As regular readers of this blog know, we try to be involved in our community in a variety of ways. We give tens of thousands of dollars each year to support a range of local charities and arts organizations. Our people volunteer to coach and we sponsor youth sports, typically several local teams each year. We serve on nonprofit boards and donate our time and resources to support those organizations that can support us. We offer our facilities and our expertise to host events on topics that can help build a better environment and a better wine community, from dry farming to biodynamics to the Ovines in the Vines field day that our Shepherd Nathan Stuart will be helping lead later this week. And, for the last several years, we've donated a dollar from every bottle of wine we sell in December to must! charities. That's why I'm especially proud that we received the "community" California Green Medal from the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance a few years back.
If you are unfamiliar with the work that must! charities does, I can't do a better job of explaining it than the nonprofit's founders do:
The organization has made a huge difference in the lives of residents of San Luis Obispo County, especially the kids who live here. Must! has supported dozens of projects over the decade since it was founded, but its power comes from how it doesn't spread itself too thin, instead aggregating donations from the community, choosing a handful of worthy local organizations each year, and providing -- typically through multi-year commitments -- both financial support and organizational expertise so that it can help the organizations improve in lasting ways. This year, must! is supporting four projects: ECHO homeless shelter, with a primary goal of finding permanent housing for homeless families; the new Boys & Girls Club of Shandon, where nearly half the town's 200 elementary and middle school kids are already enrolled; CASA of San Luis Obispo, to help more children in the North County find safe, nurturing, and permanent homes; and the construction of a commercial kitchen at ECHO, providing both job training for its clients and a long-term asset for the organization.
At Tablas Creek, our primary support of must! comes in December, when we pledge to donate a dollar from every bottle we sell direct from the winery, whether in the tasting room, online, or by phone. And yes, gift packs and wine club packs count (one dollar per bottle included in either). So do the wines that we have on feature. And half bottles. Really... any wine we sell. Last year, we were able to donate $8,850. This year, we hope to top that.
So, on this day that has been dubbed "giving Tuesday" it feels appropriate to share that this month, every day allows us to give a little more. Thank you for making it possible for us to make a difference.