By Joel Quigley, VP of Marketing Communications
Beyond becoming VP of Marketing Communications for The Good Life Wine Collective, one of the most exciting and impactful events in my 25 year career in the wonderful world of wine was when I was the food and wine media project leader for Fox Searchlight Pictures’ movie Sideways.
At the time I was working for a communications firm following a ten-year stint as Executive Director of a national non-profit wine education and marketing organization focused on demystifying wine for young adults. The core of our strategy was to bring wine to American popular culture via partnerships and events with the music, fashion, arts and film industries.
At Fox Searchlight, they had no real connections within the food and wine media and had no idea on how to effectively reach wine consumers. They found me through a mutual movie industry marketer, and due to our firm’s reputation and my experience and network, a deal was struck to manage exclusive invites to the food and wine media and wine consumers to 18 sneak previews with post-screening Pinot Noir tasting across the country. [The campaign was very successful with extensive food and wine media coverage and viral word-of-mouth raves that helped fill theaters.]
The Sideways Effect & The Cutting Room Floor
When we first read the script in advance of the deal, our firm thought, wow, this could blow up Pinot Noir sales in the States. It did. We had no anticipation that Sideways would be blamed for tanking Merlot sales. Why?
It’s simple: the cutting room floor. Miles didn’t actually hate Merlot; he loved it. However, it was the favorite varietal of his ex-wife. He refused to drink it because of the bitter memories of love lost and divorce. If you remember, Miles’s prized bottle of wine that he drinks alone at the end of the film is one of the world’s great wines, a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc, which is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The section of the script that clarified all this never made the film.
Why Cool-Climate Merlot Matters
And this brings us to our Humanitas 2012 ‘Truchard Vineyard’ Merlot grown in the cool-climate of Los Carneros. Well before Sideways, the script was already being written for the takedown of Merlot’s reputation. The varietal had become a favorite of Americans, so grape growers feverishly grafted over vineyards to the grape, including in the hot Central Valley of California. No bueno! Merlot needs a long cool growing season to reach perfection. Millions of bottles of hot-climate Merlot reached grocery store shelves that lacked the true quality and character of the grape.
Critics pounced, consumers curled their noses, and then Sideways coincidentally hit with an unintended consequence due to an editing decision. That’s wow!
We Invite You to Rekindle Your Love Affaire with Merlot While Sharing this Story
Now that the insider facts facts been revealed, we invite you to join Miles in his true love of Merlot without his lost love baggage and evangelize for this noble grape. Our 2012 ‘Truchard Vineyard’ Merlot is a complexly layered, stunning representation of what classic Merlot is meant to be: soft, sweet, juicy aromas of blueberry, pepper and fig bounding from the glass while making way for soft black cherry, tobacco leaf and cola on the palate.
Our 2012 ‘Truchard Vineyard’ Merlot is offered at $50.00 per bottle. For those who order 6 bottles or more, we’re offering $20 flat shipping or shipping included on a case or more in most states!
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Allison Levine |
Napa is home to more than 500 wineries and more than 750 charities, according to Judd Wallenbrock, owner of Humanitas Wines.
Humanitas Wines in Napa has created a business model in which it is making wine as well as giving back to the community and supporting regional charities.
More than 10,000 pairs of shoes headed to Los Angeles yesterday, and eventually to the Sole4Souls, Inc. headquarters in Nashville thanks to 20 schools, 28 businesses and hundreds of individuals in Napa, St. Helena and Sonoma that collected shoes during the 2 month drive. PDLS Trucking is hauling the shoes at a highly discounted rate while Queen of the Valley Community Outreach covers the transport. Throughout the shoe drive, Humanitas Wines and its warehouse team managed and stored the enormous collection of shoes prior to the soles heading out into the world to help children stay in school and adults re-enter the workforce. Over the past 5 years, Napa residents have donated more than 30,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls through collections by Napa CanDo, Napa High School and Roots & Shoots Napa.
Soles4Soles is also part of Humanitas Wines’ ongoing Shop to Drink Charitably fundraising drive. By visiting the Humanitas Wines Tasting Annex or Drink Charitably page, shoppers may designate 20% of their purchases for Soles4Soles.
Soles4Souls is a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes via direct donations to people in need, and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Soles4Souls is committed to the highest standards of operating and governance, and holds a four-star rating with Charity Navigator. Visit soles4souls.org for more information.
FORBES MAGAZINE ~ December 2015
Trends In Wine And Philanthropy: How Wineries And Consumers Give Back
BY Cathy Huyghe
“Judd Wallenbrock and all the folks at Humanitas Wines have a mission to drink charitably.” ~ Martin Cody, Cellar Angels
A healthy corporate culture is, as we know, good for business, and “giving back” is a significant indicator: consider SalesForce’s 1-1-1 integrated philanthropic model, the growing popularity of B Corp status, and the well-documented desire, especially among younger workers, to belong to a company that benefits society as well as shareholders.
How does the wine industry match up to these trends?
Wine is, in a word, generous. Read the full article…
Humanitas Wines Partners with Soles4Souls for National Fundraising Campaign as Part of its “Drink Charitably” Mission to Give Back
Humanitas Wines is partnering with Sole4Souls as part of its Shop to Drink Charitably holiday fundraising drive. By visiting the Humanitas Wines Drink Charitably page, you may designate 20% of your purchases by using promo code “Soles” to support Soles4Souls.
Soles4Souls is a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. They advance their anti-poverty mission in two distinct ways: Free distribution and micro-enterprise.
Soles4Souls lives by the saying, “Give a person a fish and they eat for a day; teach a person to fish and they eat for a lifetime.” Since 2006, Soles4Souls have collected and distributed 26 million pairs of new shoes to those in need in 127 countries around the world and all 50 states in the U.S.
Founded in 2001 in a backyard shed (The Shed-Teau) by wine industry executive Judd Wallenbrock as a way to give back to those less fortunate, Humanitas donates 7% of all revenues to charity. Humanitas specializes in small-lot, ultra-premium, vineyard designate wines primarily sourced from Napa Valley’s finest vineyards.
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Humanitas Wines is partnering with Sole4Souls, along with Napa Valley businesses and student volunteers, to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes this holiday season. These shoes will be collected and sold to micro-entrepreneur partners in places such as Haiti, Honduras and the Philippines, creating an opportunity for thousands in developing nations to start and sustain small businesses selling shoes and clothing. This program, which runs through end of December, is a powerful way for people who are without a traditional job or training to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Humanitas, part of the Good Life Wine Collective along with sister wineries Jessup Cellars and Handwritten, will use the family-owned wine group’s dry goods storage building in southern Napa to house the shoes prior to national and international distribution. Visit the Soles4Souls Napa Valley Shoe Drive Facebook page to learn more and get a list of local drop-off sites.
“What a pleasure to work with such a plugged in, socially aware company,” said Soles4Souls CEO, Buddy Teaster. “Humanitas understands the power of a business that cares enough to make a difference with their employees, customers and community. The shoe collection and fund raising efforts will have a meaningful impact here at home and around the world. And people will have a great time in the process.”
Additionally, Soles4Soles is part of Humanitas Wines’ Shop to Drink Charitably holiday fundraising drive for three worthy charities, which also includes the Edith Sanford Breast Foundation and Shelter Me. By visiting the Humanitas Wines Drink Charitably page, shoppers may designate 20% of their purchases to one of these select charities.
Soles4Souls is a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. They advance their anti-poverty mission in two distinct ways: Free distribution and micro-enterprise. They live by the saying, “Give a person a fish and they eat for a day; teach a person to fish and they eat for a lifetime.”
Since 2006, Soles4Souls have collected and distributed 26 million pairs of new shoes to those in need in 127 countries around the world and all 50 states in the U.S.
Soles4Souls is a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith- based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Soles4Souls is committed to the highest standards of operating and governance, and holds a four-star rating with Charity Navigator. Visit soles4souls.org for more information.
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Crusher Wine District will present an “Off-Vineyard Urban Expedition” wine tasting circuit at seven member wineries on August 8 and 9 from 11am to 4pm. This will be the third passport event in the Crusher Wine District’s annual series of Wine Hopper Weekends in 2015. Mobile ready passports are only $50/person each day, with Two-Day Passes available for $75 at Cellarpass.com.
The two-day weekend event will feature interactive and hands-on demonstrations at each participating Crusher Wine District winery, with a chance to roll up your sleeves and learn more about the gamut of the Harvest’s seasonal activities: the véraison moment, wine blending in action, barrel tasting, wine deconstruction, an aroma sensory demo and more. Local food trucks will be on hand, plus a special $24 prix fixe lunch at Siena and $10 boxed lunch at Blend are available at The Meritage Resort and Spa.
Wine Hopper Weekends provide access to wineries in the Crusher Wine District that are normally open by appointment only: Avinodos, The Wine Foundry, Humanitas Wines, Mi Sueño Winery, Spelletich Family Wine Company, The Trinitas Library and Crosby Roamann*.
Wine Hopper Weekends: “Off-Vineyard Urban Expedition”
Dates: August 8 & 9, 2015
Time: 11am to 4pm
Check-in Location: The Meritage Resort and Spa, 875 Bordeaux Way, Napa
Ticket Prices: One-day pass = $50, two-day pass = $75
More information can be found at CrusherWineDistrict.com/Events.
The Crusher Wine District is a cutting-edge collective of ten wineries located in the edgy and unexpected south side of Napa. Considered Napa’s only urban wine district, it attracts start-up and small-production working wineries in their “incubator” stage, affording a more intimate and personal dialogue with the owners and winemakers. For Napa locals and visitors alike, looking for a new and different experience, it offers an off-the-beaten-path destination on your way in or out of Napa Valley.
*Wineries subject to change. Participating wineries for each weekend will be posted on our CellarPass ticketing page.
Crusher Games II. A CRUSHER WINE DISTRICT Wine Hopper Weekend. June 20-21, 2015 – 10am-5pm
Come sip, play and compete at the Crusher Wine District’s Crusher Games II, a playful twist on the typical wine tasting passport event. Explore our cutting-edge collective of modern, edgy and urban wineries clustered in the south district of Napa for our second annual wine crawl. Whimsical games (think Wine Pong, Barrel Putt-Putt, Bung Stacking, etc.), amazing prizes, and great food. With specials to celebrate Father’s Day Fun.
And a concert to rally the winners and celebrate after at the Champion’s Circle Concert at Humanitas Wines featuring Kingsborough!
$50/person. 2-Day Passes Available — $75/person. ($250 Value)
Many of our member wineries are open by appointment only, but we’ve opened our doors for special experiences at each winery as you “hop” (or bike!, or walk!) from tasting to tasting for one inclusive fee.
Participating Wineries: Avinodos, Humanitas Wines, J. Moss, Spelletich Family Wine Co., The Wine Foundry, Trinitas Cellars and Charles Woodson Wines.
Make your weekend getaway lodging reservations now by calling The Meritage Resort and Spa located in the heart of the Crusher Wine District at 855.318.1768
Come experience the edgy, urban and unexpected side of Napa Valley!
*Wineries subject to change. Look at email confirmation and updates for participating wineries.
To Purchase Tickets, click here
For More Information:
Wine industry veteran Judd Wallenbrock (L), pictured here overlooking the Napa Valley’s Carneros AVA with winegrape grower Tony Truchard (C) and winemaker Rob Lloyd (R), Founded Humanitas Wines in 2001 to give back to those less fortunate
(Napa, CA, March 16th 2015) — In 2014, Humanitas Wines joined the Good Life Wine Collective with Jessup Cellars and Handwritten Wines after Judd Wallenbrock took the helm as President and CEO of the family-owned wine group in 2012. It was during this integration process that Wallenbrock realized his tiny one-man show was on path to surpass a quarter-of-a-million-dollars in donations to charitable projects. Latin for philanthropy, character and human nature, Humanitas embraces two simple ideas — craft the best vineyard designate wines possible while creating good in the world.
“After running solo for more than a decade, and now finding a home with The Good Life Wine Collective, this transition has allowed me to reflect back on my journey,” said Wallenbrock. “I’m humbled at what Humanitas has accomplished and where it can now go with a full team behind our mission. Our dream is to get enough people Drinking Charitably to raise this kind of revenue for worthy causes on an annual basis.”
Founded in Wallenbrock’s backyard shed (The Shed-Teau) in 2001 as a way to give back to those less fortunate, Humanitas donates seven percent of all revenues to charity. It’s what Wallenbrock calls, “The Seven Percent Solution.” Specifically, the monies go to solution-based organizations in health, hunger and affordable housing, with a focus on regional giving. Currently, Humanitas has fundraising partnerships with SightLife, whose mission is to eliminate corneal blindness, The Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and many regional food banks and community foundations.
At the Humanitas Tasting Annex in southern Napa, the winery offers appointment only Pay it Forward tasting experiences that feature exclusive tours of its winery facility, along with molecular gastronomy spoon bite pairings developed by master instructor and cookbook author Chef MikeC. Wine lovers who wish to Drink Charitably may order wines online or join a Humanitas Wine Club at www.HumanitasWines.com or by contacting its hospitality team directly at (707) 253-1405.
Photo credit: William Bucquoy
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Passport Weekends Allow Open Access to Predominately Appointment-Only Wine District
The Crusher Wine District in Southern Napa has announced that its avant-garde collection of wineries will host quarterly Wine Hopper Weekends to allow unfettered access to its members’ tasting experiences. With many of its member wineries available for tastings by appointment only, Crusher Wine District has selected four weekends throughout 2015 where all will be open for passport tastings from 10am to 4:30pm.
Special experiences will be shared at each winery as passport holders “hop” from tasting to tasting for one inclusive fee of $85 each or $150 per couple. To access the entire Crusher Wine District member tasting experiences would normally cost up to $250 per person. Guests may also opt to visit select wineries through individual tasting fees. The inaugural weekend takes place March 7 and 8 with tickets available at CellarPass.com.
Wine Hopper Weekends include access to Avinodos, Edict Wines, The Wine Foundry, Humanitas Wines, J. Moss, Mi Sueño Winery, Spelletich Family Wine Co., The Trinitas Library and Y. Rousseau Wines. The weekend of June 20th and 21st will be a Special Edition of Crusher Games II! Passport holders may also book weekend getaway lodging reservations by calling Meritage Resort & Spa located in the heart of the Crusher Wine District at (707) 251-1900.
*Wine Hopper Weekends Quarterly Tastings
March 7 & 8
June 20 & 21 = A Special Edition of Crusher Games II
August 8 & 9
November 7 & 8
*Select wineries may not be available for all four weekends. Participating wineries for each weekend will be posted on our CellarPass ticketing page.
About Crusher Wine District
Crusher Wine District is a collaboration of avant-garde wineries dedicated to cutting edge wines and honest hospitality. Our location in the industrial area of South Napa says it all about us – authentic, stripped down and a little funky. Come visit the Napa Valley you didn’t expect, yet will ultimately always remember. Members include Avinodos, Edict Wines, The Wine Foundry, Humanitas Wines, J. Moss, Mi Sueño Winery, Spelletich Family Wine Co., Trinitas Cellars, The Trinitas Library and Y. Rousseau Wines. To learn more and join our mailing list, visit us at CrusherWineDistrict.com.