One of the flagship Cypriot producers, Vlassides represents the face of the island’s modern winemaking. Combining latest wine knowledge with love and respect for indigenous grapes, Vlassides crafts stunning wines with a true Cypriot character. Discover Vlassides wines.
Sofoklis Vlassides, is a third-generation winemaker. Both his grandfather and father grew vines, thus Sofoklis’ decision to follow the same path came easily.
However, unlike many of his peers who chose to study winemaking in France, Sofoklis decided to do his Postgraduate Degree at the University of California, UC Davis.
As Sofoklis himself explains it, he deliberately chose to go to the USA, in order to learn about all the unconventional, modern and alternative vinification processes.
Sofoklis returned from the States in 1998 and started working at Cypriot vineyards, cultivating indigenous and international varieties. However, the goal was always to make his own wine. In 2003, Sofoklis found what he was looking for: a vineyard just outside the village of Koilani, in the Limassol district. From the very start he knew that this would be a perfect base for his winery and this was the start of Vlassides wines.
The state-of-the-art winery was designed by architect Heracles Papachristou in modern, clean-cut lines. A beautiful contemporary building, surrounded by picturesque vineyards, blends perfectly with the landscape. Large open spaces offer gorgeous panoramic views of the vineyards. A large part of the Winery is literally buried deep into the hill, while the rest of the building gradually comes into view as it follows the contours of the land. The storage areas are located underground. This allows for natural temperature control for wines maturation and ageing.
Vlassides Winery building was even chosen to represent Cyprus at the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award in 2015.
From Vines To Wines
Vlassides vineyards span 21 hectares, and are home to both indigenous and international varieties. The red grapes include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Yiannoudi, Agiorgitiko and Maratheftiko. As for the whites, they include Xynisteri, Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Assyrtiko and Promara.
The vines grow at altitudes between 700 and 1100 meters, which is crucial to obtain good quality of grapes in hot Cypriot climate. The area around Koilani has plenty of sunshine during the summer season and mild winters, without extreme low temperatures.
This microclimate helps the grapes to ripen perfectly. At the same time, sandy clay soils on top of a calcareous bedrock allow the plants to preserve a sufficient level of moisture. In addition, the soil here is poor in organic matter which keeps yields naturally low.
The vineyards are irrigated in a very careful manner, according to the water needs of every vineyard. Sofoklis Vlassides aims to produce wines which are characterised by primary grape aromas. Hence, Vlassides wines are fruit-driven, fresh and never overripe. These are great examples of Cypriot wines which are made in a modern style, while still expressing the authentic character of their land.