Sunday, May 29, 2011

Charity Wines

There is a segment of the wine industry less often talked about and almost never rated by the "big guys." Wines made for charity seem to loose out on top rankings, media coverage and prestige. I will admit, I am guilty of assuming wines produced for charities are primarily made from bulk juice bottled for a cause. Let me tell you, how wrongly mistaken I have been! I recently had the opportunity to taste some wines from both Charity Case and Cleavage Creek wineries. Both of these wineries not only changed my perception on "charity" wines but are wines I look forward to drinking again. 

So often in our busy lives, our to-do list are full with good intentions, such as being charitable, but these items are ofter pushed to the way side. I recently learned that putting things off for tomorrow, again and again, will eventually leave you will an expiration date. Taking the time to help others goes much further than just the act of helping. It also lifts our own spirits. Drinking hand crafted fine wines with a charitable twist might be one way to accomplish your charity "to-dos."

courtesy Coutesy of Vintage Point
So much of wines sales has to do with hearing a great story and wanting to be a part of it. Charity Case wines have really inspired me. Formed in 2008 by Jayson Woodbridge who recognized excess "juice" being drained from fermenters due to a rainy vintage in Napa Valley. He began to ask around to see if winemakers would be willing to donate the extra wine. Receiving an overwhelming response, Napa Vintners have donated tons and tons of rose, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Charity Case is now on its third year of operation and is run solely through volunteers, there are no paid employees. Corks, bottles, wine, labor are all donated leaving 100% of net profits donated to agencies throughout Napa County who support children and families in need. As for the wines, they are all bright, clean and lighthearted. Now, Savignon Blanc is one of those wines I have to be in the mood for but I have to say, the Charity Case 2009 Sauv Blanc is one I could drink on a regular basis. The subtle complexities of white flowers, lemon, minerals with a soft undertone of grass and a finish of cantaloupe and honey, makes my taste buds very happy.

Cleavage Creek is also a winery on a powerful mission. Creating exceptional wines while supporting Breast Cancer research and survivors by donating 10% of sales. Each bottle tells the unique story of a women who survived breast cancer. Budge Brown started the winery after loosing his wife of 48 years to breast cancer. Being a great supporter of the Bastyr University in Washington helping women find alternative treatments to cancer, makes these wines much more than a beverage. We recently lost Budge Brown earlier this month in a plane crash. It upsets me to have lost such a devoted and passionate man who truly understood that we should live to love life. I hope that each one of us will continue to support the cause even in his absence. Budge believed in fruit forward wines that you didn't have to cellar in order to drink. The 2007 Tracy Hills Secret Red is one of my favorites! Priced very reasonable at $18, this wine has strength, dept and enough fruit to make a weeks worth of cobblers! Full of blueberries, blackberries and cherry outlined with a smokiness and long finish. This is definitely a wine I will be putting into rotation more often. To learn more about Budge Brown and hear more about his mission see his episode on Wine Library TV.

The next time you pick up a bottle to toast to life with friends and family, not only cherish the moment but ask yourself if you have done any charity lately, if not, pick up a bottle of wine that supports a bigger cause and do your part. 

Charlotte :)

1 comment:

  1. What a win win, drinking lovely wines and helping great causes at the same time.

    I LOVE this idea.

    Thank you for sharing that we can do that,

    cheers, T. :)