I am a third generation winemaker.
My grandfather, Sofoclis Metaxas (1899-1977) used to live in Koilani. Just like all the people living in the wine villages of Limassol back then, he used to make wine and zivania from his vineyards and sell them to the surrounding villages.
Everyone used to say that “Sofoclis’s wine is one of a kind”. I came to realize that the reason for his fine wines were his vineyards. He used to cultivated them with such care and devotion. He was always so open to new things, he wanted to learn and improve his techniques.
My father, Theofanis Vlassides, comes from the occupied village of Rizokarpaso. He went to study Chemical Engineering, in Glasgow in 1954. After his return in 1960, he started his career in winemaking at KEO and afterwards he moved on to work at ETKO. He got married with Sofoklis Metaxas’s daughter, Maroula and he was mesmerized by the vineyard cultivation and vinification.
In 1968 he took the big decision, to replant his vineyards on an experimental basis with international varieties such as Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon and Cabernet franc. He was one of the very few to dare this back then and by doing so he created a multi-variety vineyard with endless possibilities.
My decision to become a winemaker was a very easy one I must say. Most of the winemakers chose to go to France for their studies, while I decided to go against the flow and I chose to do my Postgraduate Degree at the University of California, UC Davis in the United States. I deliberately chose to go to the USA, since I wanted to get to know all the unconventional, modern and alternative vinification processes and discover something different. And so I did.
I returned from Davis in 1998 and I started working at the Cypriot vineyards, cultivating indigenous and international varieties. At the moment I manage my Winery and I also collaborate with other wineries as a consultant.
In 2012 I found what I was looking for at Koloni area, a vineyard just outside the village. From the very first moment that I laid my eyes on the vineyards there, I knew that there it would be my base. My very own winery. And that was exactly what happened.
The Winery was completed in 2012. Heraclis Papachristou, a good friend of mine, is the architect of the building. The Winery is characterized by an unconventional design which I was enthusiastic about from the very first moment that the decision was made: to create a modern winery with state-of-the-art equipment. The innovative and original design of Vlassides Winery was chosen to represent Cyprus at the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015.
My studies at Davis defined the way I make my wines.
I want each wine to be characterized by the variety’s aromas and fruit. I am not into overripe wines where vanilla or intense barrel aromas mask that magical grape essence. This doesn’t mean that I am not using barrels or that my wines do not mature with time. On the contrary.
I invested in the vineyards from the beginning, knowing that the raw materials must be in an excellent condition in order to achieve what I had in mind for my wines.
Today my vineyard consists of 210 acres, with many varieties.
My colleagues, the people who are with me every step of the way are directly connected with the success of my work.
Panos is my wingman. Panos comes from Greece, but fortunately (for me) he chose to live in Cyprus. He completed his Master’s Degree in Oenology at the Technological University, in the Department of Food Technology and he holds a second Master’s from Harokopio University in Athens in Sustainable Development. Apart from Cyprus, Panos practiced winemaking in Santorini and Tinos.
We share the same attitude towards the wines’ characteristics and we both want to go a step further, always working hard each year to accomplish this.
Apostolos is our viticulturist taking care of our vineyards, the man responsible for the high quality of our grapes. He studied Agricultural Science at Thessalia University and he holds a Master’s Degree by the Department of Agricultural Sciences, Biotechnology & Food Science at the Cyprus University of Technology. He joined our team in January of 2018.
— Receptionist Manager
Themis is a very outgoing and communicative person. She manages to “fill” the Winery with her strong personality. She studied Oenology at TEI in Athens and is with us since 2013. She has an in-depth knowledge of wine tasting.
Alexandra joined our team just recently. She shares an enthusiasm for the Winery and our visitors.
In the past she has worked as a sommelier and she has achieved the 3rd level of Wine & Spirit Education Trust in wine tasting.