The original idea for the Vineyards to Villages (V2V) campaign was the brainchild of Sue Ross, GPFD’s former Director of Development, in collaboration with board president elect Dave Stare, founder of Dry Creek Vineyard. One day at a meeting, Sue asked, “what can we do to get the Sonoma County wine industry involved with Global Partners in a fund raising capacity.” The answer turned out to be water. It’s essential to the growing of fine grapes and making great wines, and in Africa water, the very essence of life, is a very scarce commodity. Thus Vineyards to Villages was born with water as the common link.

In May of 2013, GPFD hosted a lunch at Dry Creek Vineyard to introduce the concept of Vineyards to Villages to the Sonoma County wine industry. Most of the attendees were Dave’s friends and colleagues. This initial presentation planted the seeds for the V2V conversation. Since then, we have written many letters, made many phone calls and given numerous pitches to members of the Sonoma Wine industry. So far GPFD has raised over $30,000 from wineries and grape growers alike. Some of these funds have been earmarked for East African water projects, some of which have already been implemented. On our upcoming February Africa trip, we will visit these projects. Stay tuned for an update in the next ENews letter.

We are definitely off and running with high hopes of reaching our 2013-2014 campaign goal of $80,000 before the end of GPFD’s fiscal year March 31st. Momentum is building with every conversation and every new charter member. We’re grateful to V2V’s intial charter members for opening up this important opportunity. If the hints of promises materialize, we’ll not only likely reach our goal, much needed life sustaining potable water will be reaching East African communities in need.

Several small wineries have indicated a willingness to donate wine as a means of raising funds. Stay tuned for a list of participating wineries. By this summer, you will be able to support this program by purchasing wine directly from these wineries who pledge to donate the profits from the sale to the V2V campaign.