On one Sunday in December each year, Grassini Family Vineyards hosts an extraordinarily generous event that raises funds for a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit by not only donating event proceeds, but also nearly doubling the impact with a generous match. This year, the lucky recipient of Grassini Gives Back was Domestic Violence Solutions (DVS), which provides shelter and support for victims of domestic violence. All the day’s tasting fees, silent auction proceeds, raffle ticket sales, and donations went to DVS, and Grassini matched all the tasting fees, raffle ticket proceeds, and donations — regardless of the size. This amazing generosity resulted in a whopping $132,000 raised for DVS. Since inception eight years ago, the event has raised more than $323,000 for worthy area nonprofits.
Grassini Family Vineyards (GFV) CEO Katie Grassini, daughter of winery founders and owners Larry and Sharon Grassini, related how this is her favorite day of the year and shared how her family “feels honored to bring this event to life each year.” The family understands, Grassini related, “how fortunate we are to have our tasting room in such a beautiful town, and we welcome every opportunity to give back to our local community.” Larry and Sharon echoed these sentiments, relating how fond they are of the community and how much they want to support it. Starting the family foundation, Larry added, was also a way to get all their children accustomed to the importance of giving back.
GFV sought to maximize the event’s bounty by encouraging the public to attend and encouraging DVS to rally its supporters to donate at the event to double the impact. GFV and DVS both sought out silent auction and raffle items from area merchants. For those who couldn’t make the event, GFV encouraged donating and buying raffle tickets online — all amounts of which it matched. This is clearly a winery with a big heart.
Throngs of Grassini fans came out to enjoy the festivities and help raise funds. All day the tasting room was full of Grassini family members, Wine Club members, friends and associates of the family, DVS staff, board, and supporters, and other community members wanting to enjoy good wine and camaraderie and support DVS. Guests filled the spacious tasting room, beautifully decked out for the holidays, and spilled out onto their private patio and the historic courtyard.
Specializing in the handcrafted production of Bordeaux wines, Grassini Family Vineyards sources its fruit from its 104-acre Santa Ynez Valley vineyard in the prized Happy Canyon appellation. Bradley Long has been the esteemed winemaker since 2014. The winery has kept production limited, about 4,000 cases per year currently.
Grassini excels not only at its generosity, but also at its winemaking and tasting room experience. In the Santa Barbara Independent’s Best of Santa Barbara Readers’ Poll, GFV was voted both the Best Santa Barbara County Winery and the Best Urban Tasting Room both last year and this year. Open from 12 to 6 pm daily, the tasting room offers tastings as well as wines by the glass and bottle.
For the past 42 years, DVS has provided shelter and support, including counseling sessions, for victims of domestic violence. It also provides community outreach and education. Katie Grassini related, “When we were introduced to Domestic Violence Solutions, we knew we had found a charity that was truly making an impact on people’s lives and transforming their futures.” Sharon Grassini shared how as an L.A.-based family therapist herself, she has had many clients go through terrible times without any help and recognizes the importance of the assistance DVS provides so was fully on board with the selection of DVS.
For coverage of other events, go to independent.com/society. Send invites to firstname.lastname@example.org.