There is no mistaking Joe Wang’s love of wine, New Zealand wine in particular.
That equates to 3,600 people every single day. And we are talking about 2017, not 1817. One person, every 27 seconds.
Horrifying isn’t it?
But you can help, probably in less than 27 seconds, by supporting a social enterprise that appropriately goes under the title of – yes you guessed it – 27 seconds.
The fundraiser is a range of wines from North Canterbury that through their sale, hopes to raise thousands of dollars to help support the survivors of slavery around the world.
The brainchild of Alanna and Pete Chapman, who are involved with Terrace Edge Wines, has seen the wines go on sale, on-line in the past month. With “tremendous” support from the wine industry overall, the 27 Second range has been produced at minimal cost, with all the profits going to Hagar, an international organisation that helps restore the lives of victims of slavery and trafficking.
Pete Chapman says they wanted to do something that would not only highlight the issue of trafficking and slavery, but also provide an on-going source of income.
“This is a fairly hidden issue to most people,” according to Pete. “They tend to think slavery is something that was left behind a century ago and that we have moved on. But it is not like that at all.”
Initially the idea was to utilise what they thought would be surplus Riesling grapes from Terrace Edge to make just one wine. Little did they know when they mooted the idea, that two cyclones would hit the region, drastically reducing that expected surplus. But by that stage, the idea had grown exponentially.
“We talked to Mum and Dad (who own Terrace Edge) about selling some 2016 Pinot Noir that was already in barrel at the winery, and then we decided, let’s do a little bit of Sauvignon Blanc and a little Rosé to make the full range.”
With a commitment from his parents to provide the fruit at an “enormously discounted price”, Alanna and Pete began putting out feelers to others in the wine industry to see if they would support the project.
The harvester wasn’t interested in offering just a discount – he harvested the fruit for free. The winemakers at Greystone Wines (Gavin Tait and Dom Maxwell) who make the Terrace Edge wines, heavily reduced their winemaking costs, the wine label was designed for free, the bottle price was halved, the bottle caps were free, labels discounted, boxes given for free and publicity shots done for free.
“I have never approached anyone assuming they would give anything for free, or even be able to do a discount,” Pete says.
“We understand everybody has to run their business, but it was incredible what people were happy to do for us. The generosity of so many people has been heartwarming.”
The end result of all that generosity, is 9,363 bottles of wine are now being sold direct to the public (via the website 27seconds.co.nz) with close to $10 from every bottle going to the Hagar Organisation. “We are hopeful of raising close to $90,000 if we sell everything,” Pete says.
That’s an awful lot of money and will provide funds to do a lot of good in the countries Hagar is working in.
For example; if someone was to order three bottles of wine, to be delivered every month for a year, the funds raised would provide a year’s worth of education to a young trafficking survivor.
“Essentially it makes a lot of sense to be able to make an impact, with your buying choices.”
As for the name, he admits there was a bit of toing and froing until Alanna suggested 27 Seconds.
“We wanted a name that tells the story. When anyone asks why it is called 27 Seconds, with one sentence we can make them understand. It explains the whole idea behind the project perfectly.”
The four, high quality organic wines, made in the Greystone Winery are priced to ensure they are sustainable for the public to buy. The Sauvignon Blanc is $17, The Riesling $18, Rosé $19 and the Pinot Noir $21. For more information and to order wine – maybe for Christmas gifts - visit the website www.27seconds.co.nz