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Santa Irene Winery Αξιώσεις

Demokratias,Farmakas ,Nicosia,Cyprus

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Santa Irene is small modern winery located in the village of Farmakas, surrounded by vineyards overlooking the Troodos mountains.

Santa Irene winery is the fulfillment of a man’s dream, Daniel Anastasis who left, his beloved, Farmakas as a young man of 16 and made his fortune in the wholesale baking business in Durban, South Africa. But he cherished the echoes of the land of his childhood, and when he returned, he found an island changed – not only for the better.

The last few decades' pursuit of easy pleasures in an island with a history of wine making that stretches back millennia had left viticulture in the difficult, but qualitatively rewarding terrain of the mountains, in ruin.

Daniel's vision embraced rescuing from oblivion an ancient legacy that had suffered and is still suffering from neglect; of revitalizing the ancient crafts of wine growing and wine making in the area, and claiming back the art of creating wines unmatched in depth, acidity and flavor.

THE VINEYARDS

Daniel 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 steadily, 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, 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 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.

Daniel has designed and built a small modern winery in the village surrounded by new plantings on trellises. Equipped with stainless steel tanks (to preserve the wines' freshness and typicity) and the latest in crushing pressing and cooling equipment, it is capable of producing up to 50,000 bottles a year in a three-story structure complete with lift.

The winery's top floor includes a gallery where visitors can walk onto a gangway that gives access to the top of the tanks; on the middle floor, most wine operations take place; while the lowest level houses a compact cellar for storing and maturation.

 

 

 
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