“The only occupation of the Omodos people was the cultivation of the vineyard and everything revolves around the juice of the vineyard.”

Georgios Vassiliades, a proud son of Omodos, with these simple words condenses and transmits the essence of the viticultural course of an entire village. Omodos, a land to which nature is generously endowed, is in the lush green mountain slopes, and has been watered for centuries with the sweat of its ambitious, hard working inhabitants to become a place interweaved to the blessed vineyard.

Cultivation of the vineyard has long been a primary concern of the Omodos’ people and their main source of livelihood, too. Everything – life, work and collective care – followed the rhythm of nature, the cycle of the seasons and the corresponding evolution of the vineyard. Lives intertwined and interconnected; vineyards and man walked hand in hand in Omodos, a place that has always given meaning to the wine tradition of our island.

Fertile Omodos enjoys an abundance of vineyards that spread their roots in the dry soils of the region, enjoying the mountainous sun of the Mediterranean. In this rare microclimate, the personality of wine begins to already develop from the tree and bears its seal. But beyond that, the vine grower is the one who plays a decisive role in the success of the harvest, since cultivation implies a relationship and a relationship means an exchange of feelings.

The strongest ally of Omodos’ vineyards has always been the hard working and progressive inhabitants, who tied their heels to the soil of the vineyards and diligently watered the vine trees, waiting to see them come to in every harvest season. At the end of each summer, the vineyard, full of the daily care given to it, reciprocates with fruit – sometimes golden green and sometimes purple – the devotion of its growers, generously giving them the blessed grape and, later, wine.

In this long-standing wine tradition of the place, Georgios Vassiliades, a viticulturist with a kind soul and exemplary consistency, came to mature next to his vineyards. Inheriting a vast viticultural heritage, with expanded wine horizons and endless taste, he cultivated the mother land that he proudly inherited from his ancestors. A man from a human being different than that of today; hardworking, humble and patriotic, he cared about the progress of the village and the progress of the area.

The course of man and vineyard is parallel: “We were working in the vineyards and little by little we grew up”, says Georgios Vassiliades with honesty. Fermented with the wisdom and maturity of dealing with the land, he matched his life with the euphoria of the vineyard, walked beside it and raised a whole family from it. Nurturer and Mother nature transfused all the aesthetic values that characterise her to the hard working viticulturist of Omodos, who was educated to distinguish and experience the aesthetically beautiful, thus giving superior quality in his life.

During the first years of his wine course, having the momentum of youth, he became impatient with the cultivation of the vineyard. As a teenager, he longed to reap all the art of wine at once. But soon, young Georgios realised that the rhythm of nature is not determined by man. Thus, impatience did not take long to alternate with composure, and enthusiasm with stoicism. The vine grower, educated by the wisdom of nature, transformed into a true child of the earth who raised him and developed the virtues of patience and hard work, essential ingredients in the relationship of the vine grower with his vineyard. A dynamic and reciprocal relationship – almost erotic – where the vine thirsts to receive the care it deserves from man who learns to respect and tame it.

Georgios Vassiliades bends down silently, pruning the vine and eagerly awaiting the desired result. Wherever he stops, he turns his gaze to his favourite village, where the bell tower of the Monastery of the Cross stands. There, the man of the Omodos places his hopes, prays to the Holy Cross to bless his vineyard and to reap his harvest. At sunset, he wipes the sweat on his forehead with the tip of his palm and waits. God gives him optimism and hope that he will continue to fight for his difficult, but blessed wine-making work.

In the end, the bare branches of the vineyards are filled with heavy ripe bunches among dense, golden-green foliage and the heart of the vine grower is filled with emotions. The now grown grape is the coveted fruit of his efforts. Grape by grape, cluster by cluster, wish, anticipation and longing. An infallible indicator of the beauty of a society, the vineyard magnifies and rewards the people of Omodos with a rich harvest of fine wine; the happy ending of long-term patience, perseverance, hard work and wishes. Georgios Vassiliades, with God, family and the gifted land as his allies, crosses his chest and rests, enjoying the denatured sweet drink of his grapes, the beloved wine of Omodos.

The love, care and respect with which Georgios Vassiliades cultivated his vineyard, is an enviable example of man’s connection to his native land and, at the same time, downplays the excess desire and consistency of the entire vineyard community of Omodos. Today, technology may limit peoples’ efforts, but it has taken away the dedication of the simple farmer to his land, the joy of the harvest, the sweet traditions and the grandeur of the authenticity that the ancient times hid.