Agios Leon is named for a Bishop of Catania, Sicily, who was canonized as Saint Leon. The Sicilians who lived in Zakynthos, then under Venetian rule from 1484 το 1797, built a church to honour him. There is also a chapel devoted to him in the village whose bell tower is housed within a windmill!
Discover the story behind an organic certified extra virgin olive oil of proud Zakynthian heritage and superior quality
I came across “To Vouno” at an Athenian food fair where there were, of course, many olive oils being featured. To Vouno impressed me with the authentic enthusiasm of its promoter and I also have an emotional link with the island of Zakynthos where I spent many carefree spring and late summer days, running along tracks on the quiet southern part of the island near the village of Keri. While many Greek oils originate in the Peloponnese, Crete or Northern Greece, few small islands yield olive oil products.
The olive oil mill “To Vouno” was founded in 1971 by five families in Agios Leon, Zakynthos. Having inherited from their ancestors the valuable knowledge of olive oil production, they have never ceased to work closely together but also to innovate in their attempt to obtain the best outcome.
Lambros Margaris, continuing his family and local tradition, uses state of art machines which press the olives at low temperatures ranging from 24 to 27 degrees Celsius.
The brand produces an organic certified extra virgin olive oil of superior quality which has obtained ISO certification.
The mountainous and rocky area in the western part of Zakynthos where Agios Leon is located, favours the natural evolution of the olive tree, making this olive oil stand out for its pure aroma and its unique flavor
The mountainous and rocky area in the western part of Zakynthos where Agios Leon is located, favours the natural evolution of the olive tree, making this olive oil stand out for its pure aroma and its unique flavor.
A local olive tree, five to six centuries old, bears about 1100 olives, which in turn produce approximately 210 kilos of olive oil.
Apart from organic olive oil, the company produces olive oil with zesty orange, lemon and garlic flavouring.
Hailing from a family occupied with agriculture and animal husbandry, after graduating from high school, Lambros continued this tradition.
The family cultivates olives on extensive pieces of land and the mill is situated close to the groves in Agios Leon. The olives are gathered by hand using saws and hooks to help the strenuous process. They are then taken for processing. In the harvesting months of November and December, the mill can work twenty four hours a day.
The organic olive oil as well as the flavoured oils harvested then, are ready by April of the following year.
Lambros genuinely savours his way of life and wants to pass this tradition down to his children. Although olive oil production is a very demanding and physical job, Lambros gets great satisfaction when he tastes his product with its optimal taste.
Lambros Margaris, continuing his family and local tradition, uses state of art machines which press the olives at low temperatures ranging from 24 to 27 degrees Celsius
Agios Leon is a pretty mountain village on the unspoiled west coast of Zakynthos. Olive pressing and the production schedule have changed over the years. Consequently, producers are always anxious about the outcome. It has become faster for sure but the crop is still vulnerable to weather conditions.