Home Industry News Releases Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Takes Action to Benefit Communities Affected by COVID-19

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Takes Action to Benefit Communities Affected by COVID-19

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Northwest’s largest wine company makes contributions to charitable funds for restaurant workers and food banks

WOODINVILLE, Wash. (April 15, 2020) – Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the largest wine company in the Pacific Northwest and the third-largest premium wine company in the U.S., has announced a series of actions to benefit communities affected by COVID-19.

The company will contribute $50,000 to The Plate Fund, a collaborative effort to provide immediate assistance to restaurant workers in the greater Seattle area who have been impacted by the current crisis.

Ste. Michelle will also contribute $50,000 to the WA Food Fund, established to support food banks across Washington to help meet a surge in demand for food assistance.

Ste. Michelle’s parent company, Altria Group, Inc., has also contributed $25,000 to the Seattle Foundation to assist with COVID-19 relief.

“This crisis has been devastating for our restaurant community,” said Jim Mortensen, President and CEO for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “Just as food and wine are inextricably linked, restaurants and wineries share a common bond. We felt a duty to serve those who have served us so graciously over the years.”

“We are also very concerned about food insecurity in our communities, with so many of our neighbors facing disruptions to their livelihoods,” added Mortensen. “Washington is blessed with a bounty of healthy, nutritious food. We wanted to do our part to help get that food to those who need it most.”

For more information on The Plate Fund, please visit theplatefund.com.

For more information on the WA Food Fund, please visit philanthropynw.org/wa-food-fund.

About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, located outside of Seattle, Washington, has a distinguished history that dates back to 1934. The company pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington State while wines under the Ste. Michelle label were first introduced in 1967. Today, SMWE owns more than 3,900 vineyard acres across Washington, Oregon and California with key sites certified with the LIVE, Salmon Safe or Napa Green designations. SMWE’s ‘String of Pearls’ wine portfolio represents owned or imported brands, all demonstrating the producers’ unwavering commitment to creating distinctive, high quality wines from authentic estate vineyards. Chateau Ste. Michelle, its cornerstone winery, enjoys winemaking partnerships with some of the world’s most distinguished vintners. Col Solare is an alliance with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori, Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel’s Ernst Loosen and Tenet is a collaboration with Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie of France. SMWE’s charitable giving program, which supports some 400 non-profit organizations annually, has provided more than $3 million for scholarships for high-achieving, low-income students at Washington universities. The company also was the principal fundraiser for Washington State University’s viticulture and enology institution, the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center.

Ste. Michelle’s Washington portfolio includes: Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Col Solare, Northstar, Spring Valley Vineyard, MERF, INTRINSIC, Seven Falls and Michelle sparkling wines. In California, the company owns Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (with Italy’s Antinori family), Conn Creek (Napa Valley) and Patz & Hall (Sonoma). Ste. Michelle also owns Erath Winery, in Dundee, Oregon. The company became the exclusive U.S. importer in 2006 for the renowned Marchesi Antinori wines of Italy and Chile’s Haras de Pirque wines, for Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of France in 2009, and for New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate in 2010. For more information, please visit www.smwe.com.

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