Random Musings

The Story of O Wines

O Wines was established in 2006 in Woodinville, Washington by Stacy Lill and Kathy Johanson with a stated mission of funding college scholarships for low income, young women to assist them in achieving their greatest potential through education. Each bottle sold helps send young women to college through the O Wines “Opportunity for Success” Scholarship program. The College Success Foundation, based in Issaquah, Washington manages the scholarships.

Since the launch of the brand to the Pacific Northwest in 2008, followed by a nationwide rollout in 2013, more than $300,000 has been raised to support 52 college scholarships. Beginning in 2013 the program was modified so each scholarship is $20,000 given in $5,000 increments annually over a 4 year period.

To help expand her vision and impact, Lill realized that she could not do it alone, and in 2012, she sold O Wines to Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in Washington. The last year that Lill owned O Wines, production was 12,000 cases. Ste. Michelle was able to immediately increase production to nearly 100,000 cases. Despite selling selling O Wines, Lill remains actively involved, traveling the country speaking on behalf of O Wines and its cause.

O Wines currently produces a Chardonnay and a Red Blend. I recently received samples to try.

2011 O Wines Chardonnay – Light in color. 13% ABV. Lemon oil, hazlenut and vanilla on the nose. Granny smith apples, butterscotch and hint of citrus on the palate. Ready to drink. $12 at retail.

2010 O Wines Red Blend – A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Purple in color. 13.5% ABV. Red fruits, anise and plums on the nose. Cherries, currants and cocoa on the palate. Supple tannins and just enough acidity. Drink over the next year or so. $14 at retail.

Both of these wines would be good options for large functions. Well made, easy on the pocketbook and supporting a great cause.

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