Wines with a Cause
April 1, 2010
A few years ago, I reported to you about a group of vintners from the Langhe in the Piedmont region. They had formed an association called L’Insieme whose sole purpose was to help people. These Piedmontese farmers/vintners all shared a love of the land; they used their passion for nebbiolo grapes to fuel a movement that could affect people throughout the world. Their motto is that even one grape can help make a miracle.
Basically, they use €5 per bottle of wine that they produce and sell to fund projects. They have been joined by importers, distributors, and wine lovers who have also donated money to help them achieve their goals. Some of their accomplishments have been to:
- Build a playroom for children of single mothers in Alba, Piedmont
- Purchase land in the Amazon forest to help preserve it from logging
- Repair a hydroelectric power station that supplies power to the homes of Bolivian peasant-farmers
- Donate money to aid children who were victims of land mines in Afghanistan
- Contribute money toward summer stays in a camp near the forest in Cuneo, Piedmont for the disabled.
I have tasted various vintages of L’Insieme from some of the producers involved, such as Mauro Veglio, Elio Altare, and Federico Grasso. Their wines involve blending the indigenous grapes of Piedmont with other international varieties. Not only does this group have a heartwarming mission statement; they also produce excellent wine.
Producing wine in the northern area of the region of Emilia-Romagna has also helped to rehabilitate young men and women who have serious drug addiction problems. An organization called San Patrignano was established in 1978. It produces wine, cheese, olive oil, salumi, and honey. Their proceeds have helped more than 20,000 people obtain medical and legal advice, continue their studies, and introduce job training to them so that they have a better opportunity to change their lives and become respected members of society.
I have recently tasted two of their wines that have won the highly coveted Tre Bicchieri Award. Their 2006 Montepirolo has a D.O.C. Colli di Rimini appellation. It is produced from cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot grapes. The 2006 Avi is 100% sangiovese with a Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Riserva label.
Want an extra good feeling the next time you go shopping for wine? Taste a new and exciting wine, while at the same time helping out people in need.