On Dec. 8, the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula will host their annual Day of Giving, during which all seven member wineries will donate 15 percent of gross sales to local nonprofits. WOMP as a whole also will contribute an additional $500 to each organization.
Each WOMP winery chooses a cause that's close to the hearts of its owners, employees and/or customers, with the 2012 lineup including Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan (2 Lads Winery), Traverse Health Clinic (Black Star Farms), Cherryland Humane Society (Bowers Harbor Vineyards), Father Fred Foundation (Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery), Goodwill Inn (Chateau Chantal), Women's Resource Center (Chateau Grand Traverse) and Fishing for a Cure (Peninsula Cellars).
Leading up to the holidays, Sandhill Crane Vineyards in Jackson traditionally offers hand-knit wine "bottle caps" and "bottle scarves" for purchase to support Warm the Children, a nonprofit organization that supplies winter coats to needy youngsters.
Through Dec. 17, customers at St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw can bring in new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots and receive free wine tasting. St. Julian also hosted the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 Festival of Trees, which highlighted decorated Christmas trees donated by local businesses and individuals. The trees were then sold via silent auction to visitors, with proceeds benefiting Van Buren Senior Services. And on Dec. 8, St. Julian is collaborating with the Southwest Michigan Artists' Association to host the SMAA Art Tasting, which features display and sales of pieces by local artists, wine, appetizers and music, all to benefit SMAA and local art programs.
Black Star Farms is selling special "Fisherman Santa in Fishtown" bottles of Red House Red wine for $15.50 at its Old Mission Peninsula, Leelanau Peninsula and Traverse City tasting rooms, with a percentage of proceeds benefiting the Fishtown Preservation Society. The nonprofit is dedicated to preserving the historical integrity and public accessibility of Leland's Fishtown area, the commercial fishing village that includes shanties, smokehouses, docks, fish tugs and charter boats along the Leland River.
Each year, Chateau Chantal on Old Mission Peninsula participates in the Salvation Army's Adopt-a-Family program, providing gifts and necessities for a northern Michigan family.
Many wineries' efforts extend well beyond the holidays. At Domaine Berrien Cellars in Berrien Springs, for instance, $1 from every bottle of Cabernet Franc sold goes to breast cancer organizations in memory of winemaker Wally Maurer's mother, Kathleen, who battled the disease for three years.
"This is a year-round commitment, and each year goes to a different charity that is fighting against breast cancer — i.e., Relay for Life, American Cancer Society or Race for a Cure, Susan G. Komen, etc.," explained Katie Maurer, Domaine Berrien's co-owner. "Domaine Berrien Cellars' Cabernet Franc was Kathy's favorite wine, and we are proud to honor her memory in this small way."
Sales of the aptly named Conservancy, a methode champenoise sparkling wine from L. Mawby Vineyards & Winery on Leelanau Peninsula, help benefit the Farmland Preservation Fund of the Leelanau Conservancy. For every bottle sold, L. Mawby chips in $2 to the fund, which is committed to preserving farmland in the area in perpetuity.
"The Leelanau Conservancy's work to protect farmland on the Leelanau Peninsula gives us hope that the great natural resource we've been given will be available for generations to come," said Larry Mawby, L. Mawby's owner and winemaker.
Sandhill Crane also has a number of wines from which a portion of sales benefit charity, including Abrazo (Cascades Humane Society), Legacy (Legacy Land Conservancy), Novo (Junior League of Ann Arbor) and Blue Skies (Dahlem Conservancy).
This is far from an exhaustive list; these are merely examples of some of the various charitable programs, products and projects among the state's wineries. If you're seeking a way to give back via vino, check with your favorite local winery to see what they have in the works.
Article by Cortney Casey, MichiganByTheBottle.com. We strive to be your definitive source of information on Michigan wines; therefore, we welcome you to link to this page or print an excerpt that leads back to our site. However, as our work is copyrighted, we kindly ask that you do not copy and paste this or any other portion of Michigan By the Bottle in its entirety on another site. We appreciate your cooperation. For reprint inquiries, please email email@example.com.