Zambartas Wineries was founded by Akis Zambartas in 2006. After years in the wine business as Chief Winemaker and Managing Director of one of the biggest wine producers in Cyprus, he decided to follow his dream of establishing his own boutique winery. The pivotal point was the decision of his son, Marcos Zambartas, to quit the corporate world and fly to Australia to become a winemaker.
In 2007 the Zambartas Winery was built in the Krasochoria region in Agios Amvrosios village, on the southern slope of the Troodos Mountains near Limassol.
In 2008, Marcos returned from Australia with a Master in Winemaking from the University of Adelaide and joined his father on the cellar floor. The first years working together in the new winery were a constant quest for finding good quality grapes and creating high quality wines. In the meanwhile we managed to build a brand that people would grow to love.
Since then, Zambartas Wineries has continued to successfully develop both vineyards and winery. Sémillon, Lefkada and Maratheftiko grapes were planted, which turned from humble cuttings to fruit-producing plants. We also acquired old Xynisteri and Mavro vineyards. Our range of 10 wines were awarded with over 50 medals in local and international wine competitions, and our winery received acclaim from well-known wine journalists.
Marcos currently runs the winery together with his wife Marleen and their dedicated team with a lot of passion and enthusiasm. New projects, goals and challenges lay ahead, which we take up with a lot of happiness, knowing that our wines are an integral part of people having a great time together.
Growing up as the son of a winemaker, Marcos was introduced to the wine world from a young age. He first completed his Bachelor and Masters degree in Chemistry at Imperial University London, and worked for a few years in the corporate world before realizing that he wanted to spend his future making wines. He went to the Provence and New Zealand to gain hands-on experience, and continued his journey to Adelaide in order to learn the scientific side of the discipline at Adelaide University, where he gained his Masters Degree in Enology. This life changing adventure was the starting point of an exciting life as a winemaker. Through his international exposure, Marcos acquired the knowledge of the latest practices in modern winemaking and his pioneering and inventive mind is constantly in search for improvement, from the smallest detail in the wine to experimenting with new grape varieties. He simply loves every moment of the creation.
Growing up in the Netherlands, Marleen could have never imagined finding herself at a winery in Cyprus. It all started when she was a university student of history and applied for an exchange program in Australia. She met Marcos there and the rest is history. She embraced a rural lifestyle in Cyprus and immersed herself into the wine world. Being an excellent communicator and admittedly having the most charming smile of the lot, Marleen enthusiastically hosts guests at the winery. She is also responsible for our online activities, the day to day running of the office and taking care of the youngest generation of the Zambartas family. Her secret cooking talent is unveiled when we celebrate the end of the harvest!
Sebastian came into our lives in August 2015 in the middle of the busy harvest season. He cheers everybody at the winery up with his bright smiles and engaging big eyes. He enjoys his walks along the vineyards in Agios Amvrosios, plays with corks and loves to be cuddled by the whole winery team, who all adore him. The youngest Zambartas is growing up fast and before we know daddy will take him into the vineyards. Whoever will visit us at the winery might receive a big welcoming smile from him!
Akis Zambartas, our father and father in law, was the founder of Zambartas Wineries in 2006 and a leading authority on Cyprus wines for many years. After a long career in the wine business, he decided to follow his dream and build his own boutique winery. Within a few years, with enormous energy and passion, he built the winery and established the brand. He remained active until 2014, when the winery and winemaking were taken over by Marcos. We are very grateful for the foundations of the family winery that Akis has laid for us and we will always remember his sheer love and passion for wine and especially the Cyprus grape varieties. Akis made a great contribution to the Cyprus wine history with his project to re-discover Cyprus indigenous grape varieties in years’ long pioneering research. Please read more about this project here
No winery is complete without a dog trotting around. In our case we have two! Gaspar our big black Labrador, has been keeping us company for many years now. Nothing makes him happier than running after a stone, chewing a stone and sleeping with a stone…do not touch his stones! A bit stupid, but nevertheless adored by everybody! His little friend Plonkie we rescued from the street in autumn 2015 on our way to the vineyards. Being underfed, we nourished and groomed him back into a happy little dog. He is a real social beast and loves to lay at everybody’s feet!
Our winemaking philosophy is to create the best possible wine with a real sense of place. It is after all the Cypriot soil and the winemakers that create a unique wine with character. In order to be always at the forefront of quality Cypriot winemaking we have invested over the past years in our winemaking team and vineyards and growers.
Despite being one of the few university educated winemakers in Cyprus, Marcos, and Akis in the past, have always believed in expanding their understanding of winemaking by bringing in knowledgeable people from abroad. One of our first contributors was Angela Muir, Master of Wine and long time family friend. She has kindly offered her 35+ years of experience and supported us from the beginning of our adventure and continues to do so up to today. She helps us with tasting, blending and gives us honest feedback about the progress of the wines. She also introduced us to the concept of the “flying winemaker”. From our first vintage in 2006 onwards we have hosted winemakers from Australia, New Zealand and France that strengthened our team during vintage. They brought not only an assisting hand to Marcos, but also ideas and knowledge from the wineries and universities in their home countries. There were countless summer evenings at the end of a long harvest day, that the winemakers sat down over a glass of wine, exchanging ideas on how to improve the winery flow or create an even better wine.
The primary source of a good wine is the grape and therefore viticulture is the other pillar of our philosophy. Since we started our winery from scratch in 2006, we have slowly invested in land and establishing our own vineyards. We now cultivate our own Xynisteri, Maratheftiko, Lefkada, Semillon and 100 year-old Mavro vines. Along with our own vineyards, of which some are young and thus need time to provide us with good supply, we have established long term relations with dedicated growers in the region. Since 2016, viticulturalist Christodoulos Karaolis strengthened our team. Having grown up among vineyards in his home village near Paphos and educated in viticulture at the university of Thessaloniki, he is now in charge of managing and tending our vineyards.
Angela Muir has spent over 40 years working in the wine industry, starting at a traditional UK wine merchant. Then followed ten years buying in bottle and bulk for a major national wholesaler and retailer from all over the world. She passed her Master of Wine examination and joined the Institute‘s Education committee. In 1988, she started her own company which became a consultancy helping clients both at home and abroad, to make and market wines that people would really enjoy drinking. Her company’s winemaking activities led her to work all over Europe and South America, taking her eventually to Cyprus. Back then she met Akis Zambartas at KEO and a long friendship and affection for the Cypriot wine world evolved.
Each of them made a contribution to Zambartas Wineries and have helped us to become the winery we are today. Some of them had years long experience and led us the way forward in winemaking. Some of them were students relatively new to winemaking and were fast learners and great assistants to Marcos. Each one of them was unique, each one of them had their own views on winemaking. All of them remained lifelong friends. Thank you Rob, Tim, Ian, Alex, Kailash, Bec, Dimple, Ian, Elinor, Manon and Chloe!
Christodoulos was born and raised in a village outside of Paphos and grew up among his family’s vineyards from an early age. He spent his weekends and free time tending the vineyards together with his family. It was only natural for Christodoulos to pursue studying plants and vines in a scientific way. He went to the university of Thessaloniki and gained his masters degree in horticulture, followed by a specialization in Viticulture. After he completed his studies he came back to Cyprus and joined Zambartas early 2016. Christodoulos manages our vineyards, from planning the work to pruning, from planting to plowing. He loves being surrounded by nature and feels at home in the vineyards.
When we first established our winery, the Zambartas team only consisted of the Zambartas family, with the occasional outsourced project and a lot of favours called in from good friends. As the business grew bigger over the years, we soon understood that we could not only rely anymore on the kindness of our friends and so we started to set up a team of dedicated people. We set ourselves the goal of working with people who were excellent in their own field, who could multi task when needed and deal with the unpredictability that is often in the nature of our business.
On top of that we wanted everyone at Zambartas to share our long-term goals and believe in our future nearly as much as we do. Most importantly we were looking for a good mix of people as we passionately believe that the output of a good team is greater than the sum of its parts.
We are very fortunate to have found a solid and hard working fulltime team, as well as a pool of dedicated people from Agios Amvrosios that take up any seasonal work, such as harvesting, sorting and bottling with a positive spirit. What’s even better is that we all like each other’s company, enjoy sharing a good joke and generally have a lot of fun working together.
Christian, ‘Christi’, is the winery’s handyman. He came to Cyprus from Romania in 2009 and started working with us in 2015. He paints, welds, builds and drives the forklift. He is mainly involved with our vineyards and any practical job that needs to be done at the winery. From bottling to cellarwork, from fixing and cleaning machinery to driving the tractor. A right-hand to Marcos and a fun team member to work with!
Alex has been a long term friend and helping hand to Zambartas Wineries. Born and raised in Australia, he got the winemaking bug while already running a successful podiatry practice. He went on to study enology at Adelaide University and started planting vineyards in Tasmania. In Adelaide he met with Marcos and was invited over to Cyprus for a harvest. He had a great experience and developed an affection for the Cyprus grape varieties. He has been coming to Cyprus every year since 2011 to help us out. In 2016 he is planning to make some of his own wine here at Zambartas Wineries and sell it in Australia.
Florin was born and raised in Romania and always liked being outdoors. He came to Cyprus 6 years ago and started working as a gardener. He joined our team in early 2016 and is a real team player. He picks up any job that needs to be done with a positive spirit, from vineyard work like pruning and ploughing to delivering our wines to our customers. He keeps the winery’s garden tidy and healthy and enjoys a good laugh at the end of the day!
Yianna was born and raised in Agios Amvrosios and is a real local to the Krasochoria Region. While being a student of Accountancy at the European University in Nicosia, she worked for a few summers with us during the harvest, sorting grapes and did the occasional bottling work. As she had a good time during her work with us, she joined our team in the office after she graduated from university. She is currently with us on a part time basis, doing our administration and bookkeeping. She will also answer the phone and make sure the office is tidy and organised. She is currently studying to obtain her ACCA degree and we wish her all the best!