The wine was not the only "spirit" to be seen along the Niagara Wine Trail USA last weekend. The spirit of giving back was the theme of the trail's "Share the Bounty" event, held Nov. 8-11. The 19 wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail, USA, raised funds and nonperishable food items for local charities and food banks.
The Niagara Wine Trail wineries combined raised more than $9,780 and donated 550-plus nonperishable food items.
The annual event encouraged each winery on the trail to pick a charity or worthy 501(c)(3) cause within the community to donate proceeds from wine tasting sales collected during the weekend. In addition to wine tasting sales, some wineries also donated a $1 to their chosen cause while others encouraged donations by having the charity present during the event.
"We schedule our annual 'Share the Bounty' event Veterans Day weekend not just because it's a long weekend, but because it's a holiday that inspires appreciation and generosity," said Elizabeth Maute, trail coordinator. "It's so easy to get caught up in planning for the upcoming holidays, but Veterans Day reminds us that we need to take a step back and thank those who have served (and to remember) those that are still making sacrifices and may not be able to enjoy the upcoming holidays with family and friends."
Below is a list with each winery's charity of choice and amount raised:
•Schulze Vineyards collected eight boxes of food and will be donating $1,000 to the Newfane Community Food Pantry.
•The Winery at Marjim Manor will be donating $350 in cash, along with three boxes of canned goods to the Barker Food Pantry.
•Leonard Oakes Estate Winery will send $328 to benefit Foodlink.
•Long Cliff Winery will donate $527 to Western New York's Toys for Tots.
•Eveningside Vineyards will donate $650 to the Response to Love Center in Buffalo.
•Arrowhead Spring Vineyards is sending $981 to the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation.
•A Gust of Sun Winery raised $1,487 for the WNY Heroes organization. In addition, they collected three times as much non-perishable food items as they did last year
•Black Willow Winery will send $250 to Wild Spirit Education.
•Niagara Landing Wine Cellars has $335 and non-perishable food items to benefit the Salvation Army of Lockport.
•Freedom Run Winery netted $189 and cases of food to benefit the Meals on Wheels of Lockport.
•Flight of Five Winery has $153 to benefit St. John's Outreach in Lockport.
•Honeymoon Trail Winery raised $1,500 to benefit Niagara Hospice in Lockport.
•Spring Lake Winery is sending $150 to benefit Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.
•Vizcarra Vineyards raised $816 and about 25 canned goods for the Zion Lutheran Church food bank in Gasport.
•Victorianbourg Wine Estate gathered 183 food items for the Wilson Community Food Bank (a member of Food Bank of WNY)
•Chateau Niagara Winery has $324 and 30 canned good items for the Food Bank of WNY.
•BlackBird Cider Works will be donating $345 to Community Missions of Niagara's soup kitchen.
•Midnight Run Wine Cellars has $300 earmarked for the Lakeview Animal Sanctuary in Pendleton to assist in rebuilding a shelter.
•Lake Ontario Winery has $100 to benefit the Crohns and Colitis foundation.
Most of the wineries along the trail acknowledged Veterans Day during the event by offering special discounts and/or complimentary wine tastings to veterans and active service members.
The Niagara Wine Trail will hold next year's "Share the Bounty" event over Veterans Day weekend, (Nov. 7-10, 2014). For more information on the Niagara Wine Trail USA, member wineries, and a schedule of upcoming events, visit http://www.niagarawinetrail.org.