MacHabitat has chosen the Gonzalez family for its new charity house in partnership with the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. The family stands on the future house site. ##Photo by Adrian Chitty

The Home that Wine Country Built

WVWA gives back with HFH house

By OWP Staff

There’s an important construction project about to take place in Willamette Valley wine country, but it’s not a fancy new tasting room or state-of-the-art winemaking facility.

It’s a home for a family in need.

The Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA) has teamed up with the McMinnville chapter of Habitat for Humanity, raising $100,000 to build “The Home that Wine Country Built,” a new partnership that will change the life of a struggling local family while shedding light on the problems caused by an increasingly expensive housing market.

Given the Oregon wine industry’s rich tradition of support and outreach to its wider community, the project seems a great fit. “For us, it’s another tremendous opportunity to give back to the community that gives our industry so much,” says Morgen McLaughlin, WVWA executive director. “To be involved with building a home from the ground up is incredibly rewarding, and we can’t wait for the homeowners to walk in the door for the first time.”

The forthcoming house is still in its early stages. The architects are presently on the verge of submitting plans for permits, with a build to follow. The WVWA raised $100,000 in the project’s name through a variety of initiatives, including an eye-catching collaborative blanket, made by Pendleton and designed by Courtney Cunningham of the WVWA; each blanket sold sent $100 to the project’s efforts, raising an impressive $55,000.

A portion of proceeds from The Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction also raised money, specifically $25,000. In addition, a signature barrel of Ken Wright Cellars wine was purchased by Sixty Vines, a progressive wine country-inspired restaurant group, adding $12,000 to the venture. Wineries and hospitality businesses throughout the Valley accumulated an additional $8,000 in special direct-to-consumer programs.

“The association and its members found creative ways to raise funds, stay updated on MacHabitat’s processes and events, and volunteer in our Aspire Development Community, the neighborhood where the house will be built,” says Katie Curry, executive director of the McMinnville Area Habitat for Humanity. “We appreciate WVWA supporting our mission to bring people together to build homes, community and hope!”


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