While prepping for our Cyprus visit we kept hearing that the “new wines” of Cyprus were judged as “ﬁrst class,” a departure from the reports of even 5 years ago. So, we were intent on investigating, and got very, very lucky. One of our friends-who-knows-all-about Cyprus — Miranda at the glorious Aphrodite Hills Hotel — suggested we visit the Zambartas winery, in the heights above Limassol. So oﬀ we went along the narrow countryside roads, the sky a deep azure blue as it had been every day, arriving on a Saturday morning to meet Akis and Marcos Zambartas, father and son, and partners in the three year old winery. Akis, the father, is a chemist and former CEO of KEO, the beer and juice company that Cyprus is known for. His son, Marcos, has just graduated from viticulture school at the University of Adelaide, returning to Cyprus to work with his father.
Gracious almost to a fault, they brought out some of their line of wines (a Semillon and Shiraz-Lefkada), and treated us to a tasting, along with a large meze platter. We were impressed. We were also impressed by their stylish and practical packaging, their humor (the tanks are named after relatives), and the real sense that they really enjoyed what they are doing. It was one of those “pinch-me” moments! One about a Cypriot wine connection: Dun claims not to be surprised — he was fascinated that the English King Richard the Lion-Hearted married Berengaria, daughter of Sancho VI, King of Navarre at his still-standing castle in Cyprus in May 1191. He is sure that they did not toast each other at their wedding banquet with plonk! — Sara & Dun