By Chrissie Stephen
It is ten years since Theodoros Hadjiantonas (Doros) bought some vineyards, applied for a licence and started making wine commercially. In the years that have followed, he has established the Parekklisia winery’s name at the top end of the market and won an armful of medals in both local and international wine competitions.
Despite the winery’s success, Doros still manages to balance what started out as a hobby with being a pilot for Cyprus Airways and his family. He laughs at the suggestion that winemaking is nothing more than a relaxing pastime.
“We have been part of a very fast-changing industry and we have been right on the cutting edge, experimenting with new blends of wine made with endemic varieties blended with imported varieties and this has completely changed the character of Cypriot wines and of course the quality has improved unbelievably in recent years,” he says.
But the industry faces incredible challenges from the EU. “Since Cyprus joined the EU it has been possible to buy a wide variety of European labels at incredibly low prices which sadly we can’t compete with because our production costs are higher, mainly because of the nature and location of our vineyards – harvesting grapes from small hill terraces is much more costly than large flat vineyards”.
Certainly winemaking has changed since Doros was a boy watching his grandfather making wine in the mountain village of Pera Pedi (the Hadjiantonas -Kolos Winery). In 1999, Doros and his wife Natasa bought their first oak barrel and made 225 litres of Shiraz which they gave to family and friends to celebrate the millennium. The wine was so by well received that Doros made more over the next two years and in 2004 decided to produce bottles commercially.
Doros is a real perfectionist, which is reflected in the stunning design and quality of the winery. He buys the best grapes possible and has invested in state-of-the-art equipment from all over Europe to produce wines including a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah and a sparkling rosé. He also produces wines using the indigenous grapes Maratheftiko and Xinisteri. Today the winery makes 70,000 bottles of nine different wines.
His latest product is a new Chardonnay. During the current economic downturn wine drinkers are increasingly price conscious so Doros has purposefully created his new Chardonnay using different packaging and with a cheaper price tag.
Innovation, he feels, is the way forward and he is currently looking at presenting his most popular wines in 187ml single serve bottles which are popular with airlines and an increasing number of hotels who have found they are popular with guests. Meanwhile, Natasa has launched a series of cookery workshops on how to make delicious Mexican dishes and to successfully marry different wines with foods.
For more information and reservations telephone 25- 991199 [email protected]