Submitted by Annie Loewen.
Ilias Mastrogiannis, co-owner of Mastrogiannis Distillery and Winery in Lakewood, grew up hearing his father frequently use the word “meraki.” The Greek word does not fully translate into English–however, it can be applied to just about anything.
“It translates roughly into putting life and love into everything you do,” Ilias explains. Ilias and his wife, Bojana (also co-owner of Mastrogiannis Distillery and Winery), decided to continue the family tradition of “meraki” with their wine brand, Rosé for Cure.
In the spring of 2020, as Ilias and Bojana Mastrogiannis prepared to release their inaugural wine, they heard about Sofija Markuljevic, a little girl battling Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type I in Serbia. Her condition necessitated treatment in the United States and as her family faced costly medical and travel expenses, they took to various platforms to raise awareness and money for their daughter. After hearing her story, the Mastrogiannis were compelled to lend help.
They turned to their brand-new Rosé for the solution, donating the proceeds from the sale of each bottle directly to Sofija’s family. In the first month, they raised almost $3,000 dollars.
“They have shown that even in these difficult times, there are people who are ready to provide unconditional love and giving, even from the other side of the world,” said Sofija’s father, Stefan Markuljevic.
After their initial success, the Mastrogiannis–also parents themselves–were consumed by one simple question, “What about all of the other children?”
In July 2020, Rosé for Cure was born. The Mastrogiannis extended the initiative to help more children, donating 10% of the profit from each Rosé bottle sale directly to families in need with no strings attached or requirements on how the funds are allocated. Unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) are ideal as they allow for flexibility in accommodating the financial needs of families as they navigate the challenges of managing their child’s illness. These contributions allow for immediate financial assistance and incur no operational or administrative costs. By administering UCTs, Rosé for Cure aims to impact rather than further complicate the lives of their chosen families.
Ilias and Bojana will select a family every six months and donate the proceeds raised from bottles sold throughout the six-month period. US-based families who have children with life-threatening or chronic illnesses can be nominated on Mastrogiannis Distillery and Winery’s website.
A blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris, Rosé for Cure has aromas of white peach, melon and citrus. With floral and herbal notes, the rosé finishes with the taste of pink grapefruit and mixed berries. Perfect for birthdays, Mother’s Day, the upcoming warmer months or just a sip of fun, Rosé for Cure is an ideal gift for people who like to give back. It is available to ship to 39 states or for pick-up locally.
Despite a very challenging year for small businesses, Mastrogiannis Distillery and Winery remains committed to paying it forward and uplifting their community. Rosé for Cure allows wine enthusiasts everywhere to get a taste of “meraki” as they patron a brand that does more than just sell spirits–it gives back to those who need it most.