United Sommeliers Foundation to raise money for industry workers

The newly-formed United Sommelier Foundation is holding an auction to raise money for restaurant wine workers that have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Having partnered with auction house Acker, the foundation hopes to raise money to support workers in need of financial assistance.

Wines donated by wineries and private individuals, including other sommeliers, are set to be sold online, with bids accepted from 25 May.

Donated lots include bottles from the likes of Screaming Eagle, Ridge, Domaine Ponsot, Martine Saunier, Weingut Keller, Domaine Weinbach, Hundred Acre, Peter Michael, Kistler, Chateau Montelena, Jordan, Booker, Mayacamas, Spottswoode, Bond, Quilceda Creek, Château Palmer, Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche, Le Pin, Domaine Georges Roumier Bonnes Mares, Domaine Henri Jayer, Champagne Henriot and Champagne Bouchard Père & Fils.

A live auction will be held on the closing date of 31 May at 8pm ET.

According to Food & Wine, the sommelier foundation has already raised over US$400,000 for over 530 restaurant wine workers.

USF vice president, Erik Segelbaum, told the publication: “We formed because of this crisis, but not for this crisis. Our immediate focus is getting people to a place of security doing this pandemic, but we plan to continue our fundraising actions and, we hope, the auctions, going into the future. And now that we’ve gone through all the effort of going through setting up the charity, we’ll be able to spring into action on day one the next time something like this arises.”

Wineries have also been submitting monetary donations to the new organisation, with Kistler vineyards contributing US$50,000. USF received its largest donation of US$100,000, however, from New York-based Kobrand.

Jason Kesner, president and winemaker of Kistler, said: The sommelier and greater restaurant community is inextricably linked to what we do. We’re all part of an effort to introduce people to these experiences, these places, through the products that come from them. Where, and how people are introduced is an art in and of itself, and ties all the way back to the farming we do…it’s a continuum. It’s an honor for Kistler to help support the USF.”

Other wineries, including 00 Wines and Tor Wines, have launched special offers, where a portion of the sale of their wines will be given to the foundation.

To find out more information about the auction, please click here. 

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