It might sound like the start of a bad joke but what do you get when a wine brand, a gorilla charity, an MW and a couple of gorillas all meet up? Well last month we found out…
Wednesday 3rd August saw Susan McCraith MW, on behalf of Conviviality Retail, present a cheque for €2500 to Jillian Miller, Executive Director of The Gorilla Organization, for proceeds raised through the sales of the award winning wine brand Gorilla at Wine Rack stores over the last two years. Susan McCraith MW said, ‘We are delighted to be able to help raise funds through sales of Gorilla wines through our stores for The Gorilla Organization and help support the projects set up by the Gorilla Organization in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.’ Receiving the cheque on behalf of the charity, Jillian Miller said, ‘The money donated from Convivality Retail will be allocated to our most recent project in the Kahuzi National Park – a tree-planting initiative that creates a buffer zone that not only separates the forest and local farmland but also provides communities with a source of firewood and timber, reducing the local people’s needs to rely on the forests precious resources and encroaching on the gorillas natural habitat.’
Our own Emma Laval was also on hand to help keep the cheeky gorillas in check during the presentation when one of them attempted to run off with the money! Emma added, ‘Gorillas as a species are hugely endangered and when we discovered that there are only about 900 Mountain gorilla’s left in the wild, not mention less than 300 Cross River gorillas, we felt a sense of responsibility to do what we could to try to help hence the development of Gorilla wines. We am proud to say that having partnered with The Gorilla Organization we have been able to regularly donate money and help them with their conservation, education and research initiatives.’
The Gorilla wine brand was created by Crush founder and MD Chris Ellis who had always wanted to combine his two passions of wine and animal conservation and saw an opportunity to do just that whilst in Sicily on a buying trip. The first of the range, and inspiration behind the name for the brand, was the Southern Italian white varietal of ‘Grillo’ – a little scrabble with the letters and ‘Gorilla’ was born. The Gorilla brand includes a range of unique blends created by a dedicated winemaking team including varietals such as Primitivo, Syrah, Nero d’Avola rosé as well as Grillo. 2016 saw the introduction of Gorilla ‘Reservation’ an Appassimento style wine made just outside Salento from a blend of Primitivo, Negroamaro and Merlot with brooding dark fruit representative of the Silverback.