I have a soft spot in my heart for companies that give directly back to their communities and support worthy causes. So when I heard about the Charity Case Foundation I was instantly wondering; wine + good causes… how could I not be curious?!
According to their website:
The Charity Case Foundation is a movement that was conceived collectively by winemakers from Napa Valley. All juice and fruit donated by Napa Valley wineries and growers goes into our small batch, hand made wines with all net proceeds going to non-profit organizations serving children and families in Napa County.
The idea was to create a single wine made from juice donated by local winemakers and sell it with the proceeds going to local Napa Valley charities. Jayson Woodbridge, of Layer Cake, Hundred Acre, and Cherry Pie wines got the project rolling by contacting vintners from throughout the valley to see if they were interested in taking part. He received an overwhelming response from interested vintners. So far they have created a 2008 and 2009 Napa Valley Rosé blend; created from several varieties of red grapes from around the Saint Helena area. In 2009 they added a Sauvignon Blanc to their production.
This isn't just a story about leftover fruit needing a home with a tiny profit going towards a good cause; everything, from the supplies (including bottles, labels, storage), to the marketing efforts, is done entirely by volunteers so that all proceeds can go directly to the charities. “We want to make a difference by giving charities a sustainable future. There are no salaries, no consulting fees and no bureaucratic costs.”
The net profits from this years fundraising efforts will go towards the following charities:
Aldea Children & Family Services, Cope Family Center, Foster Kids Receiving Center, Wolfe Center, Teen Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program
But how are the wines?
2008 Charity Case Rosé, Napa Valley
The wine was darker in color than your typical rosé with a rich nose full of strawberry, cherry, and raspberry fruit. It has the richness and power of a full-bodied wine, like a syrah or zinfandel, yet served cold (directly from the fridge) the wine is fruity, bright, and crisp. The wine would definitely hold up to BBQ fare and would be great for summer sipping. We served it with smoked pulled pork sandwiches and it held up nicely. The sweetness and spiciness of the pork all balanced out with the fruitiness of the wine.
WINE TIP: If you like a more refreshing flavor from a rosé then serve this wine cold, if you would like a more rich, full bodied feeling, more like you’re drinking a red wine, then let it warm up a bit. I preferred this wine cold.
Oak Aging: 100% fermented in neutral French oak barrels
2009 Charity Case Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
This sauvignon blanc is very different than what you would expect from, say a New Zealand style sauvignon blanc, or even a mineral driven Loire style. This wine was very dry with lots of lemon peel and tropical notes on the nose (pineapple, banana) with dried pineapple and lemon on the palate. It was barrel fermented which added to its perceived dryness and made it more reminiscent of a chardonnay than a sauvignon blanc to me. Typically I would drink a sauvignon blanc cold (straight from the fridge) but this wine tasted much better, and opened up more, after warming up a few degrees (much like I would serve a chardonnay).
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley
Oak Aging: 100% fermented in new French oak barrels
Both wines retail for $11.99 and can be purchased here. You will not find these wines in your local grocery store or wine shop. They are only available locally in select Napa Valley retailers, restaurants, and from the foundations website. But if you are feeling like you want to support this good cause then check out their website for more information on how you can purchase these wines.
I often fantasize about what I will do when I win the lottery, or become independently wealthy as a result of my hard work (whichever comes first). One of my biggest plans (after buying loads of delicious Champagne and paying off my car, in that order) will be setting up my own foundation that donates to dozens of great causes. That’s the plan at least. To give to those who need it, because I know what it is like to be on the receiving end.
I was able to get through college with the help of generous scholarships and will be forever grateful for those who donated to the foundations who supported my education. I’ve also worked for numerous non-profit organizations in my life that relied on grants and philanthropists to stay open, so I understand the impact donations can have on an organization and have always wanted to do my part to help.
I have not yet won the lottery, nor am I am millionaire (yet!), but I can still do my part to support worthy causes, and, in this particular case, feel good that the wine I am drinking is paying it forward too.
*ANNOUNCEMENT: On a related note, just before hitting publish on this post I found out that Jayson Woodbridge, who initiated the Charity Case Foundation project, announced the establishment of a $5,000 annual Layer Cake Wine Scholarship for those interested in attending the North American Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC). I have personally attended the WBC for the last two years, with plans to attend this years conference in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have found the experience incredibly valuable and am thrilled about this generous contribution by Woodbridge which will allow deserving recipients to attend this conference. For more information on the WBC and this announcement, click here. Just one more reason to support this project!