We know that wine has really arrived in the United States when a producer names one of his premier bottlings for a baseball superhero. Sonoma County’s Steve Ledson, long-time philanthropist and winery owner, has re-released a Zinfandel named for former San Francisco Giants outfielder Orlando Cepeda as a tribute to the current Giants team which just won the 2012 World Series. (If only I had known the Giants would win when I drove past Ledson Winery on Sonoma Highway last September!)
Ledson labels the wine “Baby Bull” in honor of Cepeda’s nick name as a player. The wine currently sells for $50 per bottle ($70 if it’s one Cepeda has signed), and proceeds on all sales go to the Ledson Harmony Foundation for Children. Labeling wine for celebrities is not new; Hoosiers know about the Legend Series in recent years bearing the name of Larry Bird, and Ledson has used actors and singers on past labels. But with baseball still thought of as “America’s Sport,” we are pleased to see it linked to wine. And we are pleased to see more and more baseball parks including wine in their food and beverage concessions.
A report in today’s WINE BUSINESS quotes Steve Ledson recognizing the Giants’ players success because of their youth and ties that fact to his Foundation which gives “every kid a chance to become professional and help us build America’s future.” His Foundation has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to girls’ softball teams, to music programs, to local schools, and other “deserving children’s related endeavors.”
As a Hoosier observer of the growth of the wine profession in Indiana and as an avid baseball team caught between the neighboring Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds, I hope the Ledson tribute to his Giants will rub off in the Heartland for a wine dedicated to a Cub or a Red.
More information about the Baby Bull Zinfandel and Ledson wines can be found at www.ledson.com.