The defining crisis of our time – a tragic lack of clean water – is ravaging our globe, especially drought-prone areas like Eastern Africa. Unwilling to sit by as millions die from preventable diseases, we at Montesquieu Winery are doing everything in our power to make a difference. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that our Wine To Water Rosé Collection has sold out, raising $20,000 for clean water in Ethiopia.

In defiance of the scourge of dirty water, we designed this collection as our tribute to the power of love. “Wait,” you might ask. “What’s love got to do with it?”

According to CNN Top 10 Hero Doc Hendley, founder of Wine To Water, everything.

“When you completely head over heels fall in love with the people you’re serving to try to save their life, something changes in you,” Doc told us recently over dinner. Peering at the glass of our 2012 Love Rosé in his hand, he said, “The thing that I’ve pulled out of my work over and over again is the concept of love – this last wine right here.”

The Wine To Water Rose Collection

Doc went on to explain that a spirit of love and connection motivates him to spend his life helping those in need. And it’s what motivates organizations like Montesquieu, and the clients and winemakers we work with, to step forward and take action, bridging the gap between our privileged communities here and impoverished communities on the other side of the world that need clean water.

In our view, he’s right as rain. And there’s no better example of the impact of communities coming together than the Wine To Water Rosé Collection, which we tasted and celebrated over dinner that evening. More than a year in the making, the collection came together when Montesquieu partnered with three different winemakers on three beautiful rosés that together would raise $20,000, enabling Wine To Water to get clean water to 1,500 more Ethiopians. Our sales staff spread the word, and our clients enthusiastically supported the wines – so much so that only a week after the collections were released, we reached our goal.

Doc Hendley, Maqueda in hand, at our dinner celebrating the Rose Collection

“You put this in me the first time I met you, that wine is about community,” Doc told Fonda Hopkins, CEO of Montesquieu Winery, at our dinner gathering. “It’s not just about the taste in the glass or even just where it’s made, but it’s about the thing that happens when we’re gathered around the table like this… It’s about communities coming together – Montesquieu, Wine To Water, and the Ethiopian families we’re helping.”

Of course when it comes to wine, Montesquieu Winery is quite passionate about what’s in the glass and who made it – so naturally the Rosé Collection is truly special. Winemaker extraordinaire Hélène Mingot made the 2012 Love Rosé from gorgeous Alexander Valley fruit; Napa legend Heidi Barrett crafted the Prêt-à-Boire as a testimony to the intensity and elegance of her home region; and Martha McClellan’s stunning and regal 2010 Maqueda Cab Franc (the Ethiopian name for the Queen of Sheba) reflects her Midas touch that has collectors falling over themselves to procure her wines.

We’re grateful that all three of these winemakers provided us with such lovely wines for this worthy cause. But a special word of thanks is due to Martha, who after helping us raise a whopping $120,000 for Ethiopia through the 2008 Wine To Water Napa Meritage magnums, decided she still wanted to do more to serve others in need. “The Rosé Collection project started with Martha’s wine,” Fonda explained at dinner as she raised a glass in honor of the Maqueda. “Martha inspired this. She fell in love with Doc and his work, and she told me that she wanted to donate 50 cases of rosé to us and Wine To Water. She’s such a strong supporter of the cause.”

Toasting the partnership between Montesquieu Winery and Wine To Water

Every step along the way, this collection has been a true labor of love. Montesquieu’s creative director Jen Kaye spent countless hours hand-cutting labels, ensuring each was applied just so, and our warehouse staff put in extra effort to assemble the collections and manage logistics. Without the dedication they and others showed, none of this would have been possible.

Are you feeling the love yet? We sure are, and once clean water is flowing from those new wells, our friends in Ethiopia will be too.


The Rosé Collections are gone, but if you missed out, you can still join us in making a difference. Every bottle of Michel Rolland’s Bonne Nouvelle (available here) raises $20 for clean water in Africa. Buy a bottle, save a life.

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