Six Wines With Charitable Benefits to Give (or Receive)

Laura Burgess Six Wines With Charitable Benefits to Give (or Receive)

3 minute Read

The holiday season is here, complete with twinkly lights, gift swaps, and parties galore. No matter your creed, it’s a season of giving.

What you choose to bring to your friends, family, and office-wide White Elephant exchange doesn’t have to be frivolous, either. Many highly giftable items do double duty as agents for change in local and global communities.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up six wines that give back with the pop of every cap or cork. Whether your cause is the environment, LGBTQ rights, children’s health, or military families, we’ve got a bottle for that. Here are six wines with charitable benefits.

Schweiger Vineyards Camp Fire Relief Chardonnay, Napa, California

Supports: Victims of California’s Camp Fire

In the wake of California’s deadliest wildfire, Schweiger Vineyards is taking giving to the next level: 100 percent of the purchase price of this golden Chardonnay goes directly to Tri-County Bank for Camp Fire survivors. Based in Napa Valley, the Schweiger family is no stranger to the devastation fire can bring. This 400-case release is geared to help all the people still without homes this holiday season.

The Camp Fire Relief Chardonnay is a special release of Schweiger’s 2014 Spring Mountain Chardonnay, a white wine from one of Napa Valley’s hottest subregions. Bright, tropical fruit flavors are balanced by a soft richness in this medium-bodied white. It’s the definition of drinking well and doing good, all at the same time.

Lubanzi Wines, South Africa

Supports: South African Families in the Wine Industry

The Pebbles Project for Families and Children in South Africa, an organization that provides health and educational resources to the families who support South Africa’s vibrant winemaking community.

Born from the adventures of two American exchange students in South Africa, Lubanzi is a global wine project with dual headquarters in Washington, D.C. and South Africa. Inspired by the people behind South Africa’s wine farms, Lubanzi works directly with the Pebbles Project, which feeds over 700 children per month, and nurtures families from birth through college.

Lubanzi’s bright, citrus-scented Chenin Blanc and Rhone-style red blend are both easy-drinking — and, at $15 apiece —easy on the wallet. Better yet, they’re sealed with corks that don’t require corkscrews!

Iron Horse ‘Ocean Reserve’ Blanc de Blancs, Green Valley, California

Supports: National Geographic’s Pristine Seas

This crisp California sparkler proves saving the planet doesn’t always taste like locally grown kale. A limited-production, Chardonnay-based bubbly, the Ocean Reserve bottling donates $4 per bottle to National Geographic’s Ocean Initiative, which protects wild marine spaces and promotes sustainable fishing practices worldwide. Since its inception, Pristine Seas has protected over five million square kilometers of seascape across 19 marine reserves.

Ocean Reserve is a consistent critical favorite, too. Your $4 donation from a single bottle might just do more than declining plastic straws all year long.

Tom of Finland OUTstanding Red, Sierra Foothills, California

Supports: Human Rights and Sexual Expression Through Art

Founded in 1984 to promote tolerance for all sexual identifications, the Tom of Finland Foundation is a wide-reaching, international organization. Today, the global organization promotes human rights and sexual expression through art, and each bottle of its full-bodied, juicy red contributes directly to the foundation.

The OUTstanding Red leans heavily on California’s native Zinfandel and makes a perfect gift for those who judge a bottle by its label. As muscular as its label image, the OUTstanding Red is a full-bodied, robust red that’s ideal for the smorgasbords that cover holiday tables.

Purple Heart Wines ‘Heroic Red,’ Sonoma, California

Supports: Veterans and Military Families

A partnership between the Mondavi family and Purple Heart Foundation, this ripe Sonoma red has contributed over $10,000 to military veterans and their families in 2018 alone. Inspired by our country’s most cherished medal of honor, the team behind Purple Heart has good reason to stand behind the project — both winemaker John Moynier and the late Mondavi family patriarch Peter Mondavi are veterans. Each bottle of the Heroic Red adds to the total of over $70,000 Purple Heart Wines has given to families since its inception.

Based in the heart of California wine country, the 2015 Purple Heart Heroic Red bottles a classic expression of California wine country with notes of plum and blackberry plus cedar and baking spice. A sophisticated, standout bottle, it’s an easy way to tip your hat to America’s veterans.

Maysara ‘Immigrant’ Pinot Noir, McMinnville, Oregon

Supports: Immigrant and Refugee Services

Made from estate-grown Pinot Noir, Maysara’s “Immigrant” bottling has dazzling complexity and terroir. Farmed completely without chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides, this is a wine to feel good about — on several levels.

“The Momtazi family immigrated to the United States from Iran, fleeing from political persecution after the Iranian revolution and the hostage crisis,” Carrie Wynkoop, founder, Cellar 503, says of Maysara’s winemakers. “When they relocated to the Northwest, they found a piece of property that was perfect for growing grapes just south of McMinnville, Ore. They planted grapes in 1998 and have been biodynamically farming from the beginning, and the winery is still a family affair.”

Maysara donates a third of proceeds from this bottle to organizations assisting refugee and immigrant families, with donations going to programs servicing permanent residency, immigrant counseling, and family-based visas. It’s the perfect way to raise a glass to inclusion this season.

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