Distilled from the press cake of the Xynisteri and Mavro grapes, Zivania was already produced in Cyprus in the 15th century.
And then as now, the master distillers do not use any sugar, colouring or additives in the production process.
The high-proof spirit with the light sultana aroma - minimum alcohol content 45 percent by volume - was so popular with the Cypriots that even under Ottoman rule there was no question of banning it. And even today, Zivania must not be missing from any Cypriot feast.
In Alona and Pelendri - located in the region of Pitsilia, about 35 kilometres north of Limassol - the inhabitants celebrate their Zivania Festival on two consecutive Sundays in November.
Visitors are guided through the distilleries on both days, get an insight into the art of Zivania production.
Tastings - including of palouze, a type of grape jelly - are also on the programme, which is framed by folkloric dance and music groups. Local farmers sell their traditional products at a producers' market and churches open their doors for visits by art enthusiasts.
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Zivania-Festival in Alona
- Location: Alona and Pelendri in Cyprus
- Date: A Sunday at the end of November
and the following Sunday in Pelendri
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