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California wine community raises funds in wake of school shooting

Following the tragic school shooting that took place in Nashville on 27 March, winery owners in North Bay and Sonoma have pulled together to raise more than US$50,000 for nonprofit organisation Everytown for Gun Safety.

The shocking shooting spree that took place in a Nashville school by an ex-pupil, killing three children and three adults, has caused an already close-knit wine community in California to unite further.

Winery owners Noah and Kelly Dorrance were uncle and aunt to Evelyn Dieckhaus, one of the three nine-year-olds who lost their lives in the shooting. And as the San Francisco Chronicle reported, fellow wineries in the North Bay area have rallied behind the couple to raise more than US$50,ooo for Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit movement that aims to end gun violence.

“It’s been amazing the way literally thousands of people in our community have reached out and offered help on a personal level and donated money,” Noah Dorrance told the Chronicle.

The couple own the 22-hectare Reeve wine estate, close to downtown Healdsburg, which specialises in cooler-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They are also the proprietors of Bloodroot Wines in Healdsburg.

According to the Chronicle, the Dorrances had planned to host a wine dinner at natural wine bar Valley Bar + Bottle in Sonoma this week, but have decided to instead host a fundraiser selling the last bottles from the 2021 vintage of the bar’s own wine label Le Lube, in addition to a nearly sold-out Pet Nat from 2020. A call has also gone out to other local wineries to donate bottles.

During the fundraiser, guests will be asked to be “as generous as you can” when bidding for bottles, with 100% of the proceeds donated to the Dorrances’ fund.

“In the midst of all this heartbreak and grief, there’s so much love and support,” Noah Dorrance said.

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