Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Vinomofo Homeless Grapes Project Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2018


Wine for good.

Nothing describes the aim of this project better than those three words. The Homeless Grapes project rocketed to prominence in 2015 via some McLaren Vale Shiraz. Since then, the project has seen wines made in Coonawarra and now the Yarra Valley. But the best bit is undoubtedly that every cent is donated to charity. All proceeds from this wine will be sent to the St Mary's House of Welcome in Melbourne who offer their support to Melbourne's homeless.

The fruit was picked and donated by De Bortoli, TarraWarra and Rochford Estate. Pickers, tractors, bottles, labels - you name it, it was all generously donated.

All the fruit found its way back to the winery at De Bortoli where winemaker Steve Webber cast his spell. As he and wife Leeanne have proudly proclaimed, the fruit De Bortoli donated was destined for one of their premium labels.

The label on the bottle is an image of Wendy. A victim of domestic violence as a child then as an adult, she made the choice to leave and found herself homeless. For ten years she was on the streets until she saw a sign saying "Welcome" on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne - she had found St Mary's House of Welcome. Wendy suddenly found a connection and safety within the centre's walls. Wendy's life has now come full circle where she is no longer dependant on the centre but she has chosen to give back volunteering her time at the centre four days a week serving breakfast and lunch. Beautiful!

But what's the wine like? Pretty damn smashable actually. There's elegance and there's some hipster cool. It's a chilled and composed type offering soft stonefruit, handfuls of old school lemonade and whispers of vanilla. The palate is filled with fruit, the width and depth run long and urge another sip. Whole bunch pressing adds some textural feels. A slight hand of cashews and soft creaminess add further complexity.

Ultimately, are you buying this because it's a 100 point wine? No. You're buying this because a six pack provides those in need access to essentials such as hot showers and hot meals for a week and access to a crisis support worker. A dozen gifts a rough sleeper a swag, blankets, a food parcel, hot showers and hot meals. In essence, you get smart booze and the satisfaction knowing you've done good while someone who struggles gets a taste of what many of us take for granted. A sweet deal I say.

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $150 for a 6 pack
Source: Sample

Winery Website

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