By Lauren Phelps
We have a saying in Paso Robles, “it’s not the wine industry, it’s the wine community” and this sentiment is never more apparent than during the holiday season. During these winter months our community of winemakers, wine lovers, and growers rally together to make a significant impact locally through donations and volunteer work. And we concentrate our philanthropic efforts, multiplying the benefits through must! Charities- a local nonprofit organization that donates 100% of its proceeds directly back to specific community projects in North SLO County.
This December is our 5th annual must! Month fundraiser where we donate $1 for every bottle sold (online, by phone, and in the tasting room) throughout the month. In total, Tablas Creek has donated over $31,000 from funds raised during must! Month since 2012.
Often we are asked by guests in the tasting room what must! Charities does and how buying a bottle of Tablas Creek wine during the month of December supports families in need. To put it briefly, must! Charities brings together hundreds of individuals and businesses in a collaborative effort to pool funds and resources together to give bigger and better for our community. Must! strategically selects the most essential projects to fun and supports them with large, lasting contributions that make sustainable change in North SLO County. Some of what they have supported in recent years includes:
- Food Bank Coalition's Children's Farmer's Market Expansion- The $27,000 Cash Investment over the last 12 months added an additional 9 sites to the north county and provided over 170,000 pounds of fresh produce for children and families.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters- 4 year, $253,000 - $273,000 commitment with Big Brothers Big Sisters of SLO County with financial and business expertise that will grow the North County reach from the 10% that it represents now, to a realistic number based on community need.
- CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)- must! charities is committed to a 4-year, $262,551 collaboration with CASA to address the 120 children remaining on the waitlist in North County.
While we're proud of the donations we make each year, it's not all we do. Tablas Creek team members volunteer with local organizations such as CASA, local youth sports, Paso Robles Youth Art Foundation, Prado Day Center, and Community Counseling Center. Last year we helped freshen up the Boys and Girls Club in a hands-on service project.
We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our wine loving community. Thank YOU for helping us continue our mission to be positive ambassadors of the Paso Robles wine community.