“Wine is flavour. Whether you have special knowledge about wine or you do not, you can always tell if a wine is good by its flavour, just like you can tell if food is good by its flavour.” In a simple and… easily understood way, Sophocles Vlassides, owner of the homonymous winery, welcomes us to the world of wine.

Sophocles Vlassides was born in 1971 to a family strongly linked to wine. He started producing wine in Koilani, the village that his grandfather came from, and today he is the director and oenologist of Vlassides Winery.

Vlassides Winery was completed in 2012 and is located two kilometres outside of Koilani, the famed wine village of Limassol, which is better known for its Aphamia festival; a celebration of harvest and palouzes (Cyprus grape jelly). The building was designed by architect Eraclis Papachristou and was built in such a way that most of it is underground, including all the storage areas. This is a perfect way to maintain the ideal temperature for maintenance, aging and maturing of wines.

Vlassides Winery produces red wine varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as white Xynisteri (made from an indigenous white grape grown in Cyprus) and Sauvignon blanc, while the winery’s vineyards also cultivate other Cypriot grape varieties (Maratheftiko, Yiannoudi and Promara). The privately-owned vineyards are located in Koilani, at an altitude of 700 to 1,000 metres, on the tip of the Aphamis mountain range.

One of the winery’s most popular red wines is the Opus Artis, a combination of Merlot from the Karamanos vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon from Aphamis and Shiraz from Katoshi. Vlassides Shiraz is also very popular, as are other well-known labels, such as Vlassides Sauvignon Blanc, Vlassides Cabernet Sauvignon, Vlassides Merlot and Grifos (riddle), not for good riddle solvers, but for the more demanding taste buds, in red, white and rosé.

Oenologist Orestis Tsiakkas describes the production of wine as a daily creation. “It takes an entire year of hard work and preparation in the vineyards, with the only window of opportunity for production being the harvest season. Winemaking is done only during the harvest, where the margin of error must be non-existent, so that our wines reflect the high standards of our quality,” he explains.

Orestis Tsiakkas is carrying on the family tradition. He was born in Limassol in 1988. He initially studied Chemistry, but was then won over by wine production, which is why he acquired a postgraduate degree in Oenology and Viticulture in France.

Tsiakkas Winery was founded by Costas and Marina Tsiakkas in 1988. It is located in Pelendri, Limassol, at an altitude of 1,000 metres and the vineyards are considered among the highest in Europe. Specifically, the Winery has vineyards in the area of Pitsilia (Moni-Pelendri, Kerami-Fylagra, Mouklo-Pelendri, Agia Kyriaki, Agios Ioannis, Petralona-Alona, Agros, Vouni).

It produces indigenous varieties, such as Vamvakada, Yiannoudi, Black, Promara and Xynisteri, but also European varieties, such as Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. All the vineyards are organic and certified by the company Lacon, while the grapes are harvested by hand in order to ensure top quality raw material. The grapes are transported in small boxes to special refrigerators to preserve the quality. Tsiakkas Winery’s wine list includes a number of labels such as Xynisteri, Promara, Sauvignon Blanc, Rodinos, Porfyros, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yiannoudi, Vamvakada, Commandaria and Zivania.

The wines of both wineries have won a series of awards and accolades over the years.

Get a taste of the wines by the Tsiakkas and Vlassides wineries at Alphamega Hypermarkets. The wineries will be presented at the Engomi store on 21 December, between 17:00 and 20:00, and on 28 December at the Kapsalos store from 17:00 until 20:00.