Wine & Charity
December 19, 2008 by Doug Haugen
I’m often surprised by the level of generosity and social consciousness among the wine community. Not only are there scads of charitable events put on by the wine industry like the Auction of Washington Wines we attended earlier this year, but there are also wineries that keep charity as their business model, like Heaven’s Cave Winery that we wrote about in September.
Well, there is a new philanthropist on the block. Matt Albee over at Eleven Winery has made a big decision about his winery. According to his Winemaker’s Blog, he and his wife have decided that Eleven will always donate all of their profits to charity, focusing on organizations that aim to end the cycle of poverty. His winery is not yet profitable, and won’t be until sometime in 2009, so in the meantime, he’s donating $1,000 a year to World Bicycle Relief, an org that provides bicycles to communities in Africa.
There’s also Stacy Lill and Kathy Johanson at O Wine Company, who use a portion of their proceeds to fund scholarships for underpriveledged girls, funding their education and thereby stopping the cycle of abuse that occurrs with women without opportunity.
For most winemakers in Washington, it seems that making great wine is paramount. According to many winemakers we’ve talked to, making a living at it is less important than making a great profit, it’s all about the love. It’s heartwarming to see that for some, making the world a better place is also high on their list of objectives.