While doing some background research on our wines featured in October, I stumbled across an article by Linda Garson in the Calgary Wine Examiner. She lists the French producer M.Chapoutier as #7 on her list of “wines that give back”. Chapoutier is donating a percentage of the sales of their Bellerouche to the Alberta Guide Dog Services during October. Since 1996, Chapoutier has used braille on their labels in respect for Maurice Manier, family member and vineyard owner that had lost his sight as a child.
While this month we are not featuring the 2009 Chapoutier Belleruche Blanc or Rouge, we are delivering Chapoutier’s Les Vignes de Bila-Haut (blend of Carignan, Grenache, Syrah). Tom Firth’s review of Bila-Haut for the WineCollective community notes, “Savoury chocolate, rich berry fruits of raspberry and cherry, and a pleasing earthy bitterness which appears on the mid palate.” It won great reviews throughout the WineCollective team, and we are proud to be introducing it to our members.
Keeping in the spirit of all things to be thankful for, I am pleased to pass along further information on M. Chapoutier’s philanthropic endeavours. A very engaging wine maker, who has coordinated numerous creative and successful fundraisers while doing what he know best, making beautiful wine!
In addition to using braille on their labels, Micheal Chapoutier has not only instilled the company’s core values of ‘Respect, Audacity and Generosity’ into their grapes, but also into their community. Under the title ‘M.Chapoutier Wines and Health Association”, the organization has raised money for the French Blood Transfusion Organization through auctioning wines from various prestigious houses, to funding a play “Jump out of Bed” performed by volunteers in the Medical community. There is also the “Harvests of Hearts” where volunteers pick grapes, and for every ton, the producer donates the workers’ “pay” to their charitable organization. Chapoutier’s social efforts, wine, love of food and all around success has made him the subject of a French film “Fac & Spera“, the family motto of “do and hope”.
It is refreshing when you discover the passion and generosity of the people behind the products you purchase and the wines you love to drink.