For those who aren't familiar with Matthiasson wines or winemaker Steve Matthiasson, they are extraordinary and have won considerable acclaim. Just one piece of evidence: in January, Steve was named Winemaker of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle. I grabbed the chance to sign up for the mailing list when Steve's wife, Jill, came to DC for Heart's Delight in May. Because of that, I received an update from them this week.
You don't need me to tell you there was an earthquake in Napa. Fortunately, no one was killed, only a few were seriously injured and--all things considered--at the macro-level, damage was not as severe as first feared.
But life is not lived at the macro-level...for many of those around the city of Napa, the damage was significant. You may have heard that the winery at Trefethen (another former Heart's Delight participant) suffered major damage. While I have a lot of empathy for them, it's a relatively big estate, with considerable resources. They'll recover. On the other hand, Matthiasson, run by Steve (a vineyard consultant by day) and Jill is small. Recovering from major damage is not as easy for small wineries. And, as the pictures they sent show, their damage was extensive--both at their home and at the winery. Their house was red-tagged as unsafe and they had to move out. From a winery perspective, all of their barrels tumbled to the floor and a number burst, pouring out the wine.
So I was not surprised to see that the email contained an opportunity to buy a "future"--a wine for sale now to be delivered next year. It's a common way to raise capital. The future they offered is called Quake Cuvée. But then I looked more closely. The capital they're raising is not to fix their home...or fix their winery...or tide them over because they lost barrels of the 2013 vintage. It's to help others in the area who have suffered losses to their homes and don't have the resources to recover. People who may work in the tasting rooms around the valley...operate the grocery stores...or do any of the thousands of things that allow us to enjoy visits to the valley and savor its wine. People who have no futures to sell to finance repairs.
Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised. After tragedies great and small, there seem always to be people who somehow rise above their own challenges to help others.
I was prepared to buy the future to help the Matthiassons. Hell--the chance to buy a Steve Matthiasson wine is a good opportunity under any circumstances! When I realized that they were doing it to help others, I couldn't click fast enough.
If you're interested in Quake Cuvée, it's available the Matthiasson website: www.matthiasson.com. I suspect it will sell out quickly. It should.
UPDATE: Matthiasson is still taking orders for Quake Cuvée unitl Monday September 15th. After that, they will close the orders. So if you're interested, visit their website soon!