BEST WINERIES IN CYPRUS
CYPRIOT WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE
OENOU YI – KTIMA VASSILIADES WINERY
Best Wineries in Cyprus – Oenou 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:
PLAYIÁ Cuvée Spéciale – Red Dry – 2019
PLAYIÁ ROSÉ – DRY – 2020
PLAYIÁ White – Dry – 2019
Thaleró White – Medium-Sweet- 2018
Pente Lithária XInisteri -Dry White Wine – 2019
Rodámbelo – Rosé Wine – 2019
Red Melody Premium – Dry Red Wine – 2017
Geróklima Maratheftiko – Dry Red Wine – 2017
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 2021 – Best Wineries in Cyprus
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