The story of
The main factors that determine how a wine will taste is:
- Grape variety used
- Environment in which it is grown (climate weather, soil and slope)
- Care with which the grapes are grown and harvested
- How the wine is made and matured (including bottle-age)
At Santa Irene winery our strategy is strictly oriented to produce quality and original wines of a Cypriot character.
Two local grape varieties are cultivated by the winery. Indigenous to Cyprus there is the local red variety Mavro Ambelisimo, which predominates while the white Xynisteri variety is found in smaller plots.
Perched high up on slopes at altitudes of up to 1350m our mission is to reignite the dynamics of the neglected traditional Cypriot variety, ‘Mavro Ambelisimo’ which for years has been underestimated. Given the correct care Mavro Ambelisimo produces superb quality wines with both character and complexity. The vines in Farmakas have aged well over 100 years, they hold onto the land with their thick trunks and have adapted to their natural environment as well as acclimatizing to each year’s climatic conditions. We have realised the strength and value in this incredible and unique grape variety and have 4 labels from Mavro ambelisimo variety as well as our awarded Xynisteri labels which all has been awarded with several awards in Thessaloniki, Vienna and London.
At Santa Irene Winery tradition and scientific knowledge are used both in the vineyard and in the wine making process, experience is shared amongst our winegrowers, winemakers and distillers of the region. The age, high altitude, slope and soil composition as well as constant experimentation within our vineyard result in the wonderful wines produced at Santa Irene Winery.
Wine Tasting & Vineyard Tours
Experience the taste of tradition and elegance. Enjoy scenic routes and explore the centenerary vineyards of the Nicosia Mountains by a private luxury vehicle. Hear about the viticulture and history of the region. Sip on delicious whites, rose and reds while learning the unique characteristics of each, and how the production process affects the flavor notes. Enjoy a culinary tour of fusion Cyprus Cuisine at the winery’s fusion restaurant, Ierambelos, including a gourmet lunch or dinner on the picturesque balconies of the Santa Irene winery.
Daniel and Theoni started by revitalizing his own vineyards first 5 years ago and then acquired long term leases on disused parcels. Some landowners eventually even turned over the vineyards to him rent-free simply to keep the vines tended to and alive.
Slowly but surely, life stirred again on the mountain: the familiar racing green and gold of the Quercus alnifolia matched by the emerald vibrancy of Xynisteri and Mavro and punctuated by Maratheftiko’s dusty khaki.
The drive there, snaking up to 1300 metres on roughly graded roads is worth the trouble: the sheer beauty of the wild countryside breathtaking. The vineyards are unique, unparalleled and awe inspiring. Perched precariously on the slopes of the mountains above the village, the vines of Farmakas are easily amongst the highest in Cyprus. And some of the oldest: their roots deep in the schist of the diabase dyke, some of the vines, according to the title deeds in Daniel’s office, were planted 150 years ago.
The plots cover both the north and south faces of Laxia Mountain. On the southerly gradients afternoon light bathes small stone terraces that overlook the village until well into the evening, a beautiful backdrop for an essentially classic terroir.
Crowning the mountain and slightly to the north lie plots that defy belief. Gnarled old vines deformed with age, sprawl along the rock strewn slopes. Trunks of unbelievable proportions, some as thick as lamp posts, carry fruit late into July with no discernible sign of disease or malnutrition.
Our Santa Irene wines have been awarded several medals from local as well as International Wine competitions.
AWC Vienna 2016
Thessaloniki wine and spirit competition
10 Cyprus wine Competition
2017 Decanter world wine awards
AWC Vienna 2017