Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.
Disclosure: I received four bottles of wine to aid in the writing of this post. I may or may not have done a happy dance with the UPS man when they arrived. As per usual, all words and opinions expressed are my own.
Stacy Lill and her brother were the first of their family to go to college. When she graduated from University of Washington, she worked in corporate sales and marketing for 20 years. During that time, she was also heavily involved with philanthropy work through the Junior League.
As the wife of the owner of a top winery in Washington, DeLille Cellars, Stacy observed how charities would often ask for donations of wine. She would also throw client appreciation events with high end wines in the corporate world. She came up with the idea of creating a wine that gave back to the community. But she didn’t want it to be just another label at her husband’s winery that donated proceeds to charity. She wanted to create her own brand.
Stacy researched what it would take to create her wine that would also give back. She learned that 72% of wine is purchased by women and that the most popular wine women bought was chardonnay. From her research, she decided to create wine for women that also helped women. Working with so many causes over the years, Stacy chose to support education because she felt it is the foundation for everything. If she could provide education to young women who might not otherwise have the chance to go to college, what could they do?
O Wines was established in 2006 with a mission to fund college scholarships for low income, capable young women so they can achieve their greatest potential through education. Each purchase helps send young women to college through the O Wines Opportunity for Success Scholarship program.
Since the introduction of the wines to the Pacific Northwest in 2008 followed by a nationwide launch in 2013, more than $300,000 has been raised to support 52 college scholarships. Beginning in 2013 each scholarship is $20,000 given in $5,000 increments annually over 4 years. Most of the scholarship recipients are the first members of their families to attend college.
Over the phone, Stacy told me about Angel, the first recipient in the scholarship program. Angel had a very tough life and, like many of the scholarship recipients, had low income but high potential. Angel graduated with academic and leadership honors and is getting her master’s degree.
As for the wine, I can tell you it’s quite good. I’m a red wine drinker. I tend to prefer a nice full-bodied, dry wine. The red varietal didn’t disappoint. Stacy shared with me that her goal was to not only create a wine that gives back but that also has a flavor profile. I’d say she accomplished this goal. The wine is also quite affordable at $12 – $16 per bottle.
More on the red and white varietals:
- O Wines 2011 Columbia Valley Chardonnay is a fresh and lively, lightly oaked style; its aromas of pear and baking spice pair well with grilled fish and mango salsa, and kale salad
O Wines Red Wine
- O Wines 2010 Columbia Valley Red Blend is a delicious Washington fruit forward blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah; its aromas and flavors of blueberry jam, baking spice, cocoa and cherry, pair well with pizza, grilled burgers, or meat and veggie skewers
O Wines can be purchased at www.owines.com. You can also request O Wines wherever you purchase your wine.