When One Hope Wine began in 2007, the intention was to create great wine along with supporting great causes - and now, the "cause-centric commerce," as CEO Jake Kloberdanz calls it, is supporting seven different causes, both national and global, where every bottle purchased equals a contribution. Each variety of wine is paired with a different national charity, and that charity receives 50 percent of the profits earned. One Hope began with only the cabernet, merlot and chardonnay and has since added one new varietal each year. All of the wines are vinted by Robert Mondavi Jr. in Napa Valley, and each bottle runs between $10 and $13.
From light to dark, the wines start with sauvignon blanc, which supports the American Forestry Association, and each case sold equals 12 new trees. The grassy notes in the sauvignon blanc lent themselves to the partnership. One Hope's best-seller, the chardonnay, supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which focuses on breast cancer prevention. Eight cases sold equals one mammogram for a woman who wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford the exam.
The zinfandel is blended with a sirah, which softens the style, but the wine retains a peppery taste on the end. The zinfandel is crafted from an American grape with tough skin, which is why One Hope paired it with Snowball Express, a charity for children of fallen military members. The cabernet sauvignon is the second-best seller and donates to the fight against autism, providing one hour of AVA therapy for every four cases sold.
The merlot aims to combat the worldwide AIDS epidemic by contributing to Alicia Keys' foundation, Keep a Child Alive. Two cases of the merlot is equal to a month's worth of medicine for a pediatric AIDS victim in Africa. The most recent addition is a brut sparkling wine that focuses on childhood hunger relief with an astonishing case-to-contribution ratio: one case equals 100 meals for a child in need.
"The wines are made for easy drinking," says Libby Congelliere, the One Hope rep for Select Wines Inc. "The quality of the wine is top priority [and each] cause is the focus of the business model. It's built into the brand, [so it's] intrinsically giving back throughout the year.
"It makes sense. We could change the marketplace."
One Hope began distributing in Lafayette in October to local businesses including Rouses, Champagne's Market, Cena, Ambassador Wine Shop, Marcello's Wine Market and Albertsons on Ambassador Caffery.