Oinofilia met with young, talented, winemaker Iliana Malihin, in her magical, highly elevated mountainous vineyard,situated at Mélambes on Crete, high above the clouds and her one-of-kind winery in July 2021.
We received the first mini-batch of Iliana Malihin’s Cretan terroir-driven portfolio in early 2022, which quickly caught the eyes of many due to their unique expressions - accompanied by distinctly artistic labels – made from the Vidiano, Thrapsathiri & Liatiko grapes.
Iliana Malihin and her vineyard collaborators went through a living nightmare, when 300 acres old pre-phylloxera Vidiano vineyards in Melampes village, South of Rethymno on Crete, went up in flames in the summer of 2022, due to an uncontrollable 4-day-long ravaging wildfire. The consequence of the vast damage of the fire are endless and still being assessed. Many farmers, workers and families are - and continue to - suffer greatly from this loss. It will take years and years, to - hopefully - get back to where they were. Through all this, Iliana Malihin has remained fightingand has managed to collect some funds for therestoration of the historic old vines.
Iliana Malihin’s wines have primarily been sold to our restaurant and wine bar collaborators, but Bar Poldo, in the centre of Copenhagen, has been absolutely fantastic in the promotion of the wonderful Old Vines label.Only private customers who have visited our Chapel shop, have thus so far met Iliana Malihin's wines, due to the small batch we have received – until now (read, February 13, 2023). Finally, five of her stunning labels are fully available both B2B and B2C (from the Chapel and at the webshop). Copy on all wines will come up shortly.
Read the spot-on introduction of Iliana Malihin as a winemaker/winery to keep an eye on in 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.