Driving back to the future
Driving up the hill, the landscape becomes more varied and colourful. Behind you is the blue sea, surrounded by hills and trees and above you only the slightly cloudy Cypriot blue sky.
It is not only a trip to the inner land of the island, it is travelling back in time. By every curve, for every tree that casts its shadow, you feel the colours, the intensity of silence, the sheer beauty of the island. The quiet.
You easily reach the Village of Argyrides Winery and in what seems to be the only big curve into the village, exactly there, you see a light grey, brown wall surrounding the oldest house of the village, dating back more than 200 years ago.
Five generations of winemakers
It is as poetic as it sounds. Even if time has changed the house where you find the Argyrides Winery, every single angle of the courtyard, the house, and especially the cellar smells of tradition and hard work.
Rebecca and Adriana hosted me and the members of the 14th Cyprus Wine Award in their home that has been part of their family for so many generations. The winery has always been situated in the house, starting from the original kitchen and the cool cellars, and was founded by the great-grandfather of their father. The sisters are the fifth generation of winemakers.
Carrying on the tradition
Their beloved father sadly only had a short time to teach all his secrets to his daughters. He passed on the passion and love for wine and by that laid the foundation to an extraordinary story of success, with the support of his wife.
The daughters are now running a winery that with the respect for history is moving into the future.
Rebecca is the winemaker, supported by her sister. She introduces us to her team of co-workers, and the atmosphere is very familiar and homely. The ancient building is a gem enhancing the family tradition and built around century old stones, protecting the cellar prepared more than 200 years ago, hosting placid amphoras.
Innovation and curiosity
During the many years of troubled history of Cyprus territory, but still phylloxera free, the Argyrides Family has cultivated Chardonnay, Viognier, Xynisteri, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maratheftiko, Merlot, and Mourvèdre in eight hectares divided in different areas in there they selected the right grape compared to geological structure, altitude sun and wind exposition and temperatures. With also a very long harvesting time, from the first to the latest variety.
The improvement process is a perfect blend of innovation and curiosity, both on choice of the grapes and vinification trials. The sisters told us that every year they have tried different blending or maturing or ageing. A work that has given medals in different wine-competitions.
And the determination of these ladies brings every year results that the market and tasters appreciate more and more.
The winemakers touch
The expression of Argyrides Mourvedre is totally different in taste as the French known one, and explains technically the real understanding of the different factors that contribute to the meaning of terroir: grape, soil, climate, soul and the people. One perfect example is their Mourvèdre which won a gold medal at the last National Award. It represents a peculiar unicity, even if it has the potential comparison with the same grape in different countries.
But it is Cyprus that makes the difference. These international grapes are giving completely different results in an area in which the climate is “more” Mediterranean, long and hot summers, and mild winters.
Another example of deep cultural wine is the local Maratheftiko, which, of course, has an immediate comparison with the others produced in the different regions (4 PGE and 5 PDO) but in this case Rebecca´s wine is different. The touch of the winemaker. Intensity, deepness, fresh fruits like pomegranate, mature red berries, elegant tannins, and smooth round acidity that enlarges the pairing opportunities on a very large scale, starting with roasted halloumi..
Argyrides Winery carries a long and proud history.
Under the leadership of the sisters, we all look forward to their exciting future.
Umberto Galli Zugaro
Europäische Sommelier Schule