Sonoma County Wineries That Give Back
We love to support and highlight local businesses that give back to the community. There are so many generous wineries in Sonoma County that support a diverse array of organizations by donating wines or experiences to charitable events or making donations to nonprofits. Then there are a handful of wineries that take giving back to an even higher level by creating foundations or providing long-term financial support.
The below list includes some of the businesses in Sonoma County that both contribute to driving the local economy by providing employment to a significant number of people but that also give back to the community by supporting or founding their own organizations to fund important initiatives and causes. These businesses contribute to making the world (and especially Sonoma County) a better place.
*Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Because the list of charitable businesses in Sonoma County is so long, we couldn’t include them all here. Feel free to peruse our website for others that truly help make a difference in Sonoma County and beyond!
B.R. Cohn Winery
Founded in 1984 by Bruce Cohn, B.R. Cohn Winery has long-participated in hosting charity fundraising events in the Sonoma Valley to benefit local and national nonprofit organizations. Founder Bruce Cohn, who was a manager in the music industry, leveraged his connections for decades to attract celebrities and host headliner music groups for celebrity golf tournaments, annual charity concerts, and classic car fundraiser events at the winery, raising more than $6 million for nonprofits with the events. Funds benefited organizations like the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, The Field of Dreams, The Guardsman, The Station Foundation, and the Redwood Empire Food Bank.
Though B.R. Cohn Winery was sold in 2015 to Vintage Wine Estates, the winery continues the tradition of hosting annual concerts and donating a percentage of proceeds to charity.
DeLoach Vineyards launched their “Vinthropic” line of Sonoma County wines as part of parent company Boisset Family Estates’ Fight Against Hunger Campaign, in 2010. The Vinthropic nonprofit label includes a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. All 100% of Vinthropic’s net proceeds are donated to Sonoma County’s Redwood Empire Food Bank, an organization that serves low-income residents in Sonoma, Lake, Del Norte, Mendocino and Humboldt counties.
Vinthropic’s goal is to provide 60,000 meals each year (with a donation of at least $20,000/year) through wine sales.
Jordan Vineyard and Winery
Jordan Winery founder John Jordan created the John Jordan Foundation (JJF) in 2012 to help provide “disadvantaged youth and young adults with the tools needed to succeed educationally and professionally, from cradle to career.” The foundation’s grants have supported more than 220 partners organizations, 1,000 teachers, and more than 400 schools since 2012.
Local projects have included funding a new pediatric wing at Santa Rosa Health Centers, providing iPad and Chromebooks to schools, establishing a housing recovery fund for farmworkers displaced by the 2017 wildfires, and establishing a Sonoma Family Meal Restaurant Disaster Relief fund, which paid restaurants to open their kitchens and feed those struggling with food insecurity during the pandemic.
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate (Jackson Family Wines)
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Jackson Family Wines (the parent company) contributes hundreds of hours of volunteer time, financial support, and charitable donations to hundreds of organizations every year. The company offers paid time-off to their staff who want to donate time to serving the local community. Employees give approximately 6,000 hours of volunteer time per year to causes or initiatives that support the environment, education, literacy, food banks, farmworker housing, and shelter programs.
In 2020, Jackson Family Wines launched the Grocery Worker’s Relief Fund through Kendall-Jackson Winery, starting with a pledge of $200,000 and making a commitment to raise $2 million over the next 10 years. The fund intends to alleviate food insecurity and layoffs around the country for grocery and supermarket workers whose jobs put them at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
The winery also donates hundreds of cases of wine per year to a wide variety of local charity events and fundraisers, and supports a large number of nonprofit organizations through regular financial donations.
Landmark Vineyards (part of the Wonderful Family family of brands), established the Landmark Community Grants foundation in 2014. Since then, the organization has funded more than 156 projects, donating almost $650,000 by 2022. The program was developed with the intent to support community-led nonprofit organizations and schools. Committee members “identify organizations that provide projects and services directly benefiting local communities” in their search for grant recipients to award. Grant recipients “are focused on strengthening youth programs, social services, and strategic community investments.” More than $30,000 of the $650,000 awarded by the foundation has been allocated to K-12 schools in the community.
A few of the 2021 and 2022 Landmark Community Grant recipients include the Jewish Community Free Clinic, Reach for Home (a mobile health clinic providing free mental health services to the homeless), the Sonoma Community Center, and YWCA Sonoma County.
Rodney Strong Vineyards
Founded in 1959, Rodney Strong Vineyards has long been committed to giving back and contributing to their community. Over the decades, the winery has participated in many charitable endeavors and donated countless cases of wine to local organizations’ fundraiser and charity events.
In 2020, the winery donated $20,000 (10% of their 2020 holiday sales proceeds) to World Central Kitchen’s Restaurants for the People program, which paid local restaurants to cook meals for those in need during the pandemic.
The winery also provides ongoing support to the following Sonoma County and North Bay organizations with annual donations: The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Children of Restaurant Workers (CORE), Sonoma County Grapegrowers, Sonoma County Fund the Future (for children’s literacy), Meals on Wheels, The Redwood Empire Food Bank, The California Wine Institute, and Summer Search (an organization offering experiential opportunities to youth from under-represented communities).
For more than a decade, Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards has hosted some of the largest and most successful charity events in Sonoma County (formerly called the Croquet Invitational and later renamed Wishes in Wine Country). These events raised hundreds of thousands of dollars every year (raising more than $900,000 some years) for the Bay Area chapter of the Make a Wish foundation, benefiting children with life-threatening medical conditions.
More recently, in 2020 and 2021, the winery joined forced with Bourbon distiller Woodford Reserve to donate $50,000 to No Kid Hungry and donated $100,000 to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, a foundation benefitting restaurant workers and restaurants in financial need.
Written by Brooke Herron