The Netherlands: 30 December 2009.
Welcome to the first blog update of the World Wine Tour 2010! We are pleased to invite you to our blog as we will chronicle this unique fundraising effort. Perhaps this first blog will best serve to summarize the project, as most of you reading may be new to the concept.
Well, the concept is simple. Two young people travel around the world collecting donations of wine bottles for a charity auction. Everything is left up to them for planning the project. Where to go, how to get there, who to contact, setting up the auction, and more. Luckily though they aren’t alone, and the fundamental force making this project possible is the generosity of the wine sector and indispensable involvement of sponsors. Sponsors, (allow us to put in a plug), which we will briefly mention are still being sought after. Just one sentence to that end: those involved are donating a small contribution to the project, resulting in their exposure around the world, but most importantly what ensues is a much larger contribution going to a charity working to change lives in great need.
And now that’s enough for a plug, let’s get back to the concept. It has been around for several years, primarily called Vignes Sans Frontiere, and was started by a French couple in 2003. Several years ensued and now we have the World Wine Tour 2010 taking over the torch for humanitarian wine missions! Below are other such wine-loving globe-trotting fund-raising ordinary people:
Alright, now that we’ve gotten this far, we may ask ourselves who exactly are the current two ambitious and arguably very lucky individuals? Well allow ourselves to introduce… ourselves. Currently writing the thoughts of both 2010 project directors in this blog is Georges Janssens, and right next to him is Anja Cheriakova (Read more about us in the ‘About’ section in this website!). Together we will be the ones sharing with you our wine and travel experience, from each winery, region, and country we visit, up until the final auction of the prestigious collected wines, where we aim to raise $150,000 for a charity working in Laos!
So what will our goal be for this website and blog? Arguably we could silently collect bottles and hold an equally silent auction, but the fact of the matter is we want to share these experiences. We want to encourage others to combine their interests with charity, and hope that this may be a vector to show the possibilities. We also hope to share information on wine, and wine tourism. To bring to light far off wineries people may not have ever heard of. There are wineries in Thailand? With grapes? We hope to share special stories of unique people, wineries, and places.
Of course we will be frank and let everyone know right away that we are here to learn too about wine culture. We are curious young people and want to explore a deep interest we already have. We want to share stories, photos and videos about the places and wineries we see during this project. We want show the hospitality received and entice readers to go or taste themselves. What is it that makes wine so special across so many cultures? We want to explore this all and report it back to you here.
So where are we now? We are in the Netherlands, our base of operations. Anja is Dutch though originally from Belarus, and Georges is Californian-French and studied in the Netherlands. Complicated, but bear with us because what’s most important is that we are soon leaving for our quest to collect bottles, and will start off going east, with Russia as our first stop on the 2nd of January 2010. Although most wineries in Russia are concentrated along the Black Sea, we will be visiting Moscow for a first view from the importer, exporter and distributor’s side of things, exploring the markets by talking to them directly. After this, our first winery visits will be later in January around the Beijing area of China, where we will of course, invite you along. Yes it will be cold, so let’s be warmed! Info on these though will be better left for future blog updates, and more of our destinations can be seen in the Itinerary and Archive pages of this website.
For now we will still be preparing for the project, and will be inviting companies and sponsors to take part in this tradition and unique project. Though we understand tough economic times have minimized the ability of otherwise generous companies to partake in such a project, we still know there are those who nonetheless believe in helping the cause. Some are already involved, and others we have yet to find!
We hope you will enjoy reading updates about the project, wineries visited, bottles collected, and everyone met along the way. And don’t worry, subsequent posts will be sure to have many more exciting photos and videos. With a new outlook towards the world, one of millennials at large, we hope to bring a new view on wine, and hope to make sure that together our goal at the charity auction will be met!
Stay tuned and thanks for reading,
~ Anja and Georges
(Above depicts the World Wine Tour 2010 Project as Advertised in Mutineer Magazine January/February 2010 Edition. Advertisements for the project and sponsors involved will be continuously placed in print in Mutineer Magazine. This Magazine, in addition to Brix Magazine, Ambrosia Magazine, and Terre de Vins Magazine will also be publishing our stories in each issue. Jancis Robinson will make articles available on her personal website, and ‘About Harvest’ will post updates from each country we visit. We invite you to follow along in these various media too as we chronicle this world-endeavor to raise $150,000 for a humanitarian cause, the Lao Rehabilitation Foundation Inc.!)