Cyprus winemakers are to benefit from an incentives scheme to encourage investments as well as a promotional campaign here and abroad to boost sales.

The schemes, unveiled on Thursday, come as a welcome boost for wine companies struggling as a result of the pandemic.

They were presented by Energy, Commerce and Industry Minister Natasa Pilides, the ministry’s director of industry and technology Christos Fotiades and the head of the ministry’s trade service Panayiota Patsali.

The new €1.65 million incentives scheme will subsidise equipment, buildings and machinery used in wineries. The budget is entirely from EU funds.

The ministry has to this date approved funding of over € 13.5 million for the benefit of 40 wineries, including 11 new wineries, Photiades said.

The new scheme is open to existing and new wineries with the grants ranging from 15 to 40 per cent depending on the size of the enterprise. However, for any agreement signed by October 15, the grant will reach 50 per cent of eligible expenditure.

Patsali said the promotion campaign aimed to boost exports by bolstering the presence of Cypriot wine in markets abroad and to encourage domestic consumption.

The markets selected are the UK, France, Norway, the US, Canada, Switzerland and Japan. The actions include branding, participation in fairs, wine tasting events and seminars.

“We all agree that Cyprus wine can hold its own and compete with the wines of other countries with a tradition. It remains to give foreigners the opportunity to get to know is and this we will do with a series of promotional events as provided by the action plan,” she said.