When Australian vintner Andrew Peace approached T.G.I.C. Importers in California about distributing his wine in the United States, the company's president, Alex Guarachi, was immediately intrigued. In these troubled times, he saw the family and winery name as a trigger to promote working to achieve peace in the world.
Peace and his wife, Cathryn, who own and run Peace Family Vineyards in the Victoria region, quickly agreed. The wines will be released starting this week with labels that serve as a clear reminder to wine drinkers of peace as a goal; the front displays a peace sign made up of people joining hands and the back contains a message encouraging individual efforts to work together to attain peace.
But T.G.I.C. and the Peaces decided to take matters a step further: For each case of wine sold in the United States, $4 will be contributed to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. This nonprofit organization provides financial and educational assistance to members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and to their eligible family members and survivors, when they are in need. One hundred percent of the donations from Peace sales will go to the families.
"After 9/11, the company [T.G.I.C] made donations to various organizations, but these were only onetime donations," Guarachi said. "We wanted to create a foundation that could continually contribute to organizations like the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society."
When the country went to war and the Marines were the first to go into combat in Iraq, Guarachi focused on the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society as an organization to which they could donate to help the families of casualties. He hopes that if their foundation is successful they will also be able to donate to other organizations in the future, such as UNICEF.
Although Peace wines have been exported elsewhere in the world for several years, the 2002 vintage will be the first distributed in the United States. Three wines will be available, all retailing for $8 a bottle: a Chardonnay (85 points), a Shiraz (84) and a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Mataro (known elsewhere as Mourvèdre), simply called "Red Blend" (85).
Just before its release, 2,000 cases of Peace wine had already been sold on presale to retail wine shops and/or restaurants, resulting in $8,000 in donations.