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Behind the Success of the Fire Relief Fundraiser, $800K and Counting

At the 2017 Wine Blogger’s Conference, announced that they have raised an impressive $800K for wildfire relief. And the team isn’t stopping there — the momentum is continuing. The key to success? The creation of a Fire Relief Red Blend, 100% of whose sales go towards rebuilding communities hit by the Wine Country fires.

Here’s the story behind this innovative fundraising effort born out of passion, heartfelt generosity, and a desire to push the boundaries of wine. It’s a story not only of a team, but the true strength of the Wine Country community.

The inspiration: It all started with sheer gratitude. The wildfires wrought significant damage all around the facilities in Kenwood. When their winery escaped unscathed, the team realized that they had been blessed with more than just safety: they also had wine. And why not use some of it to give back to those less fortunate?

The team: Meet the “Cellar Crew Cru”. Jorge Aleman Reyes, José Molina, Fabian Abud and Chuck Howse are the driving forces behind every grape processing, fermentation, racking, and tasting at They know exactly which wine lots are at their prime. And yet they’ve never been able to call a wine their own — until now. The Fire Relief Red is the Cellar Crew’s inaugural launch, and it certainly won’t be their last.

The wine: The Fire Relief Red is an innovative blend appellated “Wine of America”. This lets the Cellar Crew set state boundaries aside, and instead pick what is in peak condition for blending. The final blend is 18% Texas Mourvedre, imparting ripe, dark fruit aromas, 50% Lodi Shiraz and Merlot, lending rich texture and tannin, and the remaining from the Sierra Foothills, El Dorado, and Sonoma Cabernet for added complexity. The final blend boasts dark cherry, a hint of toasted oak, ripe fruit aromas, and a supple texture.

The community: Beyond the Cellar Crew, many of the suppliers, from bottle, label, and cork manufacturers, to the bottling facilities themselves, are inspired by the effort and will also donate some of their costs. In total, $28,000 of costs have been contributed by Lange Twins, Pack n Ship Direct, Tapp Label, Wine Secrets, G3 Enterprise and 4Parts Design.

The cause: While the wildfires have been extinguished, thousands have been left without a home, transport, or even a consistent source of food every night. 100% of proceeds from the Fire Relief Red Blend will go towards ensuring the hard working communities impacted will receive much-needed funds.

At just $20 for 3 bottles, the Fire Relief Red is one of those donations that leaves both sides coming out with a win-win. 100% of sales will go to charity. Expect the wines to be shipped around March 2018. Visit to learn more, and we’ll provide updates as we draw nearer.


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