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High-altitude viticulture from

The Region of Pitsilia

Pitsilia is a mountainous region of rocky land at the heart of Cyprus, covered with steep slopes and centuries-old stone terraces. Although remote, the community is rich in culture and history: distinct architecture and landscaping, Byzantine monuments, countless nature parks, a traditional cuisine and warm hospitality.

Dotted around the region are our nine vineyards, covering approximately 20 hectares of land; half privately-owned and half through dedicated partners. The core of the vineyards is situated around Pelendri and Agros between 700 and 1440 meters, where the temperate climate and demanding terrain have guided us in forming some spectacular landscapes.

700 to 1440m Altitude,

The region boasts some of the highest altitude vineyards in all of Europe. It’s not just bragging rights though, the temperate climate of the region is key to the production of quality wine in Cyprus. We have an average of 7°C difference compared to the coast, as well as four distinct seasons rather than the infamous eight-month Cypriot summer. This allows for the slow ripening of grapes, providing expressive fruit aromas and bright acidity in the final wine.

Hand-Harvested,

While exploring the region, you can’t help but notice the stone terraces that score the landscape – even deep inside the pine forest. The slopes make conventional agriculture near impossible, but by carving out the land, locals have been able to make it accessible to farming, while respecting and promoting biodiversity. Still, the narrow paths forbid mechanical management so each and every vineyard is cared for and harvested by hand.

Phylloxera-Free,

Just over 150 years ago, Phylloxera wiped out most European vineyards, halting winemaking across the continent. As a comparatively isolated island, Cyprus managed to evade the plague and devastation.

Today, our vines continue to be planted ungrafted, propagated from the cuttings of exceptional old vines coming from our own vineyards. Although the vineyards look less uniform and yields aren’t as efficient as they could be, this traditional practice offers a more sincere reflection of terroir and promotes healthier diversity among the plantation.

From Beneath the Sea.

Just over 150 years ago, Phylloxera wiped out most European vineyards, halting winemaking across the continent. As a comparatively isolated island, Cyprus managed to evade the plague and devastation.

Today, our vines continue to be planted ungrafted, propagated from the cuttings of exceptional old vines coming from our own vineyards. Although the vineyards look less uniform and yields aren’t as efficient as they could be, this traditional practice offers a more sincere reflection of terroir and promotes healthier diversity among the plantation.

Pelendri, Pitsilia

The Winery

The terraces at the winery are likely the most photographed ones in all of Cyprus. Their steep amphitheatrical slopes face north, benefiting from cool oncoming winds and varied sun exposure. The result is a range of microclimates able to support a diverse selection of varieties.

Altitude: 1,000m
Size: 4.7 Hectares
Soil: Sandy, magmatic
Varieties: Xynisteri, Sauvignon Blanc, Yiannoudi
Original Planting: 2000 (Replanted in 2008 after a wildfire).
Farming: Organic, terraced, VSP trellis, ungrafted
Viticulturists: Ektoras Tsiakkas, Nikolas Massou

Pelendri, Pitsilia

Mouklos

Situated just north of the winery, Mouklos is the home of our similarly named wine. Although primarily planted with Mavro, a small amount of other native varieties are scattered in between – a common practice around the time of the original planting.

Altitude: 920m
Size: 1.3 Hectares
Soil: Sandy, magmatic
Varieties: Mavro Ambelisimo, Promara
Original Planting: 1950
Farming: Organic, terraced, goblet training, ungrafted
Viticulturists: Ektoras Tsiakkas, Nikolas Massou

Petralona
AGROS, PITSILIA
Agros, Pitsilia

Petralona

The Petralona vineyard stands at an imposing altitude of 1440m. At its peak you can view the districts of Paphos, Lemesos, Larnaca, Nicosia, as well as all of Pentadaktylos. The vineyard is steep and exposed, subject to cooling winds and ample sunlight.

Altitude: 1,440m
Size: 1.6 Hectares
Soil: Schist, magmatic
Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Xynisteri
Original Planting: 2010
Farming: Organic, terraced, VSP trellis, ungrafted
Viticulturists: Ektoras Tsiakkas, Nikolas Massou

Kerami
KATO AMIANTOS, PITSILIA
Kato Amiantos, Pitsilia

Kerami

Kerami was once a minor settlement, one of the many that formed modern-day Pelendri. The vineyard is situated along the verdant creek of the Kerami river, sheltered by steep slopes, mediating the impact of the warm summer months.

Altitude: 950m
Size: 0.8 Hectares
Soil: Sandy, magmatic
Varieties: Merlot
Original Planting: 2007
Farming: Organic, terraced, VSP trellis, ungrafted
Viticulturists: Ektoras Tsiakkas, Nikolas Massou

Vouni, Krassochoria Lemesou

Vouni

A teacher during the weekdays, a vigneron by the weekend. George Christodoulou is an ambitious and driven viticulturist that has managed to establish the largest collection of organic varieties in a single vineyard.

Altitude: 700m
Size: 3.4 Hectares
Soil: Limestone
Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Grenache, Vamvakada
Original Planting: 2009
Farming: Organic, VSP trellis, ungrafted
Viticulturists: George Christodoulou

Kato Milos, Pitsilia

Kapnisis

Philippos and Panikos Kapnisis are the owners of the largest organic vineyard in Cyprus. The vineyard is at the forefront of Cypriot viticulture, innovating on the cultivation of native varieties.

Altitude: 850m
Size: 3.4 Hectares
Soil: Sandy, magmatic
Varieties: Xynisteri, Vamvakada, Yiannoudi, Promara
Original Planting: 2012
Farming: Organic, VSP trellis & goblet training, ungrafted
Viticulturists: Philippos Kapnisis, Panikos Kapnisis

Agros, Pitsilia

27

For the past 30 years this vineyard has been the main source of grapes for our international labels. Today, the vineyard has one of the most complex planting arrays on the island, offering a home to seven different varieties.

Altitude: 1,200m
Size: 2.4 Hectares
Soil: Sandy, magmatic
Varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yiannoudi, Vamvakada, Xynisteri, Ofthalmo
Original Planting: 2008
Farming: Organic, terraced, VSP trellis & goblet training, ungrafted
Viticulturists: Ektoras Tsiakkas, Nikolas Massou

Agios Mamas, Commandaria

Agios Mamas

This family vineyard is situated in the renowned Commandaria region, just 7km south of the winery and Pitsilia. The vineyard belongs to Nikos Polydorou, an esteemed viticulturist who has his own micro-winery nearby.

Altitude: 800m
Size: 1.1 Hectares
Soil: Limestone
Varieties: Xynisteri
Original Planting: Before 1950
Farming: Organic, goblet training, ungrafted
Viticulturists: Nikos Polydorou

Agros, Pitsilia

Agia Kyriaki

Vignerons Mr Drosos and Mr Papachristodoulou provide their Yiannoudin and Cabernet respectively. The vines are the focus and centerpiece of the farm, but admittedly, our team can’t get enough of their sour cherries in early summer.

Altitude: 1,250m
Size: 1.5 Hectares
Soil: Sandy, magmatic
Varieties: Yiannoudin, Cabernet Franc
Original Planting: 2006
Farming: Organic, terraced, VSP trellis & goblet training, ungrafted
Viticulturists: Stelios Papachristodoulou, Drosos Papaeracleous