Dec. 19, 2013 – Thanks to a lot of enthusiasm, little bit of effort and one very special wine – Michel Rolland’s2003 Bonne Nouvelle – 1,800 more people are set to receive the thing they need most: a source for clean water.

Last month, with the holidays in full swing, we at Montesquieu Winery wanted to harness the spirit of giving to bring good news to those who need it most. So, led by our CEO Fonda Hopkins, we set a goal: Let’s raise $25,000 by Christmas Day for CNN Hero Doc Hendley and his organization Wine To Water to dig several more wells for people in Southern Ethiopia. Our Montesquieu wine brokers and clients enthusiastically took up the cause, and in the space of only a few weeks, we raised enough to provide clean water for over 1,800 Ethiopians – and a grand total of 10,000 people in Africa since 2012.

We feel that Montesquieu wines always reflect artisan winemaking and terrific value. But even by those high standards, the 2003 Bonne Nouvelle (“good news” in French) is in a league of its own – as you know very well if you’ve had the pleasure of trying it! Handcrafted by Michel Rolland – inarguably the world’s most famous (and best?) winemaker – the Bonne Nouvelle shows the world-class potential of South Africa’s beautiful vineyards when tended by a master vintner. $20 per bottle goes to Wine To Water to build wells in Ethiopia, so that each bottle sold literally saves a life. (You can buy it here.)

If you’ve been around Montesquieu much, you’ve heard us say this before, but it needs to be said again: The water crisis is the defining crisis of our time. Dirty water kills more children than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Over 1 billion people do not have access to clean water, and every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related illness.

And yet, if we work together we can put a dent in this global tragedy and help real people in need, just by doing something simple like enjoying great wine. That’s why we’re so committed to this project.

All of this is part of our broader goal to help Doc Hendley (who is the subject of a new CNN documentary that aired in December) and his organization Wine To Water make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of families worldwide. Through past fundraisers, Montesquieu has already raised over $150,000 for Wine To Water, funding over ten wells in Ethiopia and providing clean water to 10,000 people and counting.

“We’re so pleased to partner with Doc Hendley and Michel Rolland to make a difference in the lives of so many families,” says Fonda Hopkins. “But this is only a drop in the bucket. We can and must do more.” Although we reached our holiday goal of $25k, our efforts are ongoing. We won’t rest until we’ve done all that we can. Please join us by buying the Bonne Nouvelle at, and save a life today!

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