ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC MR TASSOS PAPADOPOULOS AT THE OPENING OF THE CYPRUS WINE MUSEUM
Erimi village, November, 16th 2004
If the ancient saying that "good wine, carries with it a tradition of thousands of years" is justified, then the Cypriot wines, would be by definition "good wines."
Because Cyprus has a historical and ancient winemaking tradition of over a thousand years which reaches the years of Homer.
In a constantly evolving method of production that is influenced by both natural and given factors, but also by technology, for one product, just like wine which is a "living product", tradition is not enough.
The name is not enough either, even the old reputation of Cypriot wines, even when this reputation has the stamp of Shakespeare, in the famous play "OTHELLO". Tradition and old reputation are powerful inspiration and foundation on which we can build all over again a new fame and the new marketing of Cypriot wine with the new rules of production, new technology and marketing.
We use the great historical tradition of winemaking to build on it, the primitive occupation of our people with vinification, the reliability of the new and modern products.
The projection of ancient tradition in wine production can be persuasive evidence that our country can once again produce "good wine" that meets modern requirements and the quality standards imposed by the European Union.
This convincing primordial foundation of our people's engagement with the production of "good wine" is highlighted at the museum, which I will have the honour of inaugurating shortly.
So with great pleasure I accepted the invitation of the Community Council of Erimi and Ms. Anastasia Guy to attend and to inaugurate the Cyprus Wine Museum. The joint effort of the State, the Local Authority and private initiative, once again, in this case, works well and I hope it will deliver long term results.
I consider, this project we are inaugurating today, innovative and high cultural, historical and of tourist importance.
The Wine Museum will become the jewel of this region, but also for the whole of Cyprus, since its inception brings out the historical fact that Cyprus is among the first countries that begun to produce wine. If today an impossible dream for many becomes a reality, this is due to the personal love of Mrs Guy for the history of wine, but also to her systematic and persistent efforts and hard work for six whole years.
This work complements one big gap and adds another necessary and important link in the chain of efforts of promoting our culture to enrich and upgrade our touristic product.
The museum visitors will have the opportunity to learn both traditional and modern wine making techniques, to test different wine products and to watch, using photographic representations and modern audiovisual equipment, special seminars and events concerning the production of winemaking.
The choice the location in the village of Erimi was neither occasional nor accidental. Erimi is one of the most picturesque and traditional villages of Cyprus and has had a long and historic contribution, not only in the wider socio-economic development of Cyprus, but also in the cultural life of our island. The ideality of Erimi as a privileged space for the creation of the Wine Museum has also been supported by the fact that it lies at the crossroads leading to the wine villages of Cyprus and slightly away from the historic Castle of Kolossi, which is historically connected with the production of Commandaria, the archaeological site of Kourion and the Temple of Apollo Hylates. By the way, I should mention that the Cyprus' Commandaria "is, perhaps, a unique and unrivalled product in Europe, with limitless possibilities of successful marketing, of all quantities that we are able to produce. This is my personal assessment and conclusion of the comments I hear, when with every visit I include in gifts from Cyprus and one bottle of "Commandaria."
Our integration into the European Union, apart from the significant opportunities and potential of the site it offers to our socio-economic area, it provides us with unique incentives and stimuli to project the ancient and rich civilization of which we are privileged heirs and successors. The strengthening of cultural creation, the promotion and preservation of our culture are for our society needed pedestal of survival through the modern global conditions and they shield our national self-existence.
I take this opportunity to thank Ms. Anastasia Guy who was the inspirer, the visionary and the architect of this praiseworthy initiative, with the delivery to the community of Erimi, of a traditional building, which was a legacy of several generations, created a space that brings together history, arts and culture.
I also want to thank Mrs. Anna Marangou while also the specialized museological team for its contribution to the completion of the project. I attach also due praise to the CTO, the Department of Antiquities, the Pierides Musuem, the Community Council of Erimi, the Ministry of Communications and Works, the Department of Oenology and the Wine Products Council for their active and multifaceted contributions to the creation of this unique and intergraded Wine Museum.
With these words and many more wishes for progress, development and greater successes, I inaugurate the Cyprus Wine Museum.