ΚΕΟ’s vision for the Mallia project was: To put Cyprus back on the global wine map.
Numerous reports and historical documentation talked about Cyprus wines; their fame and reputation through the ages, the unique characteristics of the Cyprus vineyard, the Cypriots’ special bond with vineyards and wine… Cyprus winemaking was threatened with extinction. Be it the various conquerors of the island, the troubled and unstable political situation and mainly the lack of imagination and direction of our wine producers.
This project started in the early 80’s aiming at the discovery, preservation and revinification of ancient and indigenous Cyprus varieties that where mentioned in scripts dating back to the middle ages. It was an immense effort to safeguard the Cyprus vineyard. KEO replanted those indigenous grape varieties. One of these, very well known varieties, is “Maratheftiko”. KEO is proud to say that it was during this research project this variety was brought back to life.
Well aware of the problems and weaknesses of vine cultivation in Cyprus, the lack of imagination and the scientific administration of the vineyard, and having studied foreign vine cultivation (traditional and new), KEO designed the Mallia project. Having secured sufficient land and all necessary quality factors in Mallia, KEO planted local and foreign grape varieties in the area.
In the meantime the company refurbished the installations and buildings of the historic winery in Mallia, which dates back to 1927, respecting and preserving its architecture and tradition. The Mallia winery is a one of a kind specimen of a beginning of the century industrial architecture. KEO equipped the winery with a of state of the art vinification machinery in order to utilise the quality of vineyards yield and exploit it to the maximum. Mallia winery is a workshop for quality wine research. It can be seen as our payback to Cyprus winemaking tradition. Additionally, KEO introduced automated vintage, a breakthrough in grape picking for Cyprus.
All the winemaking parameters for the creation of high quality wines that meet the consumer’s demands; can be found in Mallia. The wines that were named after the estate, soon became the flagship of KEO’s wine range and immediately achieved commercial success. Pioneering a new generation of premium Cyprus wines, internationally known classic varietals and rare indigenous grape types were blend to produce the KTHMA KEO wines which according to European Union directives, are categorised as Limassol Regional Wines.