HOW TO REQUEST A DONATION FOR WINE

Each year we give away about $30,000 in wine and gift items for various reasons.  We get requests for ten times this amount from a variety of sources.  If you are requesting a donation, please read our frequent misconceptions and our priority list before submitting your request.

FREQUENT MISCONCEPTIONS

1.  All wineries are about the same.  False.  Our annual production of 7,500 cases would not even fill one small tank out of hundreds at a large winery like Chateau Ste. Michelle.  The barrel storage room at Columbia Crest is larger than our Morrison Vineyard.   Yet, we get about the same number of requests for donations.  We give away about 3% of our annual production - probably a much larger percentage than large wineries.

2.  Washington wineries sell a lot of wine in state.  False.  Only one bottle in five sold in this state was produced here.  Most of the wine comes from some place else.  This is not due to the fact that Washington State lacks the production capability to meet the demand; we just lack the marketing ability.  Many wineries are leaving tanks empty and farmers are leaving fruit on the vine for lack of markets.  This hurts the local economy.  The number one selling wine in Washington State at this writing is Beringer White Zinfandel from California.  (Have you contacted Beringer for a donation?)

3.  Washington wines are well distributed in the state.  False.  Look in Safeway, Albertson’s,  and Costco and you will find only a handful of the largest brands represented out of the 800 plus wineries in the state.  Most of the wine on the shelf will be from California, Chile, and Australia.  If our wine is not available in your local supermarket, we will probably not be interested in supporting your community charity or event.

4.   Wineries just give away wine to anyone who asks  to get their name out and to get you to buy their brand.  False.  Wine is very expensive to produce and package.  Wineries do promotions, but we learned long ago that distribution in an area precedes promotion.  Let’s say a consumer likes your wine at a promotional event in Sedro Wooly or Pe El.  He/she will only look in the local supermarket once for the brand.  If it is not there, the promotional value was lost.  See #3.

5.  Wineries get a big tax deduction for donating wine.  False.  Wineries are forced by the IRS to use accrual (say ‘A cruel’) accounting method.  With accrual accounting, the tax is paid when inventory is increased – not sold or donated.  The deduction is earned with the inventory is reduced.  Therefore, we get the same deduction for selling wine as we get for giving it away.  We don’t get a magical $100 deduction for that bottle of 1999 Chateau Poobeaux that cost us $3.00 to produce.  We get a $3.00 deduction no matter what the retail selling price was.  Don’t even bother with the receipt – breakage reduces inventory, too.  There is no tax incentive to donate wine or break bottles.

6.  Washington wine is available on restaurant wine lists.  False.  Perhaps the largest brands are, but the Wine Commission gave awards to those restaurants with a paltry 15% of their wine list dedicated to Washington wines (They started with 20%).  They had a hard time finding any restaurants to give the award to at the 20% level.

PRIORITY OF DONATIONS

1.  Wine samples are given to potential customers -- distributors, retailers, and consumers at the winery – in order to generate sales.

2.  Wine is given to industry tastings and events and entered in contests to promote the brand and the industry –in order to generate sales.

3.  Wine is given to tourist related activities such as travel writers, and the Yakima Visitor and Convention Bureau promotional events – in order to generate sales.

4.  Wine is given to local (Toppenish to Selah) charities that we support.  We also sell deeply discounted wines to other charities and non-profit groups around the state.  You may request discounted wine, also.

5.  Wine is given to charities of friends and good customers.  (If you are a good customer, be sure your purchases are recorded on our Case Buyers Club form.  We do keep track and check your record when a request is made.)

6.  Clubs, fraternal organizations, social groups, etc.  Good luck!  Try Beringer, Kendall Jackson, or Turning Stomach – all available at your local supermarket.


After you have read the frequent misconceptions and our priority list, use the link below to request your donation.

 

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