For the third year in a row, wine brand Josh Cellars has announced the launch of a bottling whose proceeds will benefit charity. The 2019 Josh Cellars Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon will donate a portion of its proceeds to benefit charitable firefighter organizations and thousands of firefighters across the country. Josh Cellars’ founder Joe Carr named the brand in honor of his father, Josh, who had been a volunteer firefighter in Berlin, NY. It is no surprise that Joe Carr has a special place in his heart for firefighters.
One dollar per bottle of 2019 Josh Cellars Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon sold will be donated to the National Volunteer Firefighter Council (NVFC) and other regional organizations such as CalFire Benevolent Foundation, Boston Firefighter Relief Fund, the FDNY Foundation, and the Professional Firefighters Association of South Florida. The total pledged this year to benefit firefighters is in excess of $250,000.
Josh Cellars has donated more than $780,000 over the last three years to nationwide charity groups supporting veterans, military service personnel, healthcare providers, and out of work restaurant workers. This year’s efforts will bring the total to over $1,000,000. In a separate effort last year Josh Cellars gave $100,000 to the California Fire Foundation, spurred by the wildfires that destroyed wineries, businesses, and houses in wine country and caused thousands to be displaced from their homes.
Besides the donations from this year’s limited-edition wine, Josh Cellars will also give thanks via a series of meals at firehouses in Boston and New York. Lunches will be hosted by chefs Barbara Lynch, the proprietor of seven Boston restaurants including No. 9 Park and B & G Oysters, and New York-based chef JJ Johnson, owner of Fieldtrip and coauthor of the Afro-Asian-American cookbook Between Harlem & Heaven. In addition to the lunches, Josh Cellars will give each recipient firehouse $2500 to purchase groceries for future firehouse meals. Communal meals are an integral part of firehouse culture, and meals prepared by a notable chef demonstrate Josh Cellars’ philosophy that good food and gratitude have a place at every table.
Josh Cellars was founded by former sommelier Joseph Carr in homage to his dad; Carr says that the brand is “rooted in gratitude.” With that in mind, Joseph Carr and Josh Cellars have been steady supporters of organizations, causes, and communities that were important to the elder Carr. The special release bottles of 2019 Josh Cellars Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon feature a label depicting the silhouettes of two firefighters; the previous two vintages, which supported Operation Gratitude, sported a green and beige camouflage print label.
Speaking about this special release and its charitable efforts, Joe Carr said, “Growing up in a small town in upstate NY, our home was across the street from the firehouse and my dad and my grandfather were volunteer firefighters, so I learned at a very young age that these first responders are true heroes to our local communities. I’m truly honored to dedicate this year’s Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon to firefighters and first responders, not only recognizing their service but also thanking them for their selflessness each and every day.”
Acknowledging the pledged amount from Josh Cellars, National Volunteer Fire Council chair Steve Hirsch stated, “The National Volunteer Fire Council relies on donations from individuals and companies like Josh Cellars to help us provide support and resources for the volunteer firefighters who serve their communities every day. We thank Josh Cellars for their continued commitment to those who answer the call and risk everything to protect their communities.” The not-for-profit NVFC is the only organization in the United States created solely to support volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, and rescue personnel. It serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides critical resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation.
Sourced from premier vineyards in California’s Lodi region, Josh Cellars Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 has a suggested retail price of $19.99. A full bodied, fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon, it is one of ten wines in the Josh lineup, which is the best-selling brand nationwide in its price category. Joe Carr founded his first wine brand, Joseph Carr Winery, in 2005, and he sold all 1,200 cases from his own station wagon. Thanks to the air of authenticity surrounding the brand and its down to earth founder, Josh Cellars will produce and sell 4,000,000 cases of wine this year.