At the Table

Holiday Wines Where the Gift Keeps Giving

By: Erin Byers Murray

‘Tis the season for good tidings, good cheer, and, especially, good holiday wines for toasting. From holiday party season through the New Year, those wine glasses will get a workout—why not put them to better use by seeking out wines that give back? Wineries around the world are making financial commitments to local, regional, and international causes—from the environment to the hospitality industry to the arts—meaning that every bottle you buy could be a personal show of support and a way to spread more love. Three cheers to that. 

Charitable Holiday Wines that Give Back

Tarpon Cellars 

Winemaker Jeremy Carter, a Georgia native, started Tarpon Cellars with both music and philanthropy at the forefront—he launched his virtual winery in 2017 and has given some portion of all revenue to organizations from the start, including the Georgia chapter for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Today, 1% of all revenue goes to Charleston Waterkeeper, while their Cambaro series, labeled with a vivacious watercolor crab, sends an additional 1% of revenue to the Newport Festivals Foundation. “It is our firmly held viewpoint that wine is meant to connect people: to a vineyard block, to a growing season, to a winemaker, and most importantly to each other,” states the website.

Bonus: Check out Tarpon’s Spotify playlists, which pair great tunes with each of their wines. 

Four holiday wines from Tarpon Cellars
Image courtesy of Tarpon Cellars

Proud Pour 

Berlin Kelly, a passionate environmentalist, set out with a mission to change the world with a glass of wine—her label Proud Pour does that with each of its labels, including a sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, rosé, cider, and syrah. Each supports a different environmental cause, such as oyster reef restoration efforts, planting wildflower habitats for bees, rescuing sea turtles, and more. What’s more, to each of these causes the company gives back 5% of its top-line revenue, a commitment that surpasses most. 

4 Wines from Proud Pour Wines
Image courtesy of Proud Pour

Dough Wines 

This California winery launched in 2020 in order to support an annual donation to the James Beard Foundation (JBF). While JBF is widely known for its prestigious restaurant, chef, and media awards, it’s also doing a world of good in the industry through its advocacy and sustainability programs, including supporting women in leadership positions and chefs focused on policy change. The winery is well on its way of hitting a goal to make a $1,000,000 donation to JBF and its scholarship partners; every bottle purchased them get closer.

As for what’s in the bottle, head winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen works in collaboration with a group of JBF chefs and sommeliers as she’s crafting her blends to ensure the wines are food-friendly and ready to pour. Now’s the time to pick up their Sparkling Pack for you and your glass-raising friends. 

3 Sparkling holiday wines from Dough Wines
Image courtesy of Dough Wines

William Chris Vineyards

William Chris Vineyards (WCV) worked hand-in-hand with sommelier June Rodil and beverage director Mark Sayre of Goodnight Hospitality to create the Wanderer Series: Relief Project III, which benefits chef José AndrésWorld Central Kitchen. WCV’s Texas-grown and produced wines imbue the spirit of their home state, especially in this medium-bodied, wintery blend of mourvèdre and cabernet sauvignon.

The series launched in 2020 with WCV partnership Craig Collins, Master Sommelier, and Southern Smoke to provide relief to hospitality workers, and then they worked with sommelier Ali Schmidt and Feeding Texas to support local food banks. This lates rendition can be found online for $40, or at select restaurants and shops around Texas. 

Chris Williams WInes Thumbnail
Image by Anne Ousey

Line 39 Wines 

This Northern California winery (on the 39th parallel) crafts easily quaffable (and affordable) weeknight sippers, and throughout the holiday season, the B Corp-certified company is donating up to $45,000 to food banks around the country through their Plate it Forward program. Go for the 2019 merlot at just $11 per bottle for a structured, fruit-forward wine that will do well against the comfort of a roasted chicken

Line Thumbnail
Image courtesy of Line 39

Mount Yengo

Distributed in the United States by Nashville-based Legend Australian Wine Imports, Mount Yengo is currently Australia’s only indigenous-owned winery. It started with a mission to connect the First Nations People of Australia with the greater wine community, and to bridge a cultural divide and embrace reconciliation and diversity. All bottle labels feature an indigenous artist’s work—originally they paid an artist for every bottle sold—and most recently, they brought renowned photojournalist Wayne Quilliam, whose images grace the current labels, into the business. Today, they give proceeds of each bottle sold to the National Indigenous Culinary Institute, which trains indigenous chefs and places them in the hospitality industry around Australia. 

Mount Yengo sake to switch up your holiday wine
Image courtesy of Mount Yengo

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