“It is here that some of the best Cypriot wines are produced.”
The Kyriakides brothers are truly dedicated to their family’s vineyards in Kathikas and started a winery in the early 90’s. Kathikas is located on the Laona plateau at an altitude of 650m above sea level between Pafos and Polis. It is also now ‘home’ to the well-known and much loved ‘Vasilikon Winery’.
Wine Column by George Kassianos,
President of Cyprus Sommeliers Association
Herakles, Yiannis and George have created a beautiful space where locals and tourists go to enjoy the panoramic views of the western coast. The endless vineyards surrounding Kathikas also make a captivating view and justifiably so; it is considered the capital of the Akamas Laona Protected Denomination of Origin. The brothers, who share the same vision, have lived most of their lives in Kathikas and despite their wish to be part of this pioneering region, they also knew something had to be done to preserve their family vineyards.
“Grape growing has been in our family for many years and when we all finished our studies, we decided we wanted to create a winery” said Yiannis.
The Vasilikon Winery was born in a plain, barn-like house and in 1993, they released their first vintage. Inside, there were rows of expensive oak barrels sitting near gleaming metal wine tanks, with cases upon cases of bottled wine. It is here where the Kyriakides brothers, led by Yiannis who assumed the winemaker’s role, that some of the best Cypriot wines are produced. These include the original wine labels of the white Vasilikon (Xynisteri) and Ayios Onoufrios, a popular red blend. The legendary Cabernet based Methy was first released in 1999.
Year after year, the family efforts were focused on improving their wines, highlighting the local characteristics of the region and showing its potential, especially in foreign and imported varieties.
In 2010, their state of the art winery was built a little further down from the old ‘barn house’, with stunning views of the sea and unspoilt countryside. It also houses a wine museum, covers about 4,000m2 and includes the winery, wine cellar and bottling room.
Soon after, the first rosé of the Vasilikon Winery was born. It is a blend of Maratheftiko and Shiraz; they named it ‘Einalia’.
In general, a more concentrated fruit is produced in Kathikas, which mainly derives from the high yielding vineyards of the area. The Kathikas fruits have a higher content of ingredients. They offer richer flavours, cool acidity and fine fragrance. The efforts of the oenologist of the winery, Aphrodite Constanti, is to maintain the fruit and, as much as possible, the local character and authenticity.
All this shows in the glass: the higher acidity, the drier character of the wines, the distinctive aromas … the minerality in the mouth.
The focus at Vasilikon Winery at present lays mostly on the Cypriot varietals including Morokanella, Lefkada and Maratheftiko (Aion), which are used to promote the rich terroir of the area. New goals will be set soon at the winery, because we all know that winemakers always dream of better wines.
Vasilikon Winery is open from 8:30 am – 6 pm every day except Sunday. They also have a newly opened restaurant which serves coffee, breakfast and lunch (and wine of course).
For more information about Vasilikon Winery, see their website at Vasilikon.com