FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pair collects 100th bottle for charity auction benefitting Lao Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc.
Napa, CA (July 8, 2010) — Over halfway into World Wine Tour 2010, a humanitarian 12-month worldwide search for wine donations on behalf of the Lao Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc., 24-year-old Anja Cheriakova of the Netherlands and 25-year old Georges Janssens of the United States have achieved a major milestone: collection of their 100th bottle. The bottle is a 7-liter Portfolio Limited Edition 2007, collected on a short family visit to Napa Valley, California.
Since launching their tour in Moscow, Russia on January 2, the pair has traveled to China, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, visiting vineyards and meeting with winemakers in hopes of acquiring a donation of one bottle of wine from each to include in an auction gala event in 2011. One hundred percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Lao Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc.(www.laofoundation.com), which will use the funds raised to rebuild schools in the Laos village of Simmano that were destroyed by a devastating flood in 2008, as well as towards medical missions organized by the foundation twice a year.
“Each step has brought us a little bit closer to the wine culture that we’re familiar with,” says Cheriakova. “One of the most interesting things about this experience has been starting out in new wine regions – places like India and China, where the business is still relatively young. I think most people aren’t as familiar with the wines from these areas, and would be pretty impressed with what the winemakers are achieving once they try the wines!”
Cheriakova and Janssens will next tour North America, visiting vineyards in California, Vancouver and then New York State, where the New York Wine and Grape Foundation will serve as their sponsor. Starting in August, they will spend time in South America, where they will visit Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil. Their entire Brazil itinerary, including winery visits, accommodation and travel, has been made possible exclusively by Wines from Brazil. They have also recently added Germany as a destination, where they have been personally invited by the Geisenheim Research Center. You can follow their journey on their website, http://www.worldwinetour2010.com, where they are blogging and have their itinerary posted.
The complete tour is being made possible by the support of a number of generous sponsors and donors, including: Master of Wine Jancis Robinson, new US-based Mutineer Magazine, Canada’s Brix Magazine, Terre de Vins magazine of France, Marc le Grand, Russia’s WhyWhyWine, JF Hillebrand, Seguin Moreau, Saury, Lafitte Cork and Capsule, Canton, Wente Vineyards, Ambrosia, About Harvest, Robert Mondavi Winery, Portfolio Winery, Wines from Brazil, Viader, Wine Travel Guides, Benson Marketing Group, New York Wine and Grape Foundation, Riedel, Spindreamer Music, Wine & Co, Global Wine & Spirit, and Amy Gallaher design. Yet, the couple is still seeking many more donations and sponsorships to support their trip.
Cheriakova and Janssens will finish in Europe in December and the auction for the wines they have collected will be held at Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa, California on May 13, 2011. The event itself will be by invitation-only, but there will be an online auction for those unable to attend. If you would like more information or are interested in attending, email Cheriakova at firstname.lastname@example.org or Janssens at email@example.com.
About the World Wine Tour
While the couple and charity of their choice are new, the World Wine Tour concept itself is not: it began in 2004 with Vignes Sans Frontières, a year-long journey for wine donations. The 330 bottles collected from 12 countries were then auctioned to raise money for Partage, a charity that provides aid to Vietnamese victims of the Vietnam War. Since 2004, similar annual World Wine Tour trips have resulted in thousands of winery visits and more than 2,500 bottles of wine collected on behalf of various charitable causes.
Cheriakova and Janssens are the first American and Dutch couple to embark on the tour; all others have been French. The pair plans to visit 21 countries and collect over 300 bottles, which will be auctioned off in May 2011. They are documenting their experience on their website www.worldwinetour2010.com, and plan to release a book following the completion of the project.
About the Lao Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc.
The Lao Rehabilitation Foundation Inc. (LRF) dedicates itself to providing medical services to Laotians, with a greater emphasis on children. Duly incorporated in the State of California as a non-profit organization in 2002, it has been a charity with a ‘get-things-done’ attitude. Personally supervised by its president, each mission has proven to be extremely successful in the past, with future projects looking ever more promising. For a comprehensive list of the many projects in which the LRF is involved visit their website www.laofoundation.com.
Tia Butts, Benson Marketing Group, (707) 254-0465, firstname.lastname@example.org