The Art of Giving (back) in the Wine Business

There aren’t that many unique business models in the winery business: Make and sell direct, Make and sell to wholesalers, Make lots at low margin, make little at high margin. All these models have one thing at their heart…make the producers a living. So, when a new business model (really a new reason for a winery to exist) comes along you have to appreciate the ingenuity behind it. And in the case of Humanitas Wines, you have to appreciate the inspiration.

Humanitas Wines, located in Napa Valley, makes and sells Chardonnay, Cabernet and Pinot Noir., but it gives all profits to charity. Specifically, it focuses it’s charitable efforts on charities dealing in hunger, housing and literacy.

“Drink Charitably” is it’s motto. Nice, huh?

The owner of Humanitas is Judd Wallenbrock, an industry veteran who has served as a VP at Mondavi and a COO at De Loach Vineyards. Judd is a marketer who has a penchant for giving back. Humanitas is his stab at combining his talent and desire to give.

Humanitas has been featured all over the place from USA Today and the SF Chronicle to radio and TV. I just heard he’ll be on WABC-TV in New York tonight. This is good news for a person doing lots of good.

You can get pretty cynical about the business you work in. We all do. But sometimes you meet someone or hear about a venture in your industry that tells you things are not nearly as bad and low down as they sometimes seem.

My recommendation to everyone this holiday season is to Drink Charitably!

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