It's no surprise that winemakers donate wine to nonprofit organizations for fundraising efforts. Sometimes, they give to promote their label. But now, some wine producers are making the altruistic step of slapping a special label on unbranded bottles and selling the wine inside and outside of their tasting rooms.
All are made by local producers and traded for ski passes, outright given away or sold to raise a few dollars for a nonprofit group.
Chris Martin of Troon Vineyard in Grants Pass wanted to donate some of the sales from his wine while also paying homage to the winery's late founder. Dick Troon was a man of multiple trades, including once serving as a river guide on the Rogue.
This month, the winery released 2010 River Guide Red, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah that will be sold at the Ashland Food Co-op, Sherm's Thunderbird, Ray's Food Place and a few Albertsons stores.
Proceeds from the $16 bottle will benefit Rogue Riverkeeper, a group that protects water quality and fish in the Rogue River Basin.
Ashland Independent Film Festival supporters can buy $20 Ashland Independent Film Festival Special Reserve Vintner's Select Sauvignon Blanc. The white wine was made from grapes donated by South Stage Cellars and made without charge by winemaker Linda Donovan of Pallet Wine Co. in Medford. Winemaker Eric Weisinger of Weisinger's of Ashland has also given his time.
At the film festival's Oscar Gala on Feb. 24, guests will be able to taste and purchase some of the few remaining 50 cases of the 2011 sauvignon blanc.
Later this year, Quail Run Vineyards' Michael Moore hopes to release 65 cases of chardonnay and the following year, 65 cases of syrah with the special AIFF label.
The festival keeps all but a few dollars for the cost to buy empty bottles and print the labels.
Valley View Winery owner Mike Wisnovsky, who serves on the board of the Mt. Ashland Ski Area, came up with a similar, customized label idea. Adults in the T-Bar Lounge can buy Mt. Ashland merlot and chardonnay for $4 a glass or $15 a bottle.
Valley View and other wineries sometimes bottle wine without labels — called "shiners" — and store them until restaurateurs, companies and individuals buy them and add personal labels.
The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approves these vanity labels if they adhere to the guidelines. The labels must state the brand name, alcohol content, dominate grape, where the grapes were grown, when they were harvested and other consumer information.
Read the complete story in the Ashland Daily Tidings: http://www.dailytidings.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130118/NEWS02/301180303