Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WISCONSIN PRIEST RAISES FUNDS WITH WINE


Holy Spirits Wine

I'm sure you've heard the expression "God moves in mysterious ways."  There's a priest in Wisconsin who has devoted his life to proving that.

Father Domenic Roscioli makes wine.  Not the sacramental stuff they serve by the sip, but honest-to-god actual wine you can take home and serve with more than wafers.  Holy Spirits is the name of his company, and a portion of the profits go to charitable organizations in much the same way the Newman's Own brand, started by Paul Newman, benefits the Hole In the Wall Gang.  That group helps children with life-threatening illnesses.  Holy Spirits Wine benefits Next Step, for young adults who are in the same life-threatened boat.

Father Dom has long been a maker of homemade wine, like his father and grandfather before him.  He still makes wine in the same Wisconsin basement used for that purpose by his grandfather.

The padre has also given of his time for the Newman's Own charities in the past.  A little brainstorming with partner Jody Becker - the marketing maven behind the brand - tied his two passions together.  Now his wine hobby is raising money for good causes.

Holy Spirits produces, and markets, St. Valentine Pinot Noir, St. Patrick Pinot Grigio, St. Michael Zinfandel and Joan of Arc Chardonnay, among others.  Holy Spirits also has non-alcoholic gifts - including seasonings, spices and marinades - which are named for different religious figures just like the wine.  All eight of their wines sell for fifteen dollars per bottle, and a new "Guardian" line - with angels on the labels - will sell at the ten-dollar mark.

The wine is not made from Wisconsin grapes, but fruit from California.  Windsor Vineyards of Santa Rosa, California makes the private label wine for Holy Spirits.

For non-imbibers, Holy Spirits offers their St. Christopher non-alcoholic sparkler.  Since St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers, Father Domenic refers to this alcohol-free drink as the "patron saint of designated drivers."

The Holy Spirits bottles are adorned with labels featuring beautiful artwork created by Zunda Design Group, who donates their services to the cause.

Father Dom truly believes the saints can come marching in - right into your home, as a matter of fact.  The fundraiser is on all the time.  The wine is sold in stores and restaurants around southeastern Wisconsin and online. 

Wine tasting events have replaced the old-fashioned bake sale as a means of raising money.  "The wine is working well as a fundraiser," Father Dom says.  "So well, in fact, that other parishes have come to us to get help raising money for charities. We've started a workshop to teach other parishes how to do what we do."