Wine and drinks in Australia have global recognition for their distinction, quality and diversity. This we know as enthusiasts of local liquids. Importantly, there’s been a gradual shift to more social responsibility, ideas around sustainability in farming and production, and beyond this a rising tide of drinks producers who see value in charitable action around their products.
A great thing.
Foremost in mind are those who donate percentages of profit and income to charities. One of the most prominent producers is the wine brand The Hidden Sea, a purpose-built South Australian wine label that commits to ocean clean up and conservation through the funding of action-based projects. The Hidden Sea produces a broad range of wines and through their donations delivers tangible, traceable results.
Hey Tomorrow is another producer that focuses on direct-to-charity initiatives with a focus on high-quality cask wine. The dual intent of Hey Tomorrow is to promote the sustainability credentials of cask wine (they claim casks have a carbon footprint that’s eight times lower than that of glass bottles) while donating 50 per cent of profits to The Carbon Farming Foundation, an initiative that supports farmers in carbon farming at multiple levels of input. Hey Tomorrow wines are made by outstanding boutique wine producers including Adam Foster (Syrahmi), the Koerner Brothers (Koerner) and Maree Collis and Ray Nadeson (Lethbridge).
By Any Other is a winemaking project that involves notable Yarra Valley winemaker Mac Forbes and an alliance of prestigious, artisan wine producers globally. The collective is looking to the environmental and community impact of wine, and as Mac explains, “is the distillation of many considerations around environmental factors across the whole of the wine industry.
A collaboration of a family of global producers with a commitment to reducing waste and emissions, while improving the community we live in.” The initial Mac Forbes release ‘XO1’ is a rosé from Strathbogie Ranges and it comes in both cask format and in ultra-lightweight glass.
Goodwill Wine likewise follows a similar bent, but with a focus on reactive and relief charity initiatives. Wine is sourced from wineries with ‘extra wine’ and then 50 per cent is donated to varied charities in need of immediate assistance. At the time of writing this article, over $500,000 has been donated to various causes.
In the beer realm, Sparkke brewery has taken to their packaging to espouse messaging that makes a direct impact on drinkers. From a female-led brewing team, cans that read ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Funding’, ‘Climate Change Is A Burning Issue’ and ‘Change The Date’ are among the many strong messages that seek social justice reform. The beers, cider and hard sodas are excellent.
There is a raft of additional charitable beverages that can be explored in the Australian drinking landscape, and many that crop up as singular projects for immediate respite to communities and people in need. This trend of social responsibility offers a unique opportunity to value add when purchasing drinks and should be increasingly a point of interest for those with higher value systems looking to give back from their purchasing power and consumption. May it rise and rise.
Wines to try