Ambelonas Corfu is a family business on a hilltop with a panoramic view of Central Corfu. The estate combines a permanent exhibition of tools and agricultural equipment that were traditionally used in the production of oil and wine, a vineyard planted with local grape varieties, an expanse of natural wild vegetation, as well as an attractive, adaptable space for entertainment and artistic events.
A huge fire in 1999, which destroyed a large part of the area, provided the incentive to redesign the estate in its current form on land belonging to the noble Ventura family since 1600, when they arrived on the island from Venice.
The dominant presence at Ambelonas Corfu is Vasiliki Karounou, who is not Corfiot at all. With origins from Mystra in Lakonia, she came to Corfu and worked as civil servant/researcher when, 20 years ago, she decided that Athens no longer suited her.
Seeking employment outside of Athens, she found herself in Corfu, where she initially worked as an IT consultant. But a love for the island began to develop within her, along with the desire to do something to promote its rich and multifaceted gastronomic traditions. In 2008, Vasiliki set up a small business called Acordo Specialty foods, Artisan + Natural, preparing a wide range of original products based on forgotten recipes but infusing them with contemporary concepts of sound nutrition. Her book, Corfiot Cuisine, In Search of the Origins (2014) is a paean to the gastronomic wealth of Corfu, its traditional products and of course to the recipes that originated from the island’s long and convoluted history.
Vasiliki, turning her hobby into a career, takes great pleasure in cooking age-old recipes using modern techniques and twists. Today Ambelonas Corfu possesses an à la carte restaurant which is open three days a week, hosts events and receptions, but also offers tours, workshops in traditional cooking, tasting of the unlabeled wines from their vineyards, and sampling of the Acordo products, some of which have won Gourmet awards, such as lavender jelly, sun-dried tomato pate with kumquats, wild blueberry jelly, and chutneys with kiwis, prickly pears and kumquats.