(Photo: students in Uganda receiving rainwater harvesting tanks from Old Westminster Winery)

(Photo: students in Uganda receiving rainwater harvesting tanks from Old Westminster Winery)

By Drew Baker

Our mission is to put Maryland wine on the world map. One way we achieve this audacious goal is by making delicious wines that compare favorably with the best in the world. The other way is by using our wines to address world needs. Like lack of water, nutrition and education. 

Since the beginning we have set aside $1 from each bottle of wine retailed for philanthropic work. The winery’s new tasting room facilitates retail sales of 30,000-50,000 bottles annually. We use earmarked funds to install rainwater harvesting systems, build classrooms, sponsor and feed students, supply books and pay teachers in socioeconomically challenged regions, both nearby and around the world.

We talk a lot about the importance of buying local and supporting small farms. This is a worthy cause. A very palatable cause. But there are many more issues facing our world. Like thirsty children without access to education. As a society, we’re selling ourselves short if we don’t leverage our resources to help others. It’s not an obligation; it’s an opportunity. 

We decided not to publicize our altruistic projects until now because we didn’t want it to be front and center. We want to produce wines that speak for themselves and to cultivate a community of customers who purchase our wines because they love them. But we can achieve this AND tackle serious issues in our world.

The timing of this post is simple: this summer, my brother-in-law, Zach Hinton (Lisa’s husband), and I are visiting the school in Uganda that YOU made water-sufficient. You made this possible by purchasing Old Westminster Wines. We’ve leveraged your purchases to give over 300 students the water they need.

We hope this inspires more people to discover a way to give back to their communities and leverage their influence to meet the needs of others. The world is counting on us.