A few weeks ago I visited the Vinea Ardua winery in the village of Farmakas at the invitation of the winery and learned from the project’s visionary and winemaker Evangelos Bakalexis his philosophy for Vinea Ardua wines.
Vinea Ardua believes that the terroir of the vineyard and the people who work in it are the keys to producing quality wine, so they only use grapes harvested from their vineyards or vineyards managed by the winery.
I learned several things about the area and its vineyards by touring the vineyards. The winery has several vineyards scattered around the village. The youngest may reach the age of 100, in cup-shaped (kouzoupes) and with varieties Black and about 10% Xynisteri. At high altitude, on average 1200 meters, and with very large slopes reaching 60 degrees, they have ideal conditions for growing grapes, as there is low rainfall, a spring that keeps the vines alive, hot summers that promote fruit ripening, and cool autumns that keep the grapes good acidity.
To harvest grapes with more mature and concentrated flavors, the winery has adopted a series of measures to optimize the vineyard and control yield, such as spreading, leaf thinning, special pruning, branch position correction, and other corrections to centuries-old vines.
Evangelos pursues an ideal. To achieve a wine that is a true reflection of his terroir. A beautiful idea close to artistic intention. Achieving this vision requires sensitively adjusting the way terroir is grown.
In the winery now, apart from the tanks and barrels, a radically different way is followed. The way of fermentation with native yeasts in traditional clay amphorae (jars). A technique that very few winemakers apply in Cyprus. Some jars in the winery are almost 200 years old. Lined up linearly, they give the winery’s cellar an old Romanesque note of another era. The role of the barrel is very discreet at the stage of maturation with old oak barrels so that the aroma of wood does not mask the expression of terroir and grape.
The winery produces 3 labels.
ETEON – Xynisteri variety (dry)
50% ferments with the native yeasts in traditional clay amphorae (jars) while the remaining 50% is in a stainless steel tank. Maturation in old oak barrels for 3 months and then in a stainless steel tank for an additional 5 months. Small sulfation bottling. It is bottled with gentle filtration without solder and stabilization.
AEPYS – Variety Black (Dry)
Fermentation with native yeasts in stainless steel tank. Long extraction of 30 days. Maturation in old oak barrels for 8 months. Small sulfation bottling. It is bottled with gentle filtration without solder and stabilization.
AEONEO – Variety Black (Dry)
Fermentation with native yeasts in traditional clay amphorae (jars). Long extraction of 30 days. Maturation in old oak barrels for 8 months. Small sulfation bottling. It is bottled unfiltered without sizing and stabilization.