Nicolas Tsiakkas, the grandfather of today’s winemakers started a small wine making and wine trading business back in the 1930s. He was what the French call a negotiant, someone who makes his own wine and in addition, buys wine from other producers in the village, blends it and sells it as their own produce. The wine was red dry, made in earth ware pots called pitharia, similar to the large amphorae used by all the winemakers in countries that have a long tradition in winemaking. Mavro Ambelissimo and Vamvakada were fermented together to produce this wine. This wine was consumed until May. After this period it was turning into vinegar since no sulphites were used, but Cypriots did not mind as it was not customary to consume wine in the hot summers of Cyprus. His practice ended in the late 1960s with the industrialization of the Cyprus economy and the gradual shift of the consumers to the standardized and more easily available big industry wine, sold in 5 litre jars.
Tsiakkas winery was established in 1988 just outside Pelendri village on the Troodos Mountains, in the Pitsilia wine region, in an effort to revive the grandfather’s trade which was not practiced for more than 20 years. The first year’s production was 500 bottles of a red wine called Thyrsos. The wine was made from the local variety Mavro Ambelissimo and Vamvakada. Gradually new wines were made with the addition of a white and a rose wine. The very first wines were made from local varieties as the international varieties were almost nonexistent in the Pitsilia region. In the late 90s, more and more international varieties were used to make the wines of the winery. These varieties included Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Cabernet, Merlot, Mattaro, Grenache and even Riesling for some years. Although some of these varieties are still used by the winery, in the recent years, there is a shift towards Cypriot varieties. Old forgotten varieties are replanted and more research was done on the widely planted Xynisteri and Vamvakada, both in the vineyard and the winery. Recently a new style of Commandaria and Zivania were added to the products of the winery.
Five years ago the winery certified its vineyards as organic and at the same time placed solar panels on the roof of the winery to produce green energy.
Today the winery produces 150000 bottles a year and sells mainly to the local market. Upscale restaurants, 5 star hotels, wine shops and a small number of supermarket chains constitute the local clientele. Wine is also available from the winery which is open to visitors every day from 08:00 until 16:00. On Sundays the winery is closed. The wines are also exported to Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, UK and the USA.
Today the winery produces 150000 bottles a year and sells mainly to the local market. Upscale restaurants, 5 star hotels, wine shops and a small number of supermarket chains constitute the local clientele. Wine is also available from the winery which is open to visitors every day from 08:00 until 16:00. On Sundays the winery is closed. Wine Select, a small wine shop on Agias Fylaxeos street in Lemesos also carries the whole range of our wines along with older vintages. The wines are also exported to Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, UK and the USA.
A great wine is made in the vineyard. You need the best possible quality grapes to make a great wine. However you also need the people who will tend the vines, vinify the grapes, make the blends, age the wine and finally bottle it.
The team behind the Tsiakkas label includes our own vineyard team, the associate vine growers, the oenologist and the external consultants who provide their expertise from around the world both in the field of viticulture and oenology.
A long standing relationship exists with the following people whose efforts are crucial in achieving the good results of the recent years.
Associate vine growers
Nicos Stavrou: After spending years in Africa and the UK, Nicos decided to invest in his home village, Agros. He owns one of the largest vineyards in the region and one of the highest in Cyprus with an altitude of 1300 meters above sea level. Being so high, Nicos decided to plant mainly international varieties which benefit from the cool climate of the region, the poor soils and the sufficient rainfall. Cooperation with this vineyard goes back to 1990.
Panikos and Philippos Kapnisis: The two brothers have recently established a vineyard comprising only of local varieties. Xynisteri, Vamvakada, Yiannoudi and Promara were planted. The winery cooperates with the brothers since 2008.
George Sozou: Although teaching 6-12 year olds may be a profession George practices in the mornings with a passion, his heart is at Vouni where he owns the largest vineyard of the region. He spends his afternoons and summers there and takes care of his vines. He has planted Promara, Grenache, Sauvignon, Xynisteri, Syrah, and is planning now to establish a Yiannoudi vineyard. He cooperates with Tsiakkas winery since 2011.
Stefanos Koundouras: Holds a PhD degree in Viticulture. He is a professor of Viticulture in The Aristoteleion University in Greece. He is consulting a number of wineries in Greece and Cyprus and pays regular visits to our vineyards. The cooperation dates back to 2008. His assistance made many Cyprus wineries recognize the need to invest first in the vineyard and subsequently in the winery.
Kyriakos Kynigopoullos: He is one of the top consultants in Burgundy, and runs one of the most advanced research laboratories in Beaune. He came first on the island in 2007 and saw a potential for cooperation. So did us. The recent vintages have been shaped by the expertise of Kyriakos. His skills and his knowledge of the recent developments in the wine making industry, coupled with his experience from consulting wineries in France, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and the United States helped the winery to focus on the unique characteristics of our terroir, with excellent results.
Our master oenologist
Costas Ntanos: Following the financial crisis in Greece many young professionals fled Greece with a large number of them coming to Cyprus. Costas holds a degree in agriculture and a master’s degree in oenology from France. He has worked in Spain, Greece, France and Cyprus. He joined forces with Tsiakkas in 2015.