IMBIBE: Virtuous Vino

By on March 15, 2017

Wineries and winemakers that give back.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – Many wineries earmark a portion of their sales proceeds to worthy charities, from pet rescue organizations to those working with military veterans. There are far too many to exhaustively list here, but these are a few of my favorite wineries that also give back to their communities.

Sonoma’s Rodney Strong Vineyards has made significant donations throughout the years to the United Way and to food banks throughout the country. Proprietor Tom Klein and the Rodney Strong team also support CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees), which provides support to children and families of restaurant employees who are experiencing or are afflicted by life-altering circumstances. Their lush Chalk Hill Chardonnay ($18.95), made in consultation with renowned winemaker David Ramey, would make an excellent addition to your table.

Another good value chardonnay is Chateau La Paws ($10.99). La Paws is a spin-off of Rosenblum Cellars, created by “The King of Zin,” Kent Rosenblum. Winemaker Rosenblum is also a veterinarian and Chateau La Paws supports no-kill animal rescue organizations such as Long Island, New York’s North Shore Animal League, where I adopted my cat, Rufus.

Murphy-Goode “Homefront” Red ($12) is a big syrah and merlot blend that was created to benefit Operation Homefront: 50 cents from each bottle sold goes to provide assistance to families of military service members and wounded vets. Also benefiting the unmet needs of military men, women and families is Purple Heart Wines, which last year helped more than 19,000 veterans with programs to help cope with post-traumatic stress, offer educational scholarships, provide service dogs and more via the winery’s Purple Heart Foundation.

Bruce R. Cohn is the Doobie Brothers’ longtime manager and founder of B.R. Cohn Winery. Not surprisingly, live music is a weekly event at the Sonoma winery, and every year Cohn hosts a charity weekend featuring a celebrity golf tournament, auction and concert with performers like Willie Nelson, Little Feat and Dave Mason. The bulk of the money raised goes to local Sonoma charities, but also to causes such as Hurricane Katrina Relief and the National Veterans Foundation. B.R. Cohn Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 ($24.99) is a rich, complex cabernet that would make a terrific gift for your favorite wine lover.

Another music industry phenom—Dave Matthews—created Dreaming Tree Wines with winemaker Sean McKenzie. The wines are produced sustainably and, to date, Matthews and McKenzie have donated $500,000 to environmental organizations such as The Wilderness Society and Living Lands & Waters. Dreaming Tree Crush ($15.99) is an appealing red blend with soft tannins that pairs well with barbecue and bahn mi.

Located in the heart of Napa Valley, OneHope Winery is committed to making the world a better place. The results from nonprofit organizations they’ve impacted include more than 1 million meals provided, 52,621 trees planted, 2,792 clinical breast cancer trials funded, 13,605 animals adopted, 927 veterans aided and much, much more. For further information, visit OneHopeWine.com.

And on the web, BenefitWines.com is “America’s Charity Wine Shop,” with more than 500 charity partners to choose from and causes ranging from pet-related and wildlife organizations to health-based, community, veterans and religious charities.

Now, let’s raise a glass to giving! PJH

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