Akis Zambartas forever changed the course of Cypriot wine history by rediscovering numerous indigenous grapes and promoting authentic, terroir-driven wines. Today, Akis’ son, Marcos, is at the wheel of this iconic winery, making stunning organic wines of both character and value.
The story of Zambartas wines began with Akis Zambartas, a true legend of modern Cypriot winemaking. Passionate oenologist, talented winemaker and researcher, Akis dedicated his life to rediscovering long-forgotten indigenous grape varieties and pioneering terroir-driven wines in Cyprus.
In the 1970s, after obtaining his degree at the University of Montpellier, Akis became the first islander to have studied oenology at university level. He returned to Cyprus and was set for a successful career at one of the major wineries of the island.
However, Akis saw his calling in finding the true identity of Cyprus’ wines and thus, he embarked on a research project which would change the course of the Cypriot wine history. He spent the next four years traveling across the country, discovering unidentified vines, micro-vinifying and researching. As a result Akis identified and recorded 13 lost Cypriot indigenous grape varieties.
Fast forward to 2006, Akos Zambartas fulfilled his long-term dream. At last, he founded his own boutique winery, with the focus on making quality wine from indigenous varieties.
Two years later his son, Marcos, joined him on his path. Marcos had just returned from Australia with hands-on winemaking experience and a Master degree in Winemaking from the University of Adelaide.
Since then, Zambartas established itself as a pioneering, quality producer. Over the last decade, Zambartas wines has grown to a production of 120.000 bottles a year.
Located just north of Limassol, among the most beautiful sights of Cyprus, today Zambartas winery is run by Marcos Zambartas alongside his wife Marleen. Together, they make “wines of purity and character” as described by Yiannis Karakasis, MW.
From Vines To Wines
Zambartas hold 13 hectares of vineyards, both young and old. The vines are of different ages and are concentrated mostly in the areas of Mandria Village and Agios Nikoloas, between altitudes of 800-1000 metres. In hot climate, higher altitudes are crucial for preserving acidity levels of the grapes. Consequently, Zambartas wines are fresh and well-structured.
In the vineyard, Zambartas strongly believe in a combination of the latest scientific knowledge and maintaining the traditional vineyard landscape.
All vineyards are organically cultivated. The majority of them organically certified and the other part currently undergoing the process of certification. No chemical fertilisers are used and only organically approved sprays are applied.
Moreover, they make a conscious effort to preserve biodiversity of the vineyards and the surrounding area. For example, they restored the traditional stone walls that separate vineyard terraces.
Not only this contributes to the beauty of the fields but also provides much needed shelter for larger reptiles and insects.
Today, the winery team continues the work started by the late Akis Zambartas, promoting the indigenous grapes of the island. Zambartas wines are beautifully pure, fruity and easy to drink. Indeed, each one of their bottles is a brilliant find for the enlightened wine lover.