The Homeless Grapes Project began in 2015 when a handful of wine lovers decided to raise some funds for a good cause.
Jock Harvey from South Australia’s Chalk Hill Wines advertised that he had a surplus of grapes free to anyone who would make a donation to a charity. Andre Eikmeier, CEO of online wine retailer Vinomofo, scooped them up, rallied some friends, made a shiraz and donated all proceeds to Adelaide’s Hutt St Centre. The community-produced wine exceeded expectations, raising $36,000.
Three years on, the Homeless Grapes Project has gathered support from around the country and raised a total of $80,000 for the centre. And with the release of its limited edition McLaren Vale 2017 Vintage Shiraz on June 17, Eikmeier hopes for another sizable contribution to the charity.
“It’s a no-brainer to donate our profit from it,” Eikmeier tells Broadsheet. “One hundred per cent of the revenue goes to charity.”
Homelessness is a reality experienced by around 100,000 Australians every day – whether they're living on the street, out of a car or sleeping on friends’ couches. Hutt St Centre provides for them a safe space to have a meal or a shower, wash their clothes, access a computer or see a doctor. It also offers education and employment programs.
The grapes for the 2017 shiraz are from Harvey’s estate at Chalk Hill Wines in McLaren Vale. Alexia Roberts of Penny’s Hill is the chief winemaker. Expect a rich, full-bodied drop with “some really dark and red fruits like blueberries and cherries” in the flavour profile, says Eikmeier.
The wine, priced at $20 per bottle and sold in a case of six, is available to purchase exclusively through Vinomofo from June 17.