A slight breeze accompanied the rhythmic chatter of the wine bottling machine as we sat in the spring morning sunshine on the deck of the Tsangarides Winery. This family owned winery is in the village of Lemona at the south end of the Troodos Mountains and about half an hour from Paphos. Angelos Tsangarides offered us our favourite Cyprus coffee, Metrios with its usual glass of water, as we joined him to chat and catch up winery news.
Over the past few years we’ve had the good fortune to meet Angelos and his sister Loukia who both run this boutique winery started by their great, great grandfather. We were introduced to them by a retired businessman friend who lives in the village. A few years ago he bought a couple of parcels of land with old Cabernet Sauvignon vines which are now being brought into production by the Tsangarides Winery. We have visited these parcels of vines situated in a silent sun drenched valley near the village. Since then, these rejuvenated vines have been joined by recently planted Xinisterii vines also being nurtured in the same way.
On a previous visit with our friend, we had the opportunity to taste the Tsangarides suite of wines which were offered with a plate of local feta cheese on top of slices of cool cucumber, a delightfully fresh combination of flavours to cleanse the palate between tastings. The Xinisteri Dry White is a particlar favourite and it won a silver medal in the 2012 Cyprus wine competition. Xinisteri (sometimes spelt Ynisteri) is a local Cyprus grape which can produce mouth-wateringly crisp and fruity wine with hints of green apple, apricot and lemon. Agios Efrem, a red wine, is another favourite with a combination of berries, coffee and pepper aromas. This is a blend of Mataro, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
On this day, as we sip our Metrios, the conversation turns to the innovative approaches being taken by the Tsangarides winery. Their aim is to produce ever higher quality wines through modernization, greater efficiencies, certified organic wine making approaches and the use of ancient Cyprus local grapes with international grape varieties. This integration of the winery legacy with new approaches is a particular interest of the Tsangarides family. These approaches seem to be the way forward in an increasingly competitive and global industry.
It feels invigorating to sit outside in the warm February sunshine taking in the sights and sounds of the village and the winery and hear the enthusiasm of Angelos as he talks about their business. We enjoy the view of palm and olive trees surrounding the winery with the Troodos mountains in the distance. The almond tree opposite the entrance is in full pink splendour. Our visit provided an interesting and enjoyable insight into contemporary wine making in Cyprus.