Historical data


Jean Palerne, French Traveler

"Plenty of good wines, Corinthian raisin, lemons and oranges, figs, pomegranates, dates and prickly pears. The harbor is full of ships."


William Lithgow, English traveler

"Zakynthos produces grapes, olives, pomegranates, lemons, oranges and melons."
The prosperity of Zakynthos because of the raisin trade impresses him. He calculates the value of exports at 160,000 gold zechini. For customs duties only 22,000 piastres were paid annually.
1 zechin = 9 English Shillings
1 piastra = 6 English Shillings


Sandys, English traveler

"The island produces the best oil in the world and strong wines, known as Robola. But the main product is raisins. An important trade is done mainly with England and Holland. ... each year 48,000 talira are paid to Venice in duties and taxes. A unique phenomenon, such a small piece of land to offer such wealth."


Sebastiani, Bishop of Hierapolis

"There are plenty of grapes on the island: 30 ships can be loaded. The place also produces oil and excellent wines, especially Muscat and Robola."


Spon, French physician

Describes Zakynthos as earthly Paradise and cites evidence about the raisin which is the main product of the island. He calculates the raisin production as being 4,000,000 peza and the wine production for local consumption as being 10,000 barrels. Foreign traders buy raisins for 2 talira a pezo and sell it for 24. Producers dry them for eight days and then transfer them to storage. The raisins that are destined for export are placed in barrels where the workers tread on them so that they take in less space. The peaches of Zakynthos are also impressive: they weigh 15 to 16 ounces each.
An English captain who arrived in Zakynthos in 1735 notes in his diary that each year 7 or 8 English ships were loaded with raisins.


Saint – Sauveur, French traveler

The annual production of raisin in Zakynthos ranged between 9 to 10 million liters and the price did not exceed 10 zechini a thousand (110 liters). All expenses were incurred by the purchaser. So the price reached 20 zechini the thousand. The oil was the second, after the raisin export product of the island. 70,000 liters were exported, but exclusively to Venice.


Sibthorp, English naturalist

Olives of Zakynthos: tragolia, koronaki, lemonolia, karydolia, stravolia, mothonaki, matoulia.


Ειδικός απεσταλμένος του Βοναπάρτη Charles Rulhiere

The agricultural production of Zakynthos, is limited to oil, raisins and wine. Unlike Corfiots, the Zakynthians gather the olives as soon as they ripen. And because the oil mills on the island are few, the olive producers, while waiting for their turn, cover the olives with salt to preserve them. This explains the salty taste that Zakynthian oil usually has.

References to Zakynthian Win

Miles Lambert – Gócs, Author