John Zahoudanis was born and raised in a small village in Greece at the base of historic Mt. Olympus. His family has a long tradition in agriculture and for generations they tended a small patch of vines and made wine each year. Sadly, when John was a boy, the family farm was devastated by the dual tragedies of World War II and the Greek Civil War. Like many families of the time, John’s father relocated the entire family to the USA in search of greater opportunities. John spent the remainder of his childhood in Colorado and later moved to New York to attend NYU. A successful career in commercial real estate followed, but he never forgot the experience of the vineyards.
During this time, John met and married a charming Southern belle from Charleston named Sandra Zahoudanis. The couple moved west to raise their children, spending many years in the Los Angeles area. They continued to develop their passion for wine with frequent trips to the Napa Valley and the classic winegrowing regions of France. Building upon a long-held dream, they began their search for the perfect winegrowing property in these established regions. The desire to remain close to their children, who were based in Los Angeles, led them to investigate the burgeoning wine culture of Santa Barbara County. It was in the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley that John and Sandra located the perfect property. Reminiscent of John’s childhood home, the Demetria Estate evokes a unique Mediterranean feel and is ideally situated for growing the very best grapes. John and Sandra currently live on the property and are hands-on in the venture.