A little idea ended up pouring a million dollars worth of wine to health care workers from Eugene to Portland, Oregon.
This ’thank you gift’ of grape juice is the Willamette Valley wine industry’s way of showing gratitude to the frontline workings risking their lives against COVID-19.
On May 4 and 5, a team from the Newberg Mail Room, Mitchell Wine Group, Galaxy Wine Company and Northwest Distribution and Storage loaded vans with over 1,400 cases of wine and over 250 cases of non-alcoholic sparkling wine grape juice.
The bottles were delivered to Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Legacy Health in Portland, Providence Newberg Medical Center, and PeaceHealth Medical Group and McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Eugene.
154 wineries donated the wines as part of the
Willamette Valley Wineries Association’s “Wines for the Front Lines” project.
The bottles were handed out to hospital employees at the end of their shifts.
“The donation is valued at over $1 million, but…
…the wineries mostly just wanted to acknowledge the caregivers
and say ‘thank you
…for your service and for putting yourself at risk,’” said Scott Shull of Raptor Ridge Winery in Newberg.
Shull reveals the idea for the project as a “little snowball that got bigger and bigger as it rolled downhill.”
The concept of gifting bottles of wine to health care workers was originally inspired by the generosity of Paul Bachand, the owner of Recipe restaurant in Newberg. Shull and his wife, Annie, find out Bachand was donating meals to employees at the Providence Newberg Medical Center.
“Thinking people might like a bottle of wine with their meal…
…we asked Paul if we could tag along on his next delivery,” Shull said to Oregon Live’s Michael Alberty.
The Shulls delivered 75 bottles of a 2014 Pinot Noir they originally created for the ¡Salud! Oregon Pinot Noir Auction. Their wine was paired with beef stroganoff and braised greens prepared by Bachand. “The looks on people’s faces as they received the food and wine were moving…
…[Their look] said, ‘I need this. I appreciate this,’” Shull says.
Motivated by the appreciation they received at Providence Newberg, the Shulls ended up delivering 62 cases of Raptor Ridge wines to four different hospital systems in the Portland metropolitan area.
The Shulls also wondered if other wineries might like to follow suit.
A few weeks ago, Shull contacted the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, with this ideas and they responded quickly.
“By April 28, we had over 1,400 cases of wine…
…with the Ponzi family adding 268 cases of their ‘Cugini’ non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice,” Shull said.