Linos tou Charilaou is a medieval wine press converted into a museum. It is situated at the centre of Omodos open to visitors to see how wine was made in the past. Cyprus was acquaintance from the antiquity for the vines and the manufacture of good wines. An example constitutes Omodos that from the ancient years is been famous for the chosen grapes and its tasteful wines. According to the tradition, exceptional quality wine of Afami, that took the name from the mountain that is found in Easterly of the village, gave the reason, for the drunkard Sultan Selim B to conquer the island in order to it have this eminent wine on his own. The fact that the manufacture of traditional wine was acquaintance in Omodos from the ancient years is also testified by the medieval Linos of Omodos.
In the old ages, as technical means for pressing the grapes, for production of wine, they used the Linos (Mill for pressing of grapes).
Linos is found in small distance by the Monastery of Honest Cross-at Omodos and has an entrance made of engraved arch, like the ones at the monastery. It is accommodated in an oblong, stone-build room that has length roughly 13 meters and width of 5 ½ meters, with level roof manufactured from loft. The floor of Linos is made with flagstones. In the interior and above the entry there is a shaped wooden storage place. In the northern side (right of the spectator) there is a line from vats, while in the southern side of (left of the spectator), they are placed there, some other vats and accessories. Between them there is a cauldron of old type, built from stone and bricks. In the room, in the intermediary of the lines made from the vats, the grapes pressing mechanism is found.
At the backside of Linos, at a level one-meter roughly from the floor, it is found the “tziathos”, a space where the grapes were unfolded and in later stage the bagasse. The internal sides of “tziathos” are covered with plaster.
Afterwards the pressing of grapes or later afterwards the grinding of grapes with the mill, the bagasse are placed in the vats for fermentation. (At the duration of fermentation the bagasse are always kept sunk in the vats because if they come at the surface and they remain there for some time exposed to air there is danger of being polluted and furthermore to become vinegar. For this reason at the top of the vat ” mazin” is placed and over this, crossed wooden bars are placed which press the “mazin” downwards with the help of heavy rock which is placed above them. After fermentation that lasts 16 – 25 days, the wine is placed in other clean vats, but the bagasses are placed in the “tziathos” to be pressed and give all the wine they have.
The floor of “tziathos” has a light bent, having a hole at the lowest level, from which the wine runs via medium channel in the vat that is half inserted in the earth and it is called “podosin”.
The operation of pressing is based on the system of lever of second type. It is constituted by the “Mouklo'” (Lever) – they are two big central wooden bars one above the other. One passing via means of “distyllon” (drivers) of “tziathos” is inserted in the “rizomoukla'” (reception) at the backside of the wall of Linos, which is also the backside of the “tziathos”. Upon the bagasses and below the elevated bars, level boards are placed and above that crossbars called “merkara'” are placed.
Above them a lever is placed called “mouskos”, that is useful for the pressing of the bagasses. In other end, in helical reception of the “mouklou” (lever) there is a vertical snail called “adrakti” fixed at the down part in boring block of stone of cylindrical form with diameter of one meter and height of 0.75 meter.
Two or even more individuals turn the “adrakti”, with the help of a lever that is found in the base of the “adrakti”, so the “mouklos” begins to descent and as result of this the bagasses are pressed. The pressure is increased as long as the counter clockwise rotation is continued. The block of stone rises progressively and remains hovering roughly 0.30 meter above the floor. After the bagasses are drained their volume is decreased, therefore the lever with the weight of block of stone goes downwards towards the floor.
Rotating the “adrakti” towards the clockwise direction does the releasing of the pressure.
Furthermore the wine that runs in “podosin” that is the vat, is transferred to other empty vats for storage, while the drained bagasses which are called “zivana”, are used for the production of “zivania”.
The Medieval Linos at Omodos has been declared to an Ancient Monument and constitutes property of Department of Antiquities, it has been repaired with sponsoring from the Institution Georgiou and Thelmas Paraskevaide and expenses of the Government of Cyprus.
Linos is protected within the frame of policy for maintenance of our cultural heritage.