Gordon Holmes, owner of Lookout Ridge Winery in Glen Ellen, believes that wine can change a life.
Over 150 million children, teens and adults worldwide are in need of a wheelchair but cannot afford one. The Holmes family, owners of Lookout Ridge Winery in Glen Ellen, wants to change that statistic.
“For every bottle of Lookout Ridge current release wines and for every case of library wines, our “Wine for Wheels” program will donate a wheelchair to a needy individual,” owner Gordon Holmes said. “We believe you can buy a bottle and change a life.”
The price of a bottle of current release wine is $100 and one case of Library wines is $600.
There is also a personal reason for this crusade to give back mobility to those that have lost it because of war, disease, accident or natural disaster. His wife, Kari, was stricken with multiple sclerosis years ago and is confined to a wheelchair.
Holmes, a self-described Wall Street capitalist, said the “Wine for Wheels” program began to germinate about three years ago. He works with the Wheelchair Foundation, which has given nearly 800,000 wheelchairs in the last 10 years. The winery places an order, the wheelchairs are made in China and distributed by non-governmental agencies. Most of the wheelchairs go out of the United States because the want is greater in places where there are no social service agencies to help.
“The need is so great,” he said. “And wine is a catalyst.”
Holmes’ approach to winemaking is a little untraditional.
“Traditional wineries have one winemaker making several different varietals,” he said looking down over his hillside vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. “I look at our winemaking like a portfolio of nine experts, each crafting their own passion into making
He also showcases the winemaker with his or her name on the front label. Last year the winery produced 100 cases and this year Holmes plans to raise that to 800 cases.
“I’m in the business of the impossible and giving away a $100 wheelchair is impossible,” he said. “I couldn’t do it alone. My mission is to inspire others.
“We are so fortunate to live in a country with no war, no land mines to destroy lives and self reliance,” Holmes said. “We need to count our blessings.”
SOURCE: SF Examiner