This past Saturday, we released the second edition of a wine we call Drink Pink. October is breast cancer awareness month, and a few years ago, we decided to blend a new wine that we would sell exclusively in the Fall as a fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. Al and I got to work creating the wine, and Josh got to work creating the label. Once we had a blend we liked, we decided that each year the wine would stay the same, but the bottle and the label would change, thereby creating a “Collector’s Edition” that was unique each season. Our first edition was a hit and sold out by the end of October. We raised over $1000 for the American Cancer Society in 2017, and we hope to do the same this year. If you haven’t had a chance to try Drink Pink yet, let me describe it here…
Blush or rose’ wines can be made in a variety of ways and can take on a wide array of “pinkness”. Our Drink Pink is made predominantly from a grape called Vidal, which is a white wine grape that can be fashioned in many ways. Because we wanted this particular wine to stay very light in color, we added just enough Marquette and Frontenac to turn it what I would call baby pink. It is delicate and refreshing with notes of rose petal and strawberry. It is slightly sweet and best served chilled. It is lovely on its own or pairs with lighter fare like appetizers or seafood. We produce between 40 and 50 cases each year and sell it only in our tasting room. It is a passion project for us, and we hope people enjoy drinking it as much as we enjoy producing it.
At some point in our lives, it seems each of us gets touched by cancer, whether the disease hits us personally or inflicts someone we know and love. I rarely discuss my own family’s cancer story because it took years for me to talk about it without crying. My father passed away in July of 2009 due to complications of chemotherapy. We had just staged our grand opening of the winery in June, and the stress of getting the business open was multiplied ten fold when he was diagnosed and then was gone in a matter of weeks. My family cried and grieved, and then I did what my dad would have wanted. I got back to work. There was so much to do, and it was good therapy to throw myself into our new livelihood. Now here we are, nine years later, and I still miss my dad. But I like to think I have made him proud with what we have created here at River Bend. It’s been a lot of work, but he taught me that hard work pays off. He was right. So today, I lift my glass to him and to all of the families who have been touched by cancer.
Cheers to you, Dad!