Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wine, Freedom and Justice Part 1—Ehlers Estate

Our minds have been focused on Iran of late. Despite our theme of revolution and our fervent belief that wine can bring happiness (and no one should have to pay too much for that), inexpensive wine seems to have little to do with promoting freedom. Watching developments in Iran, we wonder how wine can have a broader positive impact.

A Google search for non-profit wine turns up mostly links to wine being poured or auctioned for non-profit events. Not a bad way to turn fermented juice into cash, but can wine do more?

The profits from Ehlers Estate, which the Napa Valley Wine Blog calls the only non-profit winery in California, go entirely to the LeDucq Foundation, which funds cardiovascular research (a very popular cause among older, wealthier wine consumers, and seemingly a long way from freedom struggles in Iran and eleswhere). Ehlers wines come from the heart of Napa Valley, so it is no surprise that they are not cheap. The Sauvignon Blanc is $25 and the reds range from $45-$90.

Descriptions of two more non-profit wineries will follow. In the meantime, please share your thoughts on wine, freedoms and justice. Is non-profit status a sensible way for a winery to achieve humanitarian goals, or is it better to simply donate wines to non-profits for their events? Is there another way wine producers can work toward humanitarian ideals?

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