From my (Bojan's) perspective, it could be added that strong winds which blow at least during the entire summer, also give special character to vines on Syros.
“Our winery is tiny, it’s very small, but it’s well designed … So the flow is very simple. This is a really important part of designing a winery, in terms of long-term planning. All the systems are ready in case of increased production. For now We’re working on producing quality. My concern is that if we start making too much wine, we’re going to get very stressed about selling it, sending it, people paying for it, etc. All of these problems. If we produce small amounts, 12,000–15.000 bottles, we can really concentrate on making really top quality wine. And i’m not going to be really stressed all the time about problems with the weather, farmers, water. Once it gets too big, you get to the stage where you’re not really enjoying making wine. So our idea is to keep it small, and enjoy the process.
The reason why Edward is doing all of this is “the love of wine, we’re enjoying what we’re doing …" They set up their business while still living in Athens, for a year, and then moved to Syros and got everything moving: “It’s been a three-year project. We started producing wine two years ago. We got grapes from Syros and from the mainland, Athens, and we made wine in the winery in Athens, and then created our own label, our own brand. In the first year, we made 6,500 bottles of wine from the grapes that we had bought all around, and we sold out. The second year, we made 1,500 bottles of Serfiotiko, grown within vineyards surrounding the winery. "Single variety – single vineyard". The 2018 Vintage sees the 3 year project complete with us producing wines within our own winery, again from Serifiotiko grapes grown on Syros, and a Rose made with Cycladic Organic Grapes grown on Naxos.
We’re not getting into this to make lots of money, we are getting into this really for the way of life … It’s an honest way of life, which I like. And the cycles; everything is cyclical. One day, I might be in the winery tasting the rose, getting ready to bottle the rose, and then an hour later, we might be in the vineyard, thinking three years ahead, or we might be tasting red in the barrel, which is to be bottled and was made 18 months or two years ago. Everything is sort of moving forward, and every day is a little bit different, which is fun.
“The idea of organic farming is to work extremely hard so that we don’t screw up the natural environment. In some methods of farming, there’s lot of spraying, pesticides, lots of things that go on the plants … Here, we keep it to a minimum ....if and when needed. The number of times we do that depends on how many times it rains. This year, it might just be once.”
“I trust my own taste and my own judgement. I’ve always said there’s a reason I’m having my own winery and doing my own project. There’s no point for me in going to work with somebody unless I can do it my way, trust my vision and go where I want to. And we’re doing that now. We’re not taking any shortcuts.”
In every step of what we’re doing, everything is connected. We don’t spray in the evenings because of the bees, and the bees are pollinating the vines, the olives, and it’s all connected. I think it’s taken us a long time to get to here. I always knew I wanted to do this, it was just about how to create something that we could create some money from it and live simply and happily.
Eileen loves “everything that has to do with time and traces, leaving traces in places”. She makes interventions in nature, but in the way that they “wear out” … “I don’t feel the need and I don’t think anything needs to stay for long.”
In every single workshop, we create a "group piece, an artwork, which for me is like my art …"
"While doing it, I realize it is not only me doing it, it’s trying to put people together and create something together.” When working with people, “you learn so much … And honestly, the finished piece is nothing to me ... The most important thing is the process of doing it.” And “it’s not about the final piece, it’s about giving the sense to everyone that what they have achieved was important.”