Oinofilia met young, talented, winemaker Iliana Malihin, in her magical highly elevated mountainous vineyard setting at Mélambes on Crete high above the clouds and her one-of-kind winery in July 2021.
We received a first little mini batch of Iliana Malihin’s Cretan terroir-driving portfolio early 2022, which quickly turned many eyes due to their unique expressions (accompanied by distinct artistic labels) on the Vidiano, Thrapsathiri & Liatiko grapes, primarily sold to our restaurant and wine bar collaborators, whereas Bar Poldo in the center of Copenhagen has been absolutely fantastic in promoting the wonderful Old Vines label.
Iliana Malihin and her vineyard collaborators went through a living nightmare when 300 acres old prephylloxera Vidiano vineyards of Melampes village, South of Rethymno on Crete, went up in flames due to an uncontrollable 4 day long ravaging wildfire, last summer. The consequence of the vast damage of the fire are endless.
Many farmers, workers, families are (and will be) suffering greatly from this loss. It will take years and years, to (hopefully) get back at where they were…Though Iliana Malihin is fighting strong and have managed to collect some funds for rebulding the historic old vines.
Only B2C clients visited our Chapel shop have met Iliana Malihin's wines till now, as we didn't receive too many wines to to start with. Two labels are now active on the webshop (Jan, 2023). We hope again to have stock of her wonderful Cretan wines the very first part of 2023.
Read the spot-on introduction of Iliana Malihin as a winemaker / winery to watch for 2021 at the American Wines & Spirits Magazine:
"Just a few years ago, Iliana Malihin was at university in Athens, researching vidiano, the white-wine grape of her ancestral home island of Crete. Now, not yet 30, she’s turning out some of the island’s best versions. She works in Rethymno, a rugged, windy area halfway between Iraklion and Chania that once boasted 170 acres of vines, but has since retreated to 25. She’s gained access to nearly half of those remaining parcels, some more than a century old, and farms everything organically. Working with stainless steel and ambient yeasts, she’s producing wines that feel as wild as the land they come from, with notes of fennel and sea salt, sun-baked fruit and stone. N.B.: for releases following this inaugural vintage, the winery will appear on labels as Iliana Malihin." — Editor-in-chief, Tara Q. Thomas.