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.
Santa Irene winery has around 200 hectares or privately-owned vineyards, located at an altitude of up to 1,350 meters. In these traditional vineyards, the local ‘Mavro ampelisimo’ grape variety dominates, while the local Xynisteri variety is found in smaller plots.
The main objectives of the winery is to investigate and revive the neglected and undervalued traditional Cypriot variety, Mavro Ampelisimo as well as to regenerate and preserve the traditional vineyards of the Farmakas area, which measure centuries of life and are part of the cultural heritage of Cyprus.
The vineyards have aged well over 120 years along the steep slopes of the mountainous Pitsilia. The unique combination of aged vines at high altitudes on soil rich in minerals together with traditional wine making and vineyard growing techniques result in quality wines of distinctive character and complexity
We have realised the strength and value in this incredible and unique grape variety and have 5 labels from Mavro ambelisimo variety: Protari, Laxia and Late Harvest (a newer edition, produced from our overripe grapes), Theoni (Rosé) and Daniel (Blanc de noir), the only white wine produced in Cyprus from the Red ‘mavro ampelisimo’ grapes.
3 labels from Xynisteri: Vounoplagia, Vounoplagia Private collection and Sunshine (Sweet wine nectar from Xynisteri, also new)
We also have 2 other grape varieties made in our winery: Shiraz and Malaga (Moschato Alexandrias or Muscat)
Our wines have been awarded in Local and International Wine competitions (over 30 awards to date) some of which have taken place in Vienna, Thessaloniki, London and China.
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.
The wines are available in a select range of wine shops and at major supermarkets, but also, they can be purchased from the winery itself
Wine Tasting & Vineyard Tours
Experience the taste of tradition and elegance. Enjoy scenic routes and explore the centenary vineyards of the Pitsillia Mountains in a 4×4 off road Landrover. 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