Stelios Zacharioudakis grew up in Crete between olive groves and vineyards. At the point where the Psiloritis mountain range rises over 2,400 m above sea level from the plain of Messará in the south, dividing the island climatically into a northern and southern half, lies the picturesque mountain village of Plouti. It must have been the breathtaking view of the fertile plain from his village that prompted Stelios to always look further than the usual. This also impelled him to go to France for his studies, where later, as a journalist, he became familiar with the wine-growing culture there. He realised that this could only be transferred to his home country if he cultivated old, autochthonous varieties adapted to the location and then vinified them according to the most modern oenological methods.
So, he decided to make his lifelong dream come true and, together with his wife Victoria, began to plant the rocky hill “Orthí Pétra” (= “upright stone”), which served as a quarry in ancient times, with grape varieties that had become rare. The unique mineral terrain is far from conventional cultivation areas, embedded in an overwhelming nature with an exceptional microclimate. Unique aromas make his wines a Cretan composition in which millennia are reflected. His love and enthusiasm have meanwhile been passed on to his four sons, Andréas, Manólis, Nikólas and Aléxandros, all of whom are actively involved in the business.
Zacharioudakis Winery became certified according to the Biocyclic Vegan Standard in 2022.