Springtime normally brings people by the dozens to the tasting rooms and scenic outdoor patios of Texas Hill Country wineries, their nearby vineyards providing the perfect Instagram backdrop. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing everyone to stay home, wineries are finding new ways to connect with the community — and one is by giving back.
In Fredericksburg, the small Signor Vineyards has launched a new initiative called Bottles for the Frontline. With the program, you can nominate frontline workers, such as doctors, EMTs and grocery store checkers continuing to provide help and services during the pandemic, to receive one bottle of Signor wine.
The winery is covering the cost of both the bottle and shipping. Not every frontline worker nominated will get a bottle, depending on demand, but Signor launched the program to brighten the day of at least some of them.
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"A big part of what we do is bring people together," winery proprietor Clay Signor said in a news release. "And even though we cannot do that at this time, we can carry on the feeling of joy and fellowship that comes when you open a bottle. We know that our frontline workers deserve much more than that, but it’s the least we can do."
So far, bottles are already being distributed to the people that Signor’s employees decided to nominate, including a surgical nurse at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin and the manager of the H-E-B in Fredericksburg. To get the initiative rolling, Signor employees took pictures holding up their handwritten letters to the people they were nominating to get a bottle. The pictures were posted to social media Monday.
The posts on Facebook and Instagram invite Signor fans to nominate and share the story of a frontline worker in the comments of each post, much as the initial batch of the Bottles for the Frontline letters have done.
"Dear Stephanie," according to Signor’s wine club and brand manager Erica Falbaum’s nomination letter to her friend, a radiology tech in Houston. "Thank you for all you’re doing to help our community. I can’t imagine how hard it must be. I wish I could give you a big hug, but for now, here is a bottle. (Honestly, that’s probably better than a hug anyway.)"
Nominations for frontline workers continue to pop up on Signor’s social media. These often include feel-good stories about the workers, such as an ICU nurse in Austin who recently recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The winery, which has set up a drive-thru for wine purchases and also has online ordering available, noted in the social media posts that "our fellow Hill Country vineyards and distilleries (can) join in this act of giving back and sharing some liquid relief," sharing their photos of the cause with the hashtag #bottles4frontline.
Signor Vineyards is located at 362 Livesay Lane, Fredericksburg. The drive-thru service runs noon to 5 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit signorvineyards.com.