There are two main wineries in the area – Christoudias and Dafermou. We started off with a tour of Christoudias (which is incidentally the location where many of the Cyprus winery scenes are shot in another TV series, Brousko).

When it came to the tasting I really liked a wine they had recently brought out, their Spourtiko, a lovely light refreshing wine. Spourtiko is a rather rare indigenous grape variety of Cyprus. The only other winery I know that grows it is Vouni Panagia, but there are probably one or two others.

Then it was lunch. What a lunch! Like a Meze rolled out into a buffet for you to pick and choose – or take a bit of everything if you can handle it. Highlight of the meal has to have been the Tavas Lefkaritiko with rice, courgettes, potatoes, cubes of meat – a local speciality of Lefkara. I am sure a colleague or I will write up the recipe one of these days.

On to Dafermou winery in the afternoon. This, incidentally, is where some of the winery scenes of “Proti Stagona” are shot. The owner of the Winery is originally from Greece itself, although he has lived many years in Cyprus. He has brought several Greek grape varieties that he cultivates here to make unusual blends.

Looking across from the Dafermou winery to the sea in the distance, I could not help thinking what a wonderful place this was in which to work as compared to being cooped up in an office in London.

When we run a wine tour, we like to incorporate some non-wine activity and we had promised a walk round the picturesque town of Lefkara. That’s how we came to be sitting for a final refreshment at a little Café where four members of the cast of “Proti Stagona” were relaxing. What was a real coincidence is that in his script that evening on the Tuesday showing, Koullis was telling his mates that Wine Tourism was their future.