After two years of raising funds for the WSU Viticulture and Enology Program through a fall restaurant promotion, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery is launching a new effort with participating retailers.
In 2008, Joe Aschbacher had an idea. The ’87 Cougar alum, now with Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, proposed the concept of partnering with client restaurants to raise funds for the WSU Viticulture and Enology Program, and the “Raise a Glass — Fund a Scholarship” promotion was born.
Ste. Michelle provided promotional materials, including information about how the V & E program helps support the Northwest wine industry, and the winery committed a portion of its sales through the participating restaurants to the program.
Aschbacher says restaurants jumped at the idea of helping raise scholarship funds.
“Raising funds for scholarships really hits home with them because they see that as an important community benefit,” he says.
In its first year 123 Washington restaurants joined the effort, helping raise $40,000 for the V & E program. By the fall of 2009, the list of participating restaurants and wine shops had expanded to 184, including some in Oregon and Idaho. In its second year the promotion raised an additional $40,000 contribution to the WSU program, as well as funds for the Oregon State University program.
This spring the winery is expanding its promotion, committing a portion of wine sales through participating grocery chains to the scholarship fund.
“The retailers were enthusiastic about being able to join the effort to raise scholarship funds,” says Karen Burke, Ste. Michelle’s Northwest Regional Director of Chains.
Throughout out the month of April, a portion of the Ste. Michelle and Erath wines sold at the local stores of eight grocery chains will be added to funds raised in next restaurant promotion for contribution to the WSU and OSU programs.
Look for the displays when you shop at Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Haggen, Metropolitan Market, QFC, Safeway, The Markets, and Thriftway stores. And thanks to these stores for their participation in supporting the WSU Viticulture and Enology Program.