Tim Carl, Local Tastes: Napa Valley businesses step up to support Ukrainians | Tim Carl


In response to Russia’s brutal invasion and heartbreaking war on Ukraine, some Napa Valley businesses are looking for ways to support the beleaguered nation.

A Napa Valley winery, Patland Estate Vineyards, is donating 30% of its total online sales for special reasons of its own.

Michael Patland, the winery’s assistant general manager, said his father and mother were both born in Ukraine:

“My father, Henry Patland, was born in kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and my mother, Olga, was born in the western part of Ukraine, in a city called Lviv.”

Henry immigrated to the United States in 1978, while Olga immigrated first to Israel in 1977 and then to America, where the two met in San Francisco.

“Most of our family left the country by then, but we still have some left,” Patland said. “My father’s first cousin still lives in Kyiv, and we also have many friends who live in Odessa and Kyiv.”

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Patland said Henry and Olga traveled to Ukraine to visit friends and family as recently as November 2021.

“When they were about to leave, the first rumors reached us that Putin was planning an invasion,” he said. “We didn’t think this would really happen and we are horrified. We didn’t think something like this would happen in our time. »

Patland said some of their friends and family fled to Poland and Hungary, while many others chose to stay in Kyiv and volunteer to help in the war.

“The response so far has been very strong,” he wrote. “Online sales have increased over the past three days since we announced this, and we have also received many calls, texts and emails expressing our support.”

Patland’s donations go directly to the Sunflower of Peace Foundation, a US-based nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Ukraine with medical and humanitarian aid.

Other wineries are also getting into it.

Napa Valley winemaker Helen Keplinger, owner of Keplinger Wines, has made a donation to a Lithuanian nonprofit that moved Ukrainian orphans from Ukraine to Lithuania.

Honig Vineyard is donating 50% of all tasting fees collected during the month of March to support families and communities affected by the crisis in Ukraine.

In a press release, the Honig family called on friends, neighbors and fellow winemakers to join in their efforts, with the winery offering an option on its website for customers to add donations for Ukraine during buying wine.

“This is a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions,” Michael Honig said in the statement. “There are so many who have had to flee their homes and have no access to shelter, food and clothing. We want to help in any way possible.

Restaurants are getting into it too.

“I rented a room in a family’s house in kyiv for a month on AirBnB and also booked a bunch of food and history tours there,” said Jennifer Bennett, owner of Lovina restaurant in Calistoga. . “I told them all that I wouldn’t be coming, but the reservations were a gift from my small business to theirs.”

Bennett also raised nearly $3,000 through a Facebook birthday fundraiser, with all proceeds going to the World Central Kitchen charity which helps feed those affected by war.

“For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations from World Central Kitchen,” Bennett wrote on Facebook. “I chose this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me.”

Another Calistoga restaurateur, Sasan Nayeri, owner of Evangeline, plans to donate a portion of his sales to Ukrainian refugees.

“We would really like to be part of this hugely important campaign to help feed the Ukrainian people and refugees,” he wrote in an email. “We don’t want to sit idly by.”

Nayeri and his team have also stopped serving products with anything to do with Russia, “So no more Sobieski, Russian Standard or Beluga caviar,” he said.

One of Napa Valley’s most popular restaurants, Bistro Don Giovanni, has changed the name of a vodka-based drink to “Ukrainian Mule” and donated 100% of the drink’s proceeds to the Red Cross Ukrainian.

If your Napa Valley business is helping support Ukrainian humanitarian efforts, please let us know. Email [email protected] with the details.

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