Zakynthos Winemaker

The People Who Make Zakynthos

Antonis Maroudas is a winemaker from Zakynthos, in the Ionian islands, and he features in a new campaign promoting the island through 'The People who make Zakynthos'.

Antonis Maroudas, Zakynthos winemakerAntonis Maroudas

The campaign is promoted by the travel insurance company, Insure and Go, and is a creative way of telling the story of Zakynthos through some of the amazing people who live there.

The people include Kostandinos Drogittis, who's a diving instructor with Eurodivers; Sylvan Benaksas, project leader at the Archelon Turtle Conservation Trust; and Hanne Mi S. Sauge who owns the Ceramic Art Studio.

Greece Travel Secrets, though, wants to concentrate on the winemaker, Antonis Maroudas.

We've been given the transcript of the interview that Antonis did with the film-makers, which is full of fascinating material about Antonis and his business, not all of which made it into the film. 

So what's the name of the business?

There are different ways that people pronounce the name of the business, Ampelostratis or Ampelostrates – there are always arguments about that with my wife or other friends but at the end it’s where you want to give more emphasis. Ampelo(stratis) – places emphasis on the road and (Ampelos)trates – gives more emphasis on the vines. This word has a compound meaning, It combines the vines, which is our great passion, with the streets and paths we’re crossing with the horses to get to the vineyards.

How long have you had a farm? Is it a family business?

We are running the farm, including the restaurant and other businesses we have for about nine years but the farm itself exists for many years, probably from the era of my father and grandfather.

Antonis Maroudas, Zakynthos winemakerZakynthos Winemaker

Can you tell us a bit more about the traditional farming in the island?

The income of the people here in the island was mainly based on agriculture and not so much from the tourism, as it does today, and that’s because the climate, the temperature and the nature benefit these types of agricultural activities. It is a blessed island and the amazing weather benefits especially the production of olives and olive oil. The olives here are amazing, the raisins, the vines and in the more mountainous areas people used to keep livestock and work on the wheat production.

But after the war of 1940-50 many people left the island so the agricultural business started to flourish again after the 1960s and you can now see many young people working in this sector and be successful.

Vineyards of Antonis Maroudas, Zakynthos winemakerThe Vineyards of Antonis Maroudas

You give tours of your farm. Why did you decide to give tourists a taste of traditional farming?

First of all, this is our passion and it’s what our family was working on for years. Secondly, if you have some many wines, what do you do with them? You can’t really drink them all on your own, you’ll have to make them available for others.

Aside from that, this type of work gives me a great pleasure since I get closer with other people and I get great pleasure when I make them feel happy and content. Our philosophy is to make people feel happy based on a truthful, authentic experience. Whatever we have available in our restaurant, it is growing straight from our garden: the tomatoes, the raisins, the olive oil – everything.

This is how we dispense our products and make ourselves happy – at least I’m happy, the rest might not be!

Wine-tasting at the winery of Antonis Maroudas, Zakynthos winemakerWine-tasting at the Winery

What makes Zakynthian products different from others?

The climate, the geomorphy of the island and the soil are the main factors that benefit the production of these products. More specifically, the high sunlight in conjunction with the high amount of rain (the highest in Greece). It produces excellent products and it’s also worth mentioning that it has one of the greatest flora in the Mediterranean – the biodiversity is also very wide, especially in wild plants and herbs – mainly Crete and Zakynthos have this type of diversity.

The winery of Antonis Maroudas, Zakynthos winemaker

Tell us about your wine, how do you make it, how does it taste?

Zakynthos as we mentioned previously has amazing vineyard products similar to the rest of Greece and in Zante we have recorded from the ancient time around 40-50 local raisin varieties. My father and grandfather, but mainly myself and my children, we looked for most of these varieties in Zakynthos and we have the philosophy to revive and use the vineyard in the best possible way and also get rid of the industrial wine that has intruded our lives.

The wine business is a fantastic working activity and it takes so many different forms – nobody can’t really say that makes the best wine ever because it has a myriad parameters that play role in its production. For example, if you try wine from three different vineyards the wine won’t taste the same – imagine when wine comes from 50 different vineyards due to different environmental conditions and temperatures it will always taste different.

We work hard to produce a good result and we make it happen. In general the new generation experiments a lot and produces very good quality wine. Often times you hear people complain, especially those who lack knowledge that a tsipouro is made out of arbutus, sour cherries or damson fruits. Yes, this usually is how people produce it in North Europe because they don’t have good raw materials.

When you have this incredible raw material, the grape, which gets 13 in the Baume scale and then distil it and get out all the aromas, then there is no reason why you would use arbutus or sour cherries. Based on this process the wine and tsipouro has the best taste and quality. Nature equips you with the best variety of grapes, but you should also be competent enough to carry it out.

The winery of Antonis Maroudas, Zakynthos winemaker

"I love the good wine and food but this alone doesn’t make you happy if you don’t have someone to share it with."

How do you work with your family business and what else do you do here?

The people who work in that business is my family and mainly my wife, who is also a painter and at the same time she is an artist when it comes to cooking. We are working with local products from the island and whatever we cannot produce we buy from other businesses that to our knowledge also sell top quality products. Whenever I get spare time from my business, I like to do various things. I like writing. I also like fishing, and I usually go with my children, and when I have good company I also like to drink wine!

To close, I really want to emphasize that I like the good company and people who have good intentions for a fruitful dialogue, I don’t really mind if they have strong arguments as soon as we both listen to each other’s point of view. I love the good wine and food but this alone doesn’t make you happy if you don’t have someone to share it with.

To find out more about visiting Antonis's farm see:

http://live-zakynthos.com/activity/ampelostrates-farm

https://ecozante.com/ampelostrates

Or phone Antonis on +30 269 504 3718

Where to Stay on Zakynthos

Other Greek wine pages

  • Thessaloniki: City of Gastronomy

    UNESCO has made Thessaloniki a City of Gastronomy, under its Creative Cities network, the only city in Greece to be acknowledged for its unique food and drink.

  • Santorini Wineries

    Visiting Santorini wineries is a popular activity on this Greek island in the Cyclades, whose volcanic soil provides a distinctive terroir.

  • Zakynthos, Zante, in the Ionian Islands of Greece

    Travel advice and information on Zakynthos (Zante) in the Greek Ionian islands, with information on ferries and flights and the best things to do..

  • Zacharioudakis Winery

    Greece Travel Secrets visits the Zacharioudakis Winery near Ancient Gortina in southern Crete, and does a vineyard tour arranged by our guide from Go Crete.

  • Where to Eat in Athens and Piraeus

    If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.

  • What Is Metaxa?

    What is Metaxa? Metaxa is an amber Greek spirit combining brandy made by distilling wine, sweet wine from Samos and a secret recipe of Mediterranean botanicals.

  • What Is Greek Raki?

    Raki is an alcoholic drink made with distilled grapes and anise, and popular in Greece and other Mediterranean countries, including Greece’s neighbour Turkey.

  • Walking on Paxos

    Walking on Paxos is the best way to discover this tiny island south of Corfu in the Ionian Islands, with its wooded hills and terraces of olive trees.

  • Touring the Lyrarakis Winery on Crete

    Greece Travel Secrets tours the Lyrarakis Winery on Crete and learns about Crete grape varieties such as plyto, dafni, vidiano, vilana, mandilari and kotsifali.

  • Tipping in Greece

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to tipping in Greece from two Greece travel experts, including when to tip, what to tip and when not to tip.

  • The Herb Man of Kouses

    Greece Travel Secrets visits the Cretan Botano herbs and spices shop near Matala in southern Crete in search of the herb man of Kouses.

  • The Cretan Diet

    Studies have shown the Cretan Diet as one of the healthiest in the world, involving lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, and moderate amounts of wine.

  • Stilianou Winery near Knossos

    The Stilianou Winery near Knossos on Crete uses only Cretan grape varieties, with every bottle numbered, and aims for quality rather than quantity.

  • Photos of Zakynthos

    Greece Travel Secrets publishes a page of photos of Zakynthos in the Ionian Islands of Greece to perhaps inspire you to visit.

  • Paxos

    Travel advice and information on Paxos near Corfu in the Ionian islands, information on ferries and flights, what to do in Gaios, Lakka and Longos or Loggos.

  • Museum of Samos Wine

    A visit to the Museum of Samos Wine to learn about the muscat grapes that produce the best dessert wines in the world and also the Greek spirit, Metaxa.

  • Manousakis Wine Tasting

    We visit and tour the Manousakis Winery on Crete with a wine-tasting and a chance to buy their tsikoudia, sea salt, olive oil and other goodies.

  • Making Rakomelo on Crete

    Greece Travel Secrets visits Crete and learns about making rakomelo from Jorgos Kourmoulis in Agouseliana.

  • Life as a Waiter on Zakynthos

    Life as a waiter on Zakynthos tells what it was like for travel writer Mike Gerrard to work in a Greek restaurant, the Mantalena in Alykanas.

  • Lefkas

    Travel information about Lefkas in the Ionian Islands in Greece, including ferries and flights and the best things to do beaches, sailing, windsurfing.

  • Kythira, or Kithira or Kithera, in the Ionian islands of Greece

    Travel information about Kythira in the Ionian Islands in Greece, including ferries and flights to Kythira and the best things to do

  • Kefalonia, or Cephalonia, in the Ionian Islands of Greece

    Travel information about Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands in Greece, including ferries and flights to Kefalonia and the best things to do, like visiting Fiskardo

  • Ithaca, or Ithaki or Ithaka, in the Ionian Islands of Greece

    Travel advice on Ithaca (Ithaka or Ithaki) in the Greek Ionian islands, with information on ferries and flights and the best things to do.

  • The Ionian Islands of Greece

    The Greek Ionian Islands are Corfu, Paxos, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Lefkas, Ithaca and Kythira, and some smaller islands too.

  • How to Make Petimezi

    How to make Petimezi, the sweet Cretan syrup made from wine must, is explained to Greece Travel Secrets.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. Nobel Foundation Returns Mycenaean Gold Ring to Greece

    An ancient gold ring dating back to Mycenaean times was recently returned to Greece by Sweden’s Nobel Foundation, according to an announcement of the Greek Culture Ministry. The Mycenaean signet ring…

    Read More

  2. Greece’s Kastellorizo to Host 1st Rock Solid Trail Race in June

    Kastellorizo, one of Greece’s smallest islands located in the Dodecanese, is getting ready to host the 1st Rock Solid island trail race, scheduled to take place during June 11-12.

    Read More

  3. EU: Greece Among Winners of Natura 2000 Awards for Nature Protection

    Greece is among the six winners of the 2022 edition of the Natura 2000 Awards, an event that recognises conservation success stories across the EU and raises awareness on the Natura 2000 protected are…

    Read More

  4. Greece Takes First Step to Create Museum of Underwater Antiquities in Piraeus

    The Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) has handed over under a concession deal a 1934 silo on the port of Piraeus and the surrounding space to the Greek Culture Ministry so that it may be converted into a M…

    Read More

  5. Hydra Travel Writing Classic

    Peel Me a Lotus by Charmian Clift is a Hydra travel writing classic, describing her family’s life on this tiny Greek island near Athens in the 1950s.

    Read More

  6. The Churches of Thessaloniki

    The churches of Thessaloniki are remarkable and include UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, Byzantine masterpieces, and a church dating from the 5th century.

    Read More

  7. Blue Flag: Greece 2nd in the World for its Clean Beaches

    Greece’s beaches are among the world’s cleanest with the region of Halkidiki and the island of Rhodes in the lead this year, according to the 2022 Blue Flag quality award list for beaches, marinas and…

    Read More

  8. Lipsi Municipality Says No to Sunbeds on Island’s Beaches

    The Municipality of Lipsi is saying “no” to sunbeds on the island’s beaches and is encouraging travelers to enjoy eco-conscious summer holidays this year in order to live authentic experiences. “We ar…

    Read More

  9. Ioannina to Launch Food Council to Define its Gastronomic Identity

    The Municipality of Ioannina, the capital of the Region of Epirus, northwestern Greece, has launched action to associate the city’s gastronomy with the destination’s brand-name and identity. “Adding t…

    Read More

  10. Athens National Garden Refurbishment is Underway

    The Athens Municipality recently completed the first phase of a 4.2-million-euro refurbishment project aiming to upgrade the National Garden, one of the Greek capital’s landmark sites. The refurbished…

    Read More