Friday, June 26, 2009

Wine, Freedom and Justice Part 3—Bodhichitta Winery

Here at last is the final installment in our series on world-changing through wine profiling three non- (or not for-)profit wineries. Ehlers Estate, profiled in the first post, donates its proceeds to the LeDucq Foundation, which conducts research on heart disease. The New Clairvaux Vineyard's wine profits fund the owning monastery's activities, as well as a number of charitable organizations and caretaking of their neighbors.

We managed to find one other non-profit winery. The Bodhichitta Winery is located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Profits from the winery go principally to the Central Asia Institute, which promotes “community-based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.” Bodhichitta also supports Alzheimer's Foundation of America, Autism Society of America, the Humane Society, The Nature Conservancy and Oregon Trout.

Bodhichitta’s lineup of wines is intriguing. In addition to Pinot noir (de rigeur in the Wilammette Valley, they produce a Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin blanc, and a Pinot gris they call “Giggling Gris” for some reason. More interesting still, they produce a mulled wine, and a wide range of fruit and honey wines. They even have a wine blended from Cabernet and blackberries. We are very intrigued by the latter and by the straight blackberry wine, which they claim is dry. Prices range from $20-38, about average for the Willamette Valley.

Bodhichitta’s owner and winemaker, identified on the site only as Mark, says "Bodhichitta Winery was founded to do my part to ease the suffering in this world while fueling two of my passions--wine and service to others. It answers the two questions I ask myself everyday: 'What can I do to help?' and 'What can I do to serve?'"

We have purchased a sampler of the Bodhichitta wines and will report in here once we have tasted them.

What are your thoughts on the winery as non-profit? What do you think of joining winemaking and service?

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