Bottoms up! Support the winemakers devastated by the Ahr valley floods

Bottoms up! Support the winemakers devastated by the Ahr valley floods

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Imagine if helping out the victims of a natural disaster was as simple as cracking open a bottle of wine.

Thanks to a stroke of genius by a German winemaker, it is.

Upon learning of the plight of his fellow winemakers in the Ahr Valley, Dirk Würtz, managing director of the St. Antony Wine Estate in Nierstein, was distraught. Many of his wine-making colleagues had seen the means by which they earned their living washed away in the recent catastrophic flooding. Würtz had a hunch he wasn’t the only member of his profession who’d like to extend a helping hand in the best way he or she knew how.

These conditions led to the birth of solidAHRität, an initiative in which the winemakers of Germany’s other wine-growing regions were asked to donate bottles of their best drops. The bottles would be packed six to a case and sold online. The proceeds from the sale of the wine would benefit the Ahr vintners whose livelihoods had taken such a hit.

The response to the initiative was immediate and overwhelming. Within the space of just two days, 10,000 packages—containing the head-spinning number of 60,000 bottles of donated wine—had sold out online. Not only the winemakers, but distributors and others from the industry were quick to hop onboard. Winemakers from as far as Austria and Italy’s South Tyrol stepped up too. With the help of dozens of volunteers, cases were packed and the goods shipped off to the customers, who, judging from the comments on the initiative’s Facebook page, were thrilled with their purchases.

In order to give the administrators the chance to process that overwhelming number of orders, the package had to be taken offline temporarily. Now that the backlog has been cleared, the action to benefit “Der Adler hilft e.V” has been relaunched, and from 10 a.m. Aug. 2 the packages are once again available online.

For the sum of 65 euros, customers receive a case of six bottles of completely random wines shipped to their doors by courier service. If the success of the first sale is anything to go by, the offer won’t be available for long, so there’s never been a better time—or better reason—to fill up those empty spaces on one’s wine rack.

To place an order, go to: https://www.st-antony.de/SOLIDAHRITAET-solida-h-ritaet-paket/?fbclid=IwAR15xgZkKjYCwzKAvCLP4NKvY6zjTLmA_GfSuFLCQDsWWFf6QhIpQztMf3Q

Care to lend a hand? Volunteers are sought for packing up the cases, which will take place in the Kümmerling Hall in Bodenheim from Thursday, August 5 to Sunday, August 8. Bodenheim is located just south of Mainz. Drop an email to dirk.wuertz at st-antony.de with information as to when and how many people will come.

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