Making A Difference
|Sometimes making and selling wine for a living feels well...a little bit mundane. Like it's not really contributing to anything significant in the world. Oh sure, it provides a pleasurable product for thirsty wine lovers everywhere to enjoy. And, it provides a good living for several dozen people and their families who work at our winery. But, it's not like finding a cure for cancer or helping the homeless, if you know what I mean.
These kinds of thoughts usually cross my mind when I'm particularly tired, crabby or just itching to do something new and different after a lifetime spent in wine--or should I say whine?!
And then, more often than not, I'm either directly or indirectly involved in something that makes me feel really good about being in the wine business and the contributions we make as a family/company/industry to the well being of people on this earth.
I actually can take no credit for this story. The credit goes 100% to my teenage daughter Taylor and several of her friends who chose building a house in New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity as their senior service project. (Our daughter's high school requires each graduating senior to complete a service project of their choosing.)
First order of business was fundraising. The kids held several fundraisers at local restaurants in addition to toy drives at Healdsburg area schools. But they needed more. That's when The Husband got on board to lend a helping hand as did our longtime distributor in New Orleans, Wines Unlimited. General Manager, David Gladden, and Chief Operations Officer, Howard Brown partnered with us to develop a special sales incentive to help raise money. For every bottle of Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and FumÃ© Blanc sold during the months of October-December, money was donated for this important project.
Last week, Taylor and her friends, along with The Husband and two other parents headed to the 9th ward, one of the hardest struck areas by Hurricane Katrina. For four days, they dug ditches and helped lay the foundation for a new home. Some of the kids had never left California, let alone dig trenches in the blazing sun! Instead of resting in the evening, the group took a break from their shovels to tell their story and share a glass of Dry Creek wine with customers of Martin Wine Cellars, the fine wine shop owned by Wines Unlimited. The event was a sell-out, raising even more money for the kid's project.
Taylor shares, "What really shocked me was the state of the 9th ward. It was horrible and so much more work needs to be done. When the homeowners came to see our work, their reaction really touched me. We realized that it must be truly difficult for these people to live in such hard conditions."
Usually, our kids see the winery as an intrusion on their lives. It's what makes Mom and Dad tired, grumpy, and pre-occupied. In this case, Taylor was able to experience firsthand how small businesses can partner with a cause to do something good for the world. The fact that it involved selling wine was just the icing on the cake.
This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine industry...so sit back, take a sip and enjoy!
A Lifetime in Wine
Top 10 Traits of the Successful Family Winery
The Dreaded Family Meeting
Board Meeting Jitters
Is the Future of the Winery in Danger?
The Case of the Overweight Bottle
Wine and Dementia
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A Sea of Wine
The Heroes of Our Industry