Uncorked: Charity tasting features wildly popular Wine Liberation Society
by Pat Kettles
Special to The Star
Apr 18, 2012 | 2277 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The tradition of combining wine and charity fundraising is not a new phenomenon. One of the most prestigious wine-for-charity events is the Hospices de Beaune, which traces its origin to the 15th century.

The Hospices is located in France in the winegrowing region of Burgundy, which is known for its pinot noirs and chardonnays. Founded in 1443, when Burgundy was a dukedom ruled by Philip the Good, the Hospices was built as an almshouse and refuge for the poor.

The original building remains intact and today serves as a museum. Its original mission — to serve the elderly, the disabled and the destitute — remains intact as well.

Over the years, Hospices holdings have been enriched by donations including farms, properties, art and vineyard lands. Since 1851, the Hospices has held an annual auction of wines made from the 150 acres of prime Burgundy vineyards that have been donated over the years. The 2011 Hospices auction raised more than $7 million.

Here in America, Auction Napa Valley has amassed some $103.8 million for charity in its 31 years of existence.

Here in Anniston, wine will play a pivotal role in a fundraiser for the newly conceived Foothills Day Camp, a collaborative effort of Grace Episcopal Church, Camp Lee and other area churches to provide an outdoor day camp for children who would otherwise not have a chance to go to summer camp.

Foothills Day Camp will be patterned after Sawyerville Day Camp, located in rural Hale County. Sawyerville Day Camp ministry began in 1993 and has served some 700 children.

Lee Shafer, rector of Grace Episcopal, said Foothills plans to serve 50 children in its first year, providing them with canoeing, swimming, arts and crafts, and discussions based in Christ’s teachings.

A charity wine tasting from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Tyson Fine Wines and Things in Golden Springs will provide seed money for the $10,000 needed to fund this first camping experience.

Janet Tyson Prosser, owner of Tyson Fine Wines and Things, has arranged quite a wine extravaganza for the event.

Do the words “2006 Unity Hill Cabernet” ring any bells for local oenophiles? Unity Hill was a fabulous first effort by a group of Alabama négociant, The Wine Liberation Society, to bottle purchased wine under their own label. They literally knocked it out of the park with their first release of Unity Hill cabernet, which sold out in record time.

Several principals from the Wine Liberation Society — including Charlie Yeates, co-founder of International Wines, and David Lawrence, négociant vintner — will be on hand to pour samples of 20 wines from the complete Wine Liberation Society portfolio.

The labels include Schell Creek, Carta Nova, Fiddle Creek Cellars, Old School Red, Ordinary Wine Co., Union Hill (previously Unity Hill), Travaux and Orbis.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served along with these locally popular wine brands.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Wine Liberation Society tasting

A fundraiser for Foothills Day Camp

When: 6-8 p.m. Friday

Where: Tyson Fine Wines and Things in Golden Springs

Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door
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