Three Cyprus wine took home the “big gold medal”, the highest possible award bestowed upon local wines, at the 14th annual Cyprus Wine Competition, the ministry of agriculture said on Friday.

The contest finished on Thursday with a prize giving set for later on Friday.

The three winners, all dry red wines, were Oroman, produced by Vlasides winery in Limassol, Marthefthiko, produced by the R&A Vasa winery in Limassol, and the Kolios Shiraz, produced by the Kolios winery in Paphos.

Along with the latter, a total of 41 other wines took home a gold medal and two won a silver medal.

Moreover, four sweet Commandaria wines, judged in a separate category, were also awarded with the highest prize.

The judging panel, which included international oenologists and sommeliers, was chaired by Spain’s Antonio Morata.

The competition was organised by the wines department of the agriculture ministry in collaboration with the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

“This competition reaffirms the state’s significant emphasis on the viticulture and winemaking sector and its commitment to its further development,” the agriculture ministry said.

A total of 29 local wineries participated in this year’s event, submitting 163 different wine samples, classified into two different categories based on approved international standards.

The first category included dry, semi-dry, and semi-sweet wines, while the second one exclusively judged sweet wines, namely wines with a sugar content exceeding 45 grams per litre.

Furthermore, special distinctions were granted to wines produced exclusively from Cyprus’ indigenous grape varieties Maratheftiko, Ophthalmo, Spourtiko, Xynisteri and Giannoudi.