Wineries Join Fight for Same-Sex Marriage
By Daniel Reynolds
Proponents of marriage equality have a new victory to toast — more wineries are coming out in support of the cause.
Companies across the country are lending both voices and funds in support of LGBT organizations. Stein Family Wines, for example, will donate $1 to the nonprofit Freedom to Marry for every purchase of its Same Sex Meritage, a Bordeaux-style red that blends notes of advocacy with a witty title.
"Everyone should have the right to marry. Everyone should have the same rights as anyone else," said Matt Gold, a partner of Stein Family Wines, in an interview with The Sacramento Bee.
Same Sex Meritage joins a widening circle of wines specifically tailored to LGBT consumers, including the Genetic Pinot Noir from the Stand Tall Wine Co., which donates 1% of its proceeds to the Napa LGBTQ Project. One of the largest labels, Barefoot Wine & Bubble, has been donating to LGBT organizations for 25 years.
Biogio Cry & Estate Wines, a New York-based company, has also realized the economic benefits of endorsing LGBT causes. Its brand Égalité, a sparkling wine from Burgundy whose name translates to “Equality,” has pledged $1,000 donations to such groups as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, the Trevor Project, and the Ali Forney Center, in the hopes that same-sex brides and grooms will raise a glass of their bubbly at their weddings.
"We saw this as an opportunity to do well by doing good," Darren Restivo, a representative of Biogio Cry & Estate Wines, told The Huffington Post. "We're very confident people will respect it, and that's the important factor — the spirit and the respect. How can you push back on treating people equally?"
The vineyards themselves are also opening their gates to LGBT tourists. Out in the Vineyard, a company that curates wine events for LGBT travelers, is hosting the Gay Wine Weekend 2013, which runs today through Sunday. Visitors will have the opportunity to celebrate Pride Month with tastings and tours of 10 of the leading vineyards of the Sonoma Valley, with proceeds benefiting the Face-to-Face AIDS Project.
"Little by little, we're breaking down the barrier," Gary Saperstein, a representative of Out in the Vineyard, told the Bee.