Let the Sunshine In
Domaine Sigalas, Christiana Vardakou and Opera Tables
My dream during this last long winter was of a sun-soaked summer with a long table, partly shaded but also dappled with sunlight.
A Magic Cabinet has set this table with casually elegant linen napkins designed by Christiana Vardakou and the latest Greek tsipouro, produced by the Sigalas winery, perfectly chilled to accompany sumptuous mezedes on a hot afternoon. Because the eyes must also have their own feast, we have included George Davlas’s copious tome, Opera Tables, for post prandial browsing.
Domaine Sigalas is located on the vertically dramatic island of Santorini, in an idyllic site called Baxes, near the town of Oia. It offers an excellent variety of wines and distillations, which are all the result of the inspiration of its founder, Paris Sigalas.
It was founded in 1991, when they bottled their first Protected Designation of Origin wine of Santorini. Since then, the company has introduced a plethora of wines, based on Santorini’s grape varieties, such as the Assyrtico, the Mavrotragano and the Aidani.
Additionally, Domaine Sigalas has become one of the most prominent exporters of Greek wines worldwide and has been a pioneer in innovation, always combining scientific knowledge and respect for tradition.
The island of Santorini has a 3,000 year tradition of winemaking. The utterly unique volcanic soil of Santorini protects the vineyards from a great number of grape diseases, and mainly against a potential Phylloxera epidemic. Therefore, no insecticide or chemical fertilizers are required for its cultivation, which renders Santorini’s vineyards entirely environmentally friendly.
Christiana Vardakou is a textile designer who creates handmade textiles for clothes, accessories and interior spaces. She actively promotes the movement of Slow Design and sustainability using 100% organic materials.
Christiana knew from a young age that she wanted to study art. She grew up in a family where both of her parents drew, her mother as a hobby and her father professionally, as an architect.
She moved to London and studied Textile Design in the Chelsea College of Art thus finding a way to combine her love for painting, fashion and interior design.
After her studies she travelled for four months through Northeast Asia, as she wanted to explore and learn about traditional techniques for textiles, natural dyeing, batik and embroidery.
In Thailand, she visited a small textile workshop where five women worked together, and visitors were welcome. It was there that she realized that she could create a similar environment in Greece, where guests could witness all the stages of textile creation.
Her workshop is located in Neo Psychiko, in Athens, where she also teaches natural dyeing techniques and batik work.
She finds inspiration in Greek nature, which she incorporates into her work. She often tries to capture in her designs the colours and contours of the Aegean and the shape and movement of wild flowers.
Together with the fashion designer, Maria Giannakoulia and costume designer, Matilda Pisante, she is collaborating on a new summer collection for 2022.
Opera Table, by George Davlas
George Davlas is the founder of one the leading PR agencies in Athens and the author of this unique book, called “Opera Tables” in which he combines his passion for classical music with his appreciation of the Art de la Table.
Each chapter of Opera Tables, handles the theme and story from a famous opera and transposes it into a table, creating spectacular decorations.
For the creation of his book, he travelled to thirty-three countries, in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, in order to capture the various decorative concepts he had in his mind.
For example, in order to create the table setting based on Pagliacci by Leoncavallo, he used the interior of a circus, while for the one on Carmen, he utilized a breath-taking villa interior in Spain.
George Davlas writes about opera with passion, disclosing his knowledge and his devotion to the genre. He proposes discography, discusses different versions and his favourite performers.
The book manages to transcend the format of the typical coffee table book and offers an experience that guides us all around the world, through music and opera and proposes a new way to perceive Art de la Table, not only as a decorative element but as a story also.