The naked desire I have to make a direct connection between wine consumers and the activist community is one that, over the years, people often find puzzling. My friends and associates have often dismissed the idea outright as a bad one for business. And I admit, it definitely hasn't helped when I try to partner with some vineyards, restaurants, or retail stores. Potentially alienating your customers or partners (however unintentional) obviously makes the road ahead a more difficult path to navigate.
But my days are frequently filled with the thoughts of inequity and injustice that surround me. My eyes and my heart are simply, wide open. And, just as most winemakers make their own wines in a style that they enjoy drinking themselves, my business has taken shape in the only form that I can live with – that of benefitting others as much as myself. I have other ideas along these lines that I hope to introduce into the business if I can continue to grow...
Every business is an act of politics. It is delusion to think they are separate. It is a clear testimony to the owner's values on social, environmental, economic and even ethical concerns. Whether a business makes these values transparent, or even proudly peacocks them, we now live in an era where all consumers should be mindful of the impact their dollars have on supporting any business, no matter how large or small. Businesses have the largest footprint on the people and planet of this shared Earth, and your choices as a consumer directly influence whether the values of the companies you support spread over greater regions, or end where they began.
Imagine: how powerful would the Koch brothers be, banks too big to fail, or fast food restaurants like McDonalds (which advises their employees on how to get food stamps in order to support themselves), if no one bought their consumer products, or kept their money in these banks?
As for wine specifically-- it is classified as a “luxury good.” Wine is not a necessity, but a simple pleasure in life to be enjoyed with food, family or friends. Wine consumers tend to have a bit more disposable income, time, and resources available, and this makes them a terrific match for the activist community in dire need of help to further their noble aspirations. It is not only money that can be so helpful to non profits, but also one's time, and one's networking connections.
My intent is to build a multi- directional bridge: raise awareness, resources, perhaps even stimulate some new thoughts and active support, and connect the activist community with the generosity and compassion within the enormous wine consuming public. Makes sense to me, and I hope it does to you as well.
And if not, No worries. The wine is just as alive, authentic, distinctive, and delicious as ever.
Please understand how vitally important your consumer purchases are in creating the world that you desire, and be mindful with every dollar.
Cheers and Best to All, E