Experience the Oenou-Yi Wine Tasting Tour in Omodos – Cyprus in Style

BEST WINERIES IN CYPRUS

CYPRIOT WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE

OENOU YI – KTIMA VASSILIADES WINERY

Best Wineries in CyprusOenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Winery is in the Limassol region, in the beautiful village of Omodos. It is widely considered to be one of the best wineries in Cyprus. If you are looking for a complete, Cypriot wine tasting experience, this is one of the leading wineries to visit on the Island. ‘Oenou Yi’, literally translates to mean, ‘land of wine’.

“HONOURING OUR HERITAGE. CONTINUING OUR TRADITION”

The Oenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Winery in Cyprus, is the lifelong ambition and dream of the leading Cypriot lawyer, Christodoulos G. Vassiliades, born and raised in the village of Omodos. His family already owned vineyards in the village, and he has always had an interest, and a love of wine, from his father, Georgios Vassiliades, a winemaker himself. He is very proud of his Cypriot heritage, and is keen on promoting his culture and, in turn, Cyprus, on an international level.

He believes in the high quality of Cypriot wines and aims to make them available to a global audience. He also focuses on connecting wine with all aspects of Cypriot culture. This is beautifully exemplified in the winery’s motto of, “Honouring our heritage. Continuing our tradition”. One of Oenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Winery‘s main plan is to make Cyprus a wine destination for wine lovers.

OENOU YI WINERY WAS OPENED BY THE PRESIDENT OF CYPRUS IN 2018

Oenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Winery in Cyprus, was opened by the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, in 2018. The opening day combined many Cypriot traditions. If you are apprehensive about finding the winery when you arrive in Omodos, have no worries. As you drive towards the village, on the hilltop, you cannot miss it. It is housed in a beautiful, contemporary building. Whilst you can see the distinct winery, it blends beautifully with the landscape, creating a breath-taking vision. This building is full of the most up to date winemaking machinery and uses the latest technological practices to produce the finest of wines.

BOOK THE OMODOS WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE

If you plan to visit Oenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Winery for a wine tasting experience, it is essential to book before your arrival. When you make your reservation, you should advise when you will be arriving and the number of guests in your party. Due to the current regulations, the actual wine tasting takes place outside on the terrace, rather than in one of the two wine tasting rooms. 

WINE TASTING OPTIONS:

  • Wine Tasting for the Serious Wine Lover – The 12-euro Wine Tasting package allows you to try many of the wines produced at this winery. These include two whites, two rosés, three reds, a medium sweet wine, Zivania and their Commandaria.
  • Standard Wine Tasting Experience – The other option is the 7-euro Wine Tasting package, which includes one white, one rosé, one red and a medium sweet wine.
  • Order your Platter in Advance – You can also order platters, which are all freshly prepared, at an extra cost. This might include a Cheese Platter of Local & Greek Cheeses with Seasonal Fruits.

OUR EXPERIENCE OF THE OMODOS WINE TASTING TOUR

On our arrival, we were advised to sanitise our hands and to wear a facemask as we entered the building. We were then asked to wait on the vast terrace, off the reception area, to await our host for the Wine Tasting Tour. The interior is incredible and includes a restaurant, seating area for guests, and a small shop at Reception. You cannot help but rush onto the terrace to enjoy the amazing view, overlooking the vineyards and down to the village.

We were delighted to meet the wine presenter, Michael Vakhromov, who explained the regulations to us during current times, and asked us to follow the rules whilst inside the building. Due to the regulations, conversation within the building must be kept to a minimum, and if we had any questions, we could ask them at the end of the wine tour. Michael has worked at the winery since it first opened, and is delighted to share his knowledge and passion for wine with visitors.

UNDERSTANDING THE WINEMAKING PROCESS

We then walked through the various parts of the winery to see all the departments which make the wine. We started in the tank area, where they have 9,000-litre tanks. We then moved to the processing areas, which house the presses and a destemming machine.  At every stage, we were given information enabling us to visualise the whole process, from the picking of the grapes through to the final label being applied. The winemaking process continues in the stabilisation and bottling areas, where they can store over 500,000 bottles. They are planning to increase this to 1 million bottles in the near future, to export their wine worldwide. After the processing room, we went to the Oak Room, where the barrels are imported from France and Hungary. For obvious reasons, this room had a heady smell of wood. All in all, the tour gave you all the details on the winemaking process.

WINE TASTING ON THE TERRACE WITH EXCELLENT VIEWS

We then went back upstairs to the terrace, to enjoy the actual wine tasting part of the experience. At this stage, Michael thoroughly explained all the different grapes they use to make their wine and their alcohol content. He gave us some great tips on how to professionally taste the wine, rather than just guzzling it down! His main advice was to take our time and enjoy the process, by smelling and observing the wine before tasting. This applied to all the varieties which we tasted, and he had additional advice for a very different technique for tasting Zivania. Standard rules do not apply here. He showed us how to taste Zivania to avoid any burning sensation in the mouth.

THE WINES WE TASTED:

Click on any of the titles below to find out more about the wines we tasted:

PLAYIÁ Cuvée Spéciale – Red Dry – 2019

This award-winning wine is a cosmopolitan blend of three international grape varieties, which have been adapted to the distinct terroir of the Omodos valleys. In the last two years, it has won five awards! Crimson in colour, on the nose, it presents a complex palette of aromas, reminiscent of black fruit, spices and soft notes of chocolate. On the palate, it is full and results in a velvety aftertaste which persists, giving the wine extroversion and grace.

Playiá Cuvée Spéciale Red Dry Wine 2019 is best served at 18˚C and ideally accompanies beef fillet and rib-eye dishes, yellow cheeses and casseroles with rich sauces.

PLAYIÁ ROSÉ – DRY – 2020

Playiá Rosé Dry is the result of a special blend of the indigenous varieties, Xinisteri and Mavro. Careful viticulture, low acreage yields and modern winemaking methods, combined with constant escalating temperature control, have created a rosé wine, ideal for enjoying throughout the year. It is bright and clear with a pale pink colour and presents a rich aroma of white peach, rose petals, jasmine and herbs, with hints of redcurrant and forest fruit on the nose. On the palate, it is velvety, full, and exuberant with a cool acidity.

Playiá Rosé Dry Wine 2020 is best served cool at 10-12˚C. This wine combines well with grilled dentex fish, lobster pasta, shellfish and fresh summer salads; a wine that loves Mediterranean cuisine.

PLAYIÁ White – Dry – 2019

The final wine in the Playiá series is a unique combination of the indigenous grapes, Xinisteri and Malaga. Unsurprisingly, this wine has won five awards in the last two years. It is bright and clear with a light yellow colour and shades of green. It is a complex wine with aromas of acacia flower, lemon zest and exotic fruit. On the palate it is full, pleasant, balanced and velvety, resulting in a long refreshing aftertaste.

Playiá White Dry – 2019 is best served cool at 10-12˚C. It combines well with grilled sea buckthorn, white meats, fresh summer salads and Mediterranean dishes.

Thaleró White – Medium-Sweet- 2018

Thaleró, in poetry by Angelos Sikelianos, means youthful, vigorous, and full of life, words that perfectly describe the feeling of this unique white semi-sweet wine. It is a special blend where Xinisteri meets Malaga. Thaleró possesses a sweetness which is due to the cessation of alcoholic fermentation by cooling. It is clear and displays a pale yellow colour, with peach and pineapple aromas, while its rich body leaves a sweet aftertaste in the mouth, evoking notes of honeycomb and dried figs.

Thaleró White Medium Sweet – 2018 is best served cool at 10-12˚C. It is a wonderful aperitif and harmoniously works with spicy dishes or as a dessert wine to beautifully complement an unforgettable dinner.

Pente Lithária XInisteri -Dry White Wine – 2019

Created from the indigenous variety Xinisteri, Pente Lithária is a symbolic white wine of Oenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Winery. Its name derives from the harmonious viticultural area of ​​Omodos, the place where it was born. The variety of fruit was carefully collected from the estate’s exemplary vineyard, the largest privately-owned vineyard in Cyprus, which sits at an altitude of 1,100 metres. The cultivation, care, small yields, unique microclimate and modern winemaking techniques used in the winery’s special facilities, all result in a unique wine. Pente Lithária Dry White Wine is bright and clear with green highlights. Elegant aromas of exotic fruit and citrus, with soft notes of white flowers, emerge on the nose. On the palate it is balanced.

Pente Lithária Xinisteri -Dry White Wine – 2019 is best served at 10-12˚C. It seeks fresh seafood dishes, lobster pasta, grilled chicken fillet and fresh salads.

Rodámbelo – Rosé Wine – 2019

This Rosé wine, is exceptionally bright and takes its name from its own intense and shiny pink colour. It is an elegant and aromatic wine, which perfectly reflects the terroirs of Omodos. Rodámbelo Rosé wine is a blend of the international variety Shiraz and the native varieties Maratheftiko and Lefkada. It has elements of strawberry and rose petals, redcurrant and cherry. The initial contact stimulates the palate, revealing the complexity and delicate balance between its taste, characteristics and acidity.

Rodámbelo – Rosé Wine – 2019 is best served at 10-12˚C. It blends well with fresh green salads, poultry and oily dishes, but it is also ideal as an aperitif.

Red Melody Premium – Dry Red Wine – 2017

Red Melody was my personal favourite, as it epitomises this winery’s authentic craftsmanship in bringing together two international grape varieties. It is a perfect combination of the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in Omodos and a worthy winner of the two awards it received last year. Red Melody Premium is a blend with a deep red colour and strong aromas of berries, blueberries, vanilla and black pepper. It is aged in French oak barrels for twelve months, and at least eight months in the bottle. A perfectly balanced, velvety wine that results in a long and smooth aftertaste.

Red Melody Premium is best served at 18˚C. It harmoniously combines with grilled meats with light sauces, pasta and Coq au Vin. It can be aged for a long time.

Geróklima Maratheftiko – Dry Red Wine – 2017

When it comes to red wine at Oenou Yi Winery, this is the star of the show. It is made using their oldest vines and aged in oak barrels in the winery’s climate-controlled ageing cellar. This wine won three awards during 2020. Preserving the fatherland and historical images, the winery created it from their age-old Maratheftiko vines. Careful sorting of the fruit, controlled fermentation, uninterrupted oenological care and ageing in new French oak barrels, all contribute to this fine wine. Its deep crimson colour is accompanied by a bouquet of aromas, reminiscent of red forest fruits, such as wild sour cherries. On the palate, it is balanced with spicy notes of freshly ground pepper and rare spices.

Geróklima Maratheftiko – Dry Red Wine – 2017 is best served from a carafe at 18˚C, in an open tulip glass, ideally accompanying grilled red meats, various cold cuts and yellow aged cheeses.

ZIVANIA

Honouring tradition and history, Oenou Yi-Ktima Vassiliades Winery created their Zivania from the ancient Greek process of Distillation. The marcs (remains of the grapes) of the varieties Xinisteri and Mavro, are fermented at controlled temperatures and distilled in a modern distillery, resulting in a clean and pure product of consistent quality. It enchants with the representative aromas of its varieties, including citrus flowers, peach and rose. Zivania, with its firm body, is explosive on the palate and leaves a long-lasting aftertaste.

Oenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Zivania can accompany the Cypriot meze and be the conclusion of a memorable meal. A drink that portrays the entire tradition of Cyprus in a glass.

OLDEST WINE IN THE WORLD, MADE IN OMODOS.

Commandaria of Oenou -Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Winery – Commandaria is the oldest wine in the world, and is still made today in Omodos. This is the perfect dessert wine and complements anything with chocolate in it. Sitting on the terrace, working our way through the selection of wines, we genuinely felt we had won the lottery! The surroundings, the views and the excellent wines make for an experience you never want to end. Sadly, when we tasted the Commandaria, we knew this was the final wine on the list. The fourteen Commandaria villages of Cyprus are located in the southeastern mountain range of Troodos. In their special vineyards, the fruit of the indigenous varieties Mavro and Xynisteri, sunbathing in the bright Cypriot sun, create the famous Oenou Yi-Ktima Vassiliades Commandaria.

This emblematic dessert wine is strictly produced in the traditional way, displaying a unique and enviable bouquet of ageing, reminiscent of dried fruit, honey and spices. It justifies its legendary route and the fact that it is the wine with the oldest Protected Designation of Origin in the world.

Enjoy Oenou Yi-Ktima Vassiliades Commandaria cool, as a dessert wine or as an accompaniment to any chocolate dessert.

FINE DINING AT THE WINERY

We have heard excellent reports from friends about Playiá Restaurant at Oenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Winery, and a wine tasting tour/experience would combine very well whilst you are there. They do a set menu, which gives you the chance to taste innovative dishes. The restaurant is currently open at weekends and holidays, but this will change soon, so always check directly with the winery before you go. Unfortunately, due to an event in Limassol, we had to leave, but we will certainly return very soon. Having lunch at the winery, and following it with a walk in the surrounding area, or down to the village (approximately 7 minutes), would genuinely make the perfect day out.

As we gazed at the diners and the incredible dishes being served, it was very hard not to feel a severe case of jealousy. We bought our favourite wines from the shop, based on what we had tasted, to cheer ourselves up, as we left. As I prefer red wine, this included six Red Melody and a bottle of their exceptional Commandaria. Our friends loved the Rosé wine and bought a case of twelve. We also all bought jars of their Hawthorne and Plum Jams.

We look forward to returning, to try out the amazing menu at the restaurant in the very near future, and reporting back with a review. We would highly recommend booking the wine tasting tour/experience at this amazing winery in Cyprus. It is ideal for anyone who has a love of wine and wants to know more about the winemaking process. It is the perfect combination of everything that makes an exceptional experience in Cyprus – the wine, the landscape, the architecture and the friendly welcome.

BOOK YOUR WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE HERE OR CALL 25 446 000 FOR THE OPENING HOURS.

To read more about the wines and tasting experience at this highly recommended winery in Cyprus, or to browse their wines on offer, visit the Oenou Yi Online Wine Shop here.

Published by Cyprus in Style – May 2021Best Wineries in Cyprus

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