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Robin Garr

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WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Robin Garr » Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:38 pm

Charitable wine

It's November, and despite the contrary evidence of a summer that won't go away, Thanksgiving in the U.S. and the holiday season around the wrold are drawing near. It's traditionally a time for home and family and, perhaps, taking a moment to do a little something for those less fortunate.

Here and there around the world of wine, a handful of producers make it easy for you to enjoy your wine and make a small charitable contribution at the same time.

MBAs and cynics call this kind of thing "social marketing," suggesting that its practitioners "do good in order to do well," as the saying goes: Tapping into public charitable consciousness by pledging to make a small donation to a worthy cause, companies stand to increase their own sales and profits.

Is anything wrong with this? As long as the promises are kept and the pledges fulfilled, the practice strikes me as a stereotypical "win-win" concept. I don't think a charitable add-on would prompt me to buy a wine that wouldn't appeal to me anyway. But if all other things are equal, knowing that a few cents went to a worthy cause would probably encourage me to pick the charitable bottle over an otherwise similar competitor.

Social marketing hasn't come heavily to the world of wine, but I've reported on specific charitable arrangements from time to time. Today's featured wine, for example, a simple but enjoyable New Zealand Pinot Noir, a product of the St. Helena winery in Canterbury that bears the "Flying Kiwi" label, pledges to donate 1 percent of all its sales to support the Kiwi Breeding and Recovery Programme of the New Zealand Conservation Trust, which cares for and manages threatened native bird species including New Zealand's symbol, the flightless kiwi.

Here are a few other wineries that promise financial support, based on wine sales, to charitable and service organizations:

* <b>Big Tattoo Wines</b>, a California winery, dedicates 50 cents for every bottle sold to a variety of breast cancer research and support programs. Winery officials say they've raised more than $1 million for since the project began in 2002.
http://www.bigtattoowines.com/about/

* <B>Cleavage Creek</b>, of Napa, promises 10 percent of its <i>gross</i> sales to breast-cancer research, a program mounted by winery owner Budge Brown in memory of his wife of 48 years. The wine labels feature photos of breast-cancer survivors and are priced in the $18 - $50 range.
http://www.cleavagecreek.com/ccmain.html

* <B>Five Rivers Winery</b> also raises money for breast cancer research. Its "Save A Local Goddess" program donates $1 for every bottle sold during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The winery, which had raised more than $130,000 before this year's campaign, is expanding the program with year-round efforts to draw attention to the issue.
[url=http://www.fiveriverswinery.com/pressroom/downloads/5r_pressrelease_101207.pdf]http://www.fiveriverswinery.com/
pressroom/downloads/5r_pressrelease_101207.pdf[/url]

* <B>San Patrignano</b>, a fine Italian winery in Emilia-Romagna, is actually owned and operated by an up-by-your-bootstraps "community of service" that helps young people from around the world overcome drug addiction and turn their lives around through hard work and training under experts in more than 50 crafts and professions, including wine making. Its wines are distributed in the U.S. by Palm Bay Imports of Boca Raton, Fla.
http://www.palmbayimports.com/xq/asp/VID.891/qx/brands.html#

* <B>Vinum Cellars</b>, in California's Lodi region, labels its "Pets" Petite Sirah in memory of grower Ken Wilson's dog Tanker, and has donated more than $25,000 from sales of this wine to local animal shelters, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and also to breast-cancer charities.
http://www.vinumcellars.com/flash/VC_current_pets.html

Enjoy your wine, give a little help. Makes sense to me! I'd like to know what you think. Do you approve of winery social marketing in general? Would you like to talk about a good wine that supports a worthy cause?

<B>WHILE WE'RE BEING CHARITABLE:</B>
It's not wine-related, but I can't resist mentioning one of the most effective programs I've seen yet for harnessing the Internet community to make a difference in the lives of real people around the world.

Kiva.org lets you connect with - and loan money to - unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can sponsor an entrepreneur, helping a specific working-poor person make strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive Email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As the loan is repaid, you get your money back. No wine, but a great concept.
http://www.kiva.org/about

<table border="0" align="right" width="170"><tr><td><img src="http://www.wineloverspage.com/graphics1/kiwi1101.jpg" border="1" align="right"></td></tr></table>Flying Kiwi 2006 South Island Pinot Noir ($14.99)

Clear ruby, not overly dark. Decent cool-climate Pinot scents, red cherries and a lightly herbaceous "tomato skin" quality over just a whiff of brown spice. Fresh, crisp and tart, soft cherry fruit and zippy acidity. Smooth, rational 13% alcohol, no hint of tannic astringency, clean and food-friendly; a decent New World Pinot. U.S. importer: Miller Squared Inc., Highland Park, Ill. (Nov. 1, 2007)

<B>FOOD MATCH:</b> Versatile with a range of fare from red meat to salmon to mushrooms and cheeses. It was an excellent match with a dinner salad made with a low-acid olive-oil-and-lime-juice dressing and topped with strips of pan-seared, grass-fed steak with a teriyaki-style shot of soy sauce.

<B>VALUE:</B> More than fairly priced in the middle teens in this Pinot-crazy era.

<B>WHEN TO DRINK:</B> The sturdy Stelvin-style metal screwcap will hold it well on the wine rack, but I don't see it improving dramatically with cellar time. Drink up over the next couple of years.

Here's a fact sheet on the winery and some of its wines (although not the Flying Kiwi) on the New Zealand wine information Website TizWine:
[url=http://www.tizwine.com/index.php/ps_pagename/winerydetail?pi_wineryid=347]http://www.tizwine.com/
index.php/ps_pagename/winerydetail?pi_wineryid=347[/url]

<B>FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:</B>
Check prices and find online vendors for Flying Kiwi Pinot Noir on Wine-Searcher.com:
[url=http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Flying%2bKiwi%2bPinot/-/-/USD/A?referring_site=WLP]http://www.wine-searcher.com/
find/Flying%2bKiwi%2bPinot/-/-/USD/A?referring_site=WLP[/url]

<center>Subscribe to The 30 Second Wine Advisor</center>
Last edited by Robin Garr on Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Dale Williams » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:23 pm

I generally have mixed feelings about these charitable co-marketing things. I have no real objections as long as the exact amount (percentage gross sales or $$$/per bottle) is spelled out clearly and prominently, and the specific charity is named. But be very very wary of the "for every bottle, a donation will be made" or promises of percentage of profits (where sometimes Hollywood style accounting can come into play).

As a non-profit adminstrator, I'm aware of the temptations to just say "well every bit helps." But I have turned down 95+% of the co-marketing deals we have been offered. Too many are great for the business as marketing, but far far less beneficial to the charity.

If I know $1 of my $15 dollars is going to a worthy charity, I might choose over a $14 equivalent bottle. But in general if I think a charity is worthy, I'd rather send a check directly (and take the deduction). Donations that go to "breast cancer" issues are a pretty broad spectrum. I'd prefer to research (using Guidestar.org or similar sites) and give to those that are the most efficient, as opposed to the money collection masters.
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Eve Lejeune

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Eve Lejeune » Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:21 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Charitable wine

Hello to all,

On that topic I would like to remind everybody of the article of Don and Petie Kladstrup, "In vino Caritas" published in the last issue of "The World of Fine Wines". Don and Petie are the authors of "Wine and war" and of "Champagne". They also contribute to wine magazines. I read their article on Wine and Charity and it is a very good complement to Robin's article.

Cheers, Eve
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Dale Williams » Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:33 pm

Oh, and I agree re Kiva. One of our initial loans has been fully repaid, and the money re-loaned. Don't ever really want principal back, happy to keep it rolling.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Cynthia Wenslow » Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:28 pm

Another huge kiva.org supporter here. I love the concept, I love the execution. It rocks!

I also run a not-for-profit corporation and we also turn down offers of "fund-raising help" on a regular basis. If they want to just write me a check that can be used for whatever we need, great. But we prefer not to be tied into someone else's marketing efforts.

As long as people are actually donating what they say they are from these wines, I'm all for it. However, I probably wouldn't choose one of them over another just because they do it.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Sue Courtney » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:17 pm

Never heard of Flying Kiwi as a wine label and wine-searcher.com doesn't come up with any retailers in NZ. Suspect this is yet another 'cute' label wine for the American market.

I like this one - Sexy Rexy Rose 2007 and Sexy Rexy Sauvignon Blanc 2007. See http://www.ranuiwines.co.nz/sexy.htm
Winemaker's father was Rex and rose grower Sam McGredy named a rose after him. The colour of the Rose wine almost picks up the perfectly the hue of the pale pink flower. The Sauvignon Blanc is the charity wine. From the North Shore Hospice website
"Ra Nui Wines has generously offered to donate 25% of all proceeds of the sale of their Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007 ordered by North Shore Hospice supporters through North Shore Hospice before 31 December 2007 ".
That's in NZ folks.

Cheers,
Sue
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Robin Garr

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Robin Garr » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:35 pm

Sue Courtney wrote:Never heard of Flying Kiwi as a wine label and wine-searcher.com doesn't come up with any retailers in NZ. Suspect this is yet another 'cute' label wine for the American market.


Sue, I wondered about that, but figured that's not entirely a bad thing, if they're serious (and I assume they are) about supporting the Kiwi Conservancy. I guess the birds don't mind where the dollars are coming from. ;)

As I noted in the article, the wine is marketed by St. Helena Winery in Canterbury on the South Island. Are you familiar with them?

I was also intrigued by the "South Island" appellation, though, which made me wonder if it's grapes sourced from both Marlborough and Central Otago, or something else entirely. Couldn't find a word on the 'net about this.
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Kristen B Caldwell

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Kristen B Caldwell » Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:10 pm

I can vouch for Vinum's PETS Petite Syrah as far as being decent wine at a reasonable price--my favorite wine store has the current release for $9.99.

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1025049

I haven't had the 2005, but the 2003 and 2004 were a bargain!

It just says "a portion" of the profits from the wine is donated, but it does specify the San Francisco SPCA and, as Robin noted, cites over $25,000 donated in the past five years.

Cheers,
Kristen
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Sue Courtney » Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:29 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Sue Courtney wrote:Never heard of Flying Kiwi as a wine label and wine-searcher.com doesn't come up with any retailers in NZ. Suspect this is yet another 'cute' label wine for the American market.


Sue, I wondered about that, but figured that's not entirely a bad thing, if they're serious (and I assume they are) about supporting the Kiwi Conservancy. I guess the birds don't mind where the dollars are coming from. ;)

As I noted in the article, the wine is marketed by St. Helena Winery in Canterbury on the South Island. Are you familiar with them?

I was also intrigued by the "South Island" appellation, though, which made me wonder if it's grapes sourced from both Marlborough and Central Otago, or something else entirely. Couldn't find a word on the 'net about this.


I sure am familiar with them. They were one of the 'pioneering' Canterbury producers, if you can call the late 1970's pioneering, and the first commercial winemaker in the region. They produced NZ's first gold medal wining pinot noir of the 'current era'. It was the 1982 and Danny Schuster was their winemaker - he now has his own label. However St Helena has flown off my radar the last few years and I think may be concentrating on export. They also have a 'Cottesbrook' label which goes to the UK. I think they were the first to export sauvignon blanc in casks, which caused a bit of a fuss here.

South Island is used when there is a blend of grapes from different regions. We don't call them 'appellations' in NZ. It's just the required regional statement and indicates that at least 85% comes from the region stated. So could be a blend of two or more of Marlborough, Nelson, Canterbury (including Waipara) or Otago grapes without any one of these more focused 'sub' regions having 85% dominance.

Cheers,
Sue
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Joel Sprague » Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:45 am

I'll put in a vote for Big Tattoo Wines. They aren't the best wine in th eworld, by any mean, but I've always found them to be a good value for the price. 2003 and 2002 Red (believe those were vintages, though I don't have my notes in front of me) also seemed to improve with a year or so in bottle. I took some 2002 to two years in bottle, but seemed to have peaked and maybe just gone over the hill, but that bottle also had far from optimal storage conditions (periods of both excessive heat and vibration due to a move, some time in a storage unit, etc).

Have been very happy with both their reds and whites, good wines in the 10-20 range.
in vino veritas
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Charitable wine (Flying Kiwi 06 Pinot)

by Ted Scheffler » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:24 pm

I occasionally purchase Humanitas wines. A portion of the profits from Humanitas' wine sales go to charitable organizations in the communities in which they are sold. Humanitas Wines supports America's Second Harvest, Habitat for Humanity, and Reading is Fundamental.

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