Proceeds from winery's new label to be given to memorial for slain Corporal
To most of the 150 people at last week's Wine & Wheels event at New Garden Township Park, the event was a wonderful excuse to unfurl a blanket on the grass, order a taco or a pizza freshly made by a food truck chef, pop open a bottle of wine and listen to live music by Dan and Dan, as the sun slowly set over Landenberg.
To those who stopped by the Harvest Ridge Winery tent to purchase a glass or a bottle of the winery's new Blue Line White label on July 26, however, the evening took on a new significance.
The Delaware-based winery unveiled its newest line in honor of fallen Delaware State Police Corporal Stephen J. Ballard, who was killed in the line of duty in Bear, Del., last April. Ballard, an 8 ½-year veteran of the police force, was survived by his wife, Louise Cummings, and their 5-year-old daughter, Abigail.
For every bottle of Blue Line White that is sold, Harvest Ridge Winery will donate $1 to the Stephen Ballard Memorial Fund, which was established to help Ballard's wife and daughter. If a full case is sold, Harvest Ridge will make a donation of $24 to the fund.
This spring, winery owner Chuck Nunan found that Harvest Ridge had a small-batch white wine at its Marydel, Del., vineyard, and asked the winery's customers to come up with a name for it. On May 4, the winery posted the following on its Facebook page:
“We need your help!! We have a new white wine blend and want your help naming it. This wine will be released only once. Limited quantities. 40 percent Vidal Blanc, 40 percent Traminette, 10 percent Viognier, 10 percent Chardonnay. 100 percent magic. Post your suggestions here. We'll choose a winner end of day on Saturday. Prizes for winner!”
On May 5 at 9:41 a.m., Beth Rosebrooks posted, “Name it in honor of Cpl. Ballard and donate part of the proceeds to his foundation. Call it Blue Line Wine.”
“We had a small-production white wine and we knew we wanted to do something special with it, name-wise," said Kristi Wyatt, Harvest Ridge Winery sales manager. “As supporters of our law enforcement community, we felt that it was a perfect suggestion. An anonymous donor saw Chuck talking about the wine's release on the local news, and has offered to double any donations we make,” Wyatt said.
The wine is being sold at the Harvest Ridge Winery tasting room, on its website, www.harvestridgewinery.com, and at farmers markets and select events in Pennsylvania, while supplies last.
To date, nearly $400,000 has been raised for the Corporal Stephen Ballard Memorial Fund through donations made at the Bear-area Wawa, including a $100,000 contribution from Wawa. The public can still make a donation through the Delaware State Troopers Association Fund, via a check made payable to the DSTA-Stephen Ballard Memorial Fund. All checks should be sent to the fund at P.O. Box 168, Cheswold, DE 19936.
Harvest Ridge Winery's contributions don't end with its Blue Line White. On May 20, the winery presented a $16,000 check to the First State Chapter 1 of the Disabled American Veterans, raised from the proceeds of the winery's fourth annual Food Truck Competition, held March 31 and April 1.
This year's gift will help pay for a new transport van for the chapter's members. It was the third consecutive year Harvest Ridge chose the Disabled American Veterans as the beneficiary of the food truck competition.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email email@example.com.