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SOS: Help save the Melampi vineyards of Iliana Malihin's winemaking group

Crowdfunding campaign to support Iliana Malihin's production team, affected by the recent fires in Rethymnon.



On Friday, July 15, a wildfire raged in the village of Melambes and the surrounding area in Rethymno regional unit, resulting in the complete damage of 300 acres of old pre-phylloxera vines.


This vineyard of great significance was highlighted only a few years ago, by the young winemaker Iliana Malihin who invested in the area.


The great value of Melampes vineyard may not be widely known. Four decades ago, the area had more than 700 acres of old vines, most of which were destroyed by wildfires in the last 20 years, resulting in the abandonment of viticulture and wine production in the area.

In 2019, Iliana decided to rescue the old vineyards, putting lots of personal effort. She invested in the village of Melampes by building a winery, with no support and no financial capital, but with a lot of knowledge, love for viticulture and enough stubbornness to achieve her goal. She convinced new and old viticulturists of the village to support her vision so that the unique vineyard of this particular area of Rethymno could be reborn. She created groups of producers of all ages who respectfully cultivate nature and asked them to entrust her with something valuable, their crops, with contract farming relationships. With grapes from the vineyards of Melampes but also with some from the areas of Fourfouras and Meronas, the 28-year-old winemaker has launched five different wine labels till today. Her outstanding natural wine from Vidiano, originated from the vineyards that were saved, highlighted the special characteristics and the amazing energy of this variety, which has been acclimatized in mountainous Rethymno for centuries.


Iliana Malihin has managed in less than four years to set up not only her own business but also a network of local viticulturists, providing them with a considerable income. She motivated young people not to leave the village, while at the same time the ground and the surrounding environment, through organic viticulture, was reborn. Iliana's wines have found their way through the best restaurants and hotels in Athens and the United States of America. As a result all the grape growers have celebrated their decision to support Iliana’s vision.


After the big wildfire that burned the area for four whole days, nothing has been left.



In order to resume the viticultural activity, the goal has currently been set to collect the amount of 50,000 Euros. This money will be given for the reconstruction of the vineyard and for covering the expenses of the wine producers. Producers, unfortunately, will lose their income in the next 5 years due to the fire, while they will have to work on the vineyards continuously until recovery.


By helping the viticulturists, you help the community, its people, the natural environment and the world of wine.


Please visit the page https://www.giveandfund.com/giveandfund/project/save-the-vines and support the effort to save this excellent work!







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