On the Greek Island of Zakynthos (Zante), I was intrigued to find that there are some serious wine makers, who are producing excellent quality wines. At the Oenolpi winery, I met Timotheos and Christina-Maria, a young couple who have started a boutique winery, mixing local grapes with mainstream varieties to produce extremely drinkable and fresh wines.
Timotheos told me how his family had bought the estate in the 1960s when the wealthy families on Zakynthos were hit by the shortage of labour after the terrible earthquake of 1953, when so many Zakynthian families migrated abroad in search of a better life.
As well as the existing local grape varieties and mainstream varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, the estate also includes olive trees and Korinthian grapes for raisins. In order to build up the family business, Timotheos studied winemaking in Athens where he met Christina-Maria, who was also studying Oenology. They have build a spelendid new winery at Macherado in the centre of the island, with a reception area for wine tastings and also have a shop in Zante town. Although much of their production goes to the carafes of wine that you’ll be served in the Greek restaurants, they are also focusing on making some top quality wines in the modern style, designed to be drunk young.
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