The little hands harvest Kumquats

How to avoid too much of that evil word ‘screen time’. Not so easy these days. We are lucky to be able to walk in the fields around our house without breaking our ‘social distancing’ commitment. We are also lucky to have very friendly neighbours with lots of fruit trees in their garden. The only one left with an abundance of fresh fruit at this time of the year, was the mysterious Kumquat Tree. It produces little oval shaped orange citrus fruit, the perfect size for kids to harvest.

So we put on our little gum boots, washed our hands, took some buckets and started our exercise. The little toddler hands filled up a bucket in no time. And then another one and then another one. We split the harvest with our neighbours, but still it seemed like a Herculean task to use up all that fruit….

Now what to make with all these Kumquats? A little bit of research thaught me that the Kumquat originates in China, but is nowadays also a trademark fruit on the island of Corfu. There they make the famous Corfu liqueur from them. Surely delicious, but hey wine is our speciality 😉

So we settled for a super easy ‘Upside down’ Kumquat cake and preserved Kumquats with (local KEO) Brandy. My little sous chef grabbed a chair to stand on and together we started!

A morning and afternoon spent in harmony with nature and creation. Yet another day gone!

Upside Down Kumquat Cake


For the fruit layer:
3 tablespoons butter (45g), salted or unsalted
135g light brown sugar
Appr. half kilo, sliced into thirds, and seeds removed.

For the cake layer:
115g unsalted butter at room temperature
150gr granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
210g flour (I prefer whole meal)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
125ml whole milk, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 190°C

In a 20-25 cm cast iron skillet or cake pan (not a springform pan), melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Cook, while stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts and bubbles. Set aside and allow to cool while you make the cake batter.

Beat together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk until the batter is smooth. Do not over mix.

Arrange the fruit in the bottom of the skillet or pan, cut side down. If you have two cut sides on a piece, place the largest end facing down. Work from the outside of the pan, creating a tight ring of fruit. Continue until you have covered the bottom of the pan.

Pour the batter on top of the fruit and spread it towards the sides. Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until a wooden pick comes out clean. Allow the pan to cool for 20 minutes.

To flip the cake, place a plate on top of the skillet or pan. Put on your oven mitts just in case some hot juices escape. Flip the cake over and it should pop right out.

(Original recipe:

Preserved Kumquats with brandy

1 kg kumquats
1 kg sugar
1 Liter water
2 Tbs brandy


Use a small sharp knife to cut off the stem of the fruit and slice in 3-4 slices. Take out the pits with the tip of the knife (no need to stress over this, some pits will remain but will come out after the fruit is cooked).

Put sliced fruit, sugar and 8 cups of water in a large pot. Bring to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes until fruit is cooked and looks translucent. Take pot off the heat and leave fruit in the syrup to cool completely. Remove kumquat slices with a slotted spoon and put in sterilized jars with the brandy.

Return pot with syrup on the stove, bring to boil and reduce for about 15 minutes. Cool syrup and pour into the jars until fruit is covered. Close jars and store in the fridge.

Delicious with vanilla ice cream or as topping for cheese cake.

(Original recipe:


We are very excited to have teamed up with Patio Bar- Restaurant in Nicosia for a unique wine dinner on Wednesday 12 June.

Our wines will be paired with flavours of the gastronomical Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavours.

The Head Chef of this superb food and wine pairing dinner, will be Thanos Stasinos, who will come from Greece, especially for this event. Chef Stasinos is best known as the person who introduced Nikkei cuisine to the Greek and the Cypriot restaurant scene. Chef Stasinos is also the consultant chef at Patio, creating its new menu based on the Nikkei cuisine and philosophy.

For this gastronomic wine dinner, he has created some new exciting dishes to match the wines of Zambartas Wineries.

Marcos Zambartas will be present to introduce our wines and Maria Th. Massoura, wine specialist at Vassos Eliades Ltd will guide us through the food and wine pairing process.



Aperitif with Edinburgh Gin Liqueurs


Bun with mackerel, smoked mussels, chili apple marmalade

Zambartas Xynisteri 2018


Gyoza with smoked eel and matcha tea cream

Zambartas Rosé 2018


Veal nigiri estofado

Zambartas Mataro – Yiannoudi 2017


A different take on shieftalia

Zambartas Shiraz-Lefkada 2017


Avocado cream with grapefruit and green apple sorbet

Zambartas Koukouvagia Rosé 2018


The event will begin at 8.30 pm

Price per person: 60 euros

For reservations please call 22 664488. Limited availability.


Nikkei, a Fusion of Japanese and Peruvian Flavours

The climate is changing; Cypriot varieties could be key to sustainable Australian viticulture.

Climate change is here and instead of waiting for the effects to get worse, pro-active scientific research is needed. Alexander Copper, an old classmate of Marcos at the University of Adelaide back in 2008, is currently doing a PhD research at the same university into the suitability of Cypriot grape varieties for Australian viticulture & winemaking. A promising and interesting subject, which will hopefully have a commercial outcome in the future.

It all started when Marcos and Alex met in Adelaide and became friends while doing lab work and sharing a bottle of wine afterwards. In 2010 Alex joined us in Cyprus for a harvest and immediately developed a liking for Cypriot wine and especially the indigenous varieties of Cyprus. He learned about Akis Zambartas groundbreaking research into the indigenous varieties and saw the similarities in climate and weather conditions between Cyprus and South Australia.

Alex returned several times to Cyprus over the years and built his network of contacts in the Cyprus winemaking industry. In 2017 he applied and received a scholarship from the University of Adelaide, Wine Australia and the Australian Government and started his PhD at The University of Adelaide School of Argriculture.

Alex, your research focusses on the suitability of Maratheftiko and Xynisteri for Australian viticulture and winemaking. Climate change plays a big role in the choice for this subject. Can you explain how and why?

Australian wineries have traditionally focused on grape varieties that come from regions such as France and Germany that have high rainfalls and their vineyards do not require irrigation. When these varieties are grown in Australia, they must be irrigated to survive. Cypriot varieties have been grown in vineyards in Cyprus for thousands of years without irrigation, surviving only on rainfall. The Australian and Cypriot climates are very similar with each year becoming hotter and drier. We hope that the drought tolerant Cypriot varieties can perform equally well in Australia with little or no irrigation, therefore reducing the need for valuable water resources to be used for irrigation.

Your first paper, focussing on the commercial potential of Cypriot varieties among Australian consumers has been published in a Scientific Journal LINK. How did Australian consumers judge the Cypriot wines?

Overall the Cypriot wines performed well. An Australian Shiraz, Pinot Gris and unwooded Chardonnay were compared with 5 Xynisteri, 3 Maratheftiko and 1 Giannoudi. The Australians mostly favoured the Australian wines, but the Cypriot wines were very close. Some groups of people preferred the Cypriot wines to the Australian wines. I think the Cypriot varieties have great potential in Australia, especially if they are made in a style that Australians like. Fresh, fruity Xynisteri on a Summers day is perfect and a lightly oaked, slightly aged Maratheftiko would be ideal for an Australian “barbie” BBQ.

The fact that Cypriot varieties are drought and heat resistant is key to your research. You are currently doing a number of measurements and trials with Xynisteri and Maratheftiko vines. Any outcomes yet?

We have 2 years of data investigating the level of stress the plants have during the season comparing French and Cypriot varieties. This year we will collect more of the same data and will also include some “droughting” trials which will tell us how little water we can give the vines before they become stressed. I will be starting this year’s measurements very soon, but the data from 2017 and 2018 shows us that Xynisteri in particular, is much better than French red and white varieties in dealing with hot dry summers.

Xynisteri flowering in May

This summer you will release cuttings of the two varieties from quarantine in Australia. What is next for those humble cuttings? How long will it take before you see a vineyard planted with them?

The cuttings will be released in July and we will prepare them for another trial at the University of Adelaide starting in November 2019. More cuttings will be propagated in 2020 and we hope we can start a vineyard trial in 2021.

Do you see a real commercial potential for Cypriot varieties in Australia? Will we be seeing Xynisteri wines from McLaren Vale in 10 years from now?

That is my goal, the real test is to ensure that consumers like the wine and will buy it. The early consumer trial was promising, and I think with the right marketing and good wine making, the Cypriot varieties can make an impact. Australians like trying new wines, especially the younger consumers. Greek wines are starting to make an impact in Australia, so I hope Cypriot varieties can be the next big thing in Australia. Our trials will help determine the best places for them to grow, but we think that McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley could be good places for the Cypriot varieties as well as some other areas that are not currently big wine growing regions.


Associate Professor of Viticulture at the University of Adelaide,  Casandra Collins and Tony Hoare, viticulturalist at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) will be coming to Cyprus in June to assist Alex in his research and conduct a seminar for the members of the Cypriot wine industry. Alex first paper  will be presented at the Giesco Viticulture Conference in Thassaloniki late June.

His research will continue over the next 2 years and we will keep you posted on the progress.


About Alexander Copper

Alexander Copper is an Australian winemaker and PhD research student at the University of Adelaide. He started studying an Oenology degree part-time in 2001 after moving to a 70 hectare property in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. After graduating in 2010 he relocated to the Huon Valley in Tasmania and started researching less common grape varieties. He has worked in Cyprus as a flying winemaker since 2010. In 2012 he worked at the Staatliche Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Wein- und Obstbau Weinsberg, Baden-Wurtemberg, Germany, before deciding to focus on hot climate grape varieties from Cyprus and Greece in 2016.

Alex and Marcos

Distribution Partnership with Vassos Eliades Ltd.

We would like to announce that our wines are now distributed throughout Cyprus by Vassos Eliades Ltd. We have entered into a longterm partnership, whereby Vassos Eliades Ltd will carry out the distribution and sales of Zambartas Wines to Hotels, Restaurants, Wineshops and other Retailers. 

Vassos Eliades Ltd is one of the biggest trading companies in Cyprus. Its main activities are the importation, sale and distribution of consumer goods through all the trade channels of the market. The range of products distributed is wide, ranging from foodstuffs, wines, spirits and coffees, to luxury watches and  jewellery.

Our wines will be part of  Vassos Eliades Ltd’s respectable wine and spirits’ portfolio, which among others also includes Nico Lazaridi wines, Domaine Papagiannakos, Miraval Provence and Champagne Jacquart.

Vassos Eliades Ltd bears the name of its founder, the late Vassos K. Eliades who founded the company in 1933, after being employed by Nestlé as their representative for the Cyprus market. Vassos Eliades Ltd is today a third generation family owned company, which very much adheres to the same family and business values as Zambartas Wineries.

Vassos Eliades Ltd. also offers a ‘Home& Office Service’, which takes care of private orders and can deliver our wines at your doorstep. For orders and information, please contact: Anna Constantinou – Tel: 97 850 000

Our Corporate Christmas Gift Catalogue 2017

Zambartas Wineries has the full range of wines available for Corporate Christmas Gifts. We offer different size and type of packaging and can deliver the wines within 3 working days to your premises.

We invite you to have a look at our catalogue for more information and different options: Corporate Gifts Zambartas Wineries 2017 – Christmas

Please contact us at 25 94 24 24 or [email protected]


Schweizer Illustrierte – ‘Zypern Trend und Tradition’

We were included in a travel story published by well known Swiss Newspaper ‘Schweizer Illustrierte’  together with TUI Travel group.

A lovely article showing Cyprus’ true nature and tradition as well as its modern vibe!

PDF in German:Schweisser Illustrierte & TUI – Travel story

Jancis Robinson – ‘The Cyprus Wine Revolution’

Jancis Robinson – ‘The Cyprus Wine Revolution’

Article with tasting notes and rates by Jancis Robinson, including our wines, following a tasting in London.

Access in PDF here:Jancis Robinson Tasting London

Or on (member access only)

A winemaker’s wife – A little cosmopolitan oasis in the hills of Cyprus

Sometimes people ask me: ‘Is it not boring to live in a small village in Cyprus as a young and dynamic  person? Doesn’t your world become so small?’

I am very happy that I can give them a fully convinced “NO” for an answer.

The truth is, at first I did not expect to find a lot of excitement in a rural life and being away from the city. I was afraid to miss out on the excitement and thrill that the city brings.

However, I soon realised that the winery has one magic attribute; it is a magnet for people from all over the world. And not just people, people with an interest in wine, food, culture and usually with a very open mind. They come to visit us to taste our wines at first, but after a few glasses of wine people tend to open up, and numerous times we ended up discussing culture, experiences, and life in general.

We’ve had visits from all corners of the world, from the Malaysian family here on holidays, to the American business man working in the Middle East. From the Mallorcan winemaker  to the Italian couple running a B&B in Tuscany. From the young  Russian friends to the Swedish travelagent. From the Brazilian winelover to the English Lord.

One day an Iranian family arrived by taxi from their hotel. A young couple with two gorgeous children, enjoying a small holiday in Cyprus. I soon found out that they came for something more than just a tasting. They turned out to be from the Shiraz region in Iran and secretly producing their own wine in the basement. However they had a problem with the colour of their wine and came to ask for professional advice. The surprising thing was that the wife was the one speaking English fluently and in charge of the wine production. My secretly feminist heart made a little jump and we tried to help her as much as we could.

Or the day that we hosted a crew of 12 Norwegian sailors, stationed in the Eastern Med escorting away Chemical Weapons from Syria. Not only did we have a good time (they were thrilled to be off the boat and drink wine), we also learned about their work and the mission. A few months later, once the mission finished we received a picture from one of the sailors; a bottle of our Rose in the snow somewhere in the north of Norway.

I could go one and describe you the fantastic encounters we had; with the young American girl that determinately told me that when she grows up she will become the president of the United States, or the kind composer that send us 2 CD’s of his music for Cirque du Soleil by post. They actually all deserve a blog of their own.

Marcos had told me when we just met:  ‘The wine world is a exciting world, you will meet a lot of fun, interesting, eccentric and big-hearted people’. This turned out to be so true. I am grateful for meeting each one of them, as they all taught me something valuable about life, from the smallest thing to some big ideas.

I thank them all for bringing ‘the world’ to us in little Agios Amvrosios.


A winemaker’s wife

Gastronomos Award for our Xynisteri Single Vineyard – Kathimerini Newspaper

Our Xynisteri Single Vineyard 2015 got awarded as the ‘best Xynisteri of 2016’ by Gastronomos Magazine of Kathimerini Newspaper, during an evening dedicated to Cypriot quality food and drinks  early December 2016. It was an honour to be awarded this title and to be choosen from the many good Xynisteri’s available on the island. An encouraging recogniton to continue our focus on our indigenous variety Xynisteri!

Please read the article here in Greek, and watch the video, it is worth it!