By Bejay Browne
AN AWARD-WINNING winery set in the heart of Paphos’ wine-producing region is in the midst of expanding its operations by opening a wine bar at its impressive new facility in time for Easter.
Vasilikon winery, a family run concern in Kathikas, has been producing wine for more than 20 years, winning a raft of top awards at international wine competitions.
Vasilikon winery, which is owned by three brothers – Heracles, Georgios and Yiannis Kyriakides – moved to the new, custom-built premises four years ago.
The new winery, with its stunning views across unspoiled countryside and down to the sea, also houses a wine museum, covers about 4,000m2 and includes the winery, wine cellar and the bottling room.
The winery, designed by Nicosia-based architect and family friend, Argyris Solomou, took six years to construct and is found in the Akamas Laona area of the Paphos district, set off the winding road leading from Peyia to Kathikas. The large building is impressive and combines traditional wine-making values with modern technology.
“Grape growing has been in our family for many years and when we all finished our studies, the three of us decided we wanted to create a winery in our vineyards,” said Yiannis Kyriakides.
The winemaker says the family currently has around 200 donums of vines and is always on the lookout for more, if the price is right.
“Now we have another nine thousand vines to plant and we are planning to make another three wines using a variety of Cypriot grapes, this will be within the next four years.”
Currently, four well-known, highly drinkable wines being produced by the winery – Vasilikon, Agios Onoufrios, Methy and Einalia Rose. The wines have won awards at numerous prestigious international competitions including: Challenge International Du Vin, Decanter World Wine awards, the Wine Products Council and Women and Wines of the world Monaco.
“We are pleased that our wines have been recognised at competitions all over the world. We are aiming to do this again this year, and will be entering all of the good competitions,” said Kyriakides.
Kyriakides loves vines, wines and the entire wine making process and although the family has a number of people working with them, the wine maker oversees each step of the process and is often in the vineyards with his father.
Kyriakides said that the brothers have a close relationship and his wife and Georgios’ wife also both work in the business. The two women were responsible for interior design of the building.
“My wife studied accounting and George’s wife speaks excellent English and undertakes the reception duties and wine tasting,” he said.
The business is a truly family affair and looks set to be safely handed down to the next generation, as both of the brothers’ daughters are interested in wine making and are about to embark on oenologist studies abroad.
Kyriakides says that the family believes more must be done to encourage younger generations to show an interest in a tradition which is a integral part of the Cypriot heritage.
“We need many more people to invest in vineyards in Cyprus and we also need more professional people to work them.”
The winery runs a very successful sideline catering to tourists of all nationalities who are travelling the wine route and locals who want to top up their wine stocks.
“We have had visitors from all over the world, they like to try our wines and buy them; they are also very interested in our wine museum.”
The museum was particularly important to Kyriakides who wanted to show how traditions have changed and preserve a piece of Cyprus history.
“I like old things, whether it’s wine-making machinery and tools or classic cars. I want to do it well and put the right pieces inside the museum.”
Wedding receptions for up to 200 guests can also be held at the stunning location, as well as other events and conferences. The wine bar which is kitted out and ready to go, is set to open in a matter of weeks, once the opening hours have been decided. Cold plates will be served alongside the family produced wine.