Introduction: The following story is from Alexandra Manousakis, who out of her love for Crete island and her father’s legacy, left the U.S. back in 2007 to manage the family winery. The story revolves around a marvelous idea she had, to use her art and marketing talent to showcase local products under the name of Terroir by Alexandra Manousakis. We are honored to be able to share this story of Crete.
I moved to Crete from New York in 2007. I left a real estate marketing job to chase my dream of living in inspiring Crete and devoting more time to my art. I didn’t know what was coming my way in general but more specifically I also didn’t know that at that time, the economic crisis was just about to hit the U.S. and was slowly creeping up on Greece simultaneously.
Over the next few years, things got more and more intense for the Greek economy and of course for the Greek people. Going back and forth from Greece to the States made me a spectator of many difficult realities being faced by the people of Greece. It was hard to make sense of the difference in lifestyles that my American friends had from my Greek friends and vice versa. Something had to be done. Somehow I wanted to add some sort of positive light on this very grim situation.
For years my very personal cause was to help children with special needs and disabilities and I am on the board of the school called ELEPAP in Chania. I saw this school suffering from all this economic uproar too. I started thinking, what can I do about this and how can I connect all of these different ideas; the economic crisis; my cause, ELEPAP; my creative side; the local economy; our family winery; Crete and its environment…
It all came together in the form of a product line called Terroir. The term Terroir means the fingerprint that nature gives to its products. Aside from also being the people of a particular place, it is the environmental conditions, namely soil and climate, in which grapes are grown and that give a wine its unique character i.e. it’s flavor and aroma. This line of products serves as a showcase of Cretan nature, a showcase of Crete’s unique and unforgettable terroir.
The concept is pretty straight forward; every part of our products’ packaging-and
This is not a big project, it surely won’t solve all of Greece’s or Crete’s problems, nor will it bring ELEPAP all the cash it desperately needs but maybe it will serve in setting a good example to others who will find ways to help. Someone very close to me always tells me that “many small creeks make a big river”…and that’s the point, to be one of those small creeks.