Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Wines That Give Back
Happy Holidays, my dear readers! This year, I've featured wines that feed both the body and soul. Each of the wines that I've selected donate a portion of their sales to charity, so you can gift to your family and friends as well as others in need. Tis' the season, y'all!
The Dreaming Tree Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Donates to: The Wilderness Society, Living Lands & Waters
Did you know that Dave Matthews makes wine? Neither did I! He's teamed up with winemaker, Sean McKenzie, to create Dreaming Tree Wines to produce wines that are sustainable from the grapes to the label. The winery is part of a solar initiative and is one of four wineries that share 17,000 solar panels to power their winemaking processes. The labels are made with 100% recycled paper and the bottles are 1/4 pound lighter than the standard wine bottle, which means that it uses less glass and makes it less expensive to ship as well. To date, the winery has donated more than $1,000,000 to environmental organizations. This Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc is a very flavorful and aromatic wine with classic warm climate characteristics of the grape. It errs on the side of tropical fruits with notes of grapefruit, pineapple, kiwi, mango, and passionfruit. Its refreshing acidity balances out the juicy flavors and it finishes nice and clean. It's a really great white wine for winter, actually, and will be a tasty gift for anyone that loves Sauvy.
Purple Heart Wines Red Blend 2014
Donates to: Purple Heart Foundation
Purple Heart Wines makes an annual donation to the Purple Heart Foundation, which provides support to our veterans. These programs include service dogs, PTSD treatment, scholarships for education, and assistance in obtaining Veterans Affairs benefits, all of which help soldiers adjust to life post-war.
The current winemaker, John Moynier, is a US Air Force veteran and a graduate of UC Davis and the two winemakers for the vintage that I tasted (2014) are also veterans and served in Vietnam and Iraq.
The winery is located in Napa Valley and only makes one wine - the Red Blend, which is primarily Merlot, blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and a small amount of Petite Verdot. I got notes of plum, boysenberry, blackberry, cigarbox, smoke, and vanilla. It's a medium bodied wine with fine tannins and a good acidity. I really enjoyed the herbal, smokey flavors!
ONEHOPE Wine Celebration Brut
Donates to: Why Hunger, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, Gateway for Cancer Research, ACT Today!, Trevor Project, Raincatcher, End7, Trees 4 Trees, and more
To date, ONEHOPE Wine has donated over $2.8 million to a variety of charities that champion causes such as the fight to end childhood hunger, Breast Cancer clinical trials and Ovarian Cancer research, Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for children with autism, support for LGBTQ youth in crisis, clean drinking water, childhood literacy, medicines for tropical diseases, animal adoption, global reforestation projects, and other very noble causes. Each wine is linked to a specific charity, so if there is one in particular that you feel very passionately about you can purchase wines and gift sets that will donate directly to that cause.
The winery is located in the Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley and the vineyards lie in the same area as some very iconic wineries, so the potential for quality is certainly there. I tasted the Celebration Brut, which is a sparkling wine made using the traditional method of Champagne and for every bottle of this wine that is sold, 15 meals are provided to a child in need. I'll gladly drink to that, especially with this wine because it is so good! It displayed notes of pear, crisp green apple, sweet yellow apple, lemon, and biscuit. It has plenty of action (i.e. tons of bubbles), it's slightly off-dry, very refreshing, and simply enjoyable all around. This will be a lovely sparkling wine to enjoy on Christmas night or New Year's Eve and will be a hit as a gift.
You really can make a difference in our world by purchasing either of these wines, whether it's for yourself or someone else. Get your warm and fuzzy on and have a very Merry Everything!