The Spirit of Giving Inspires…
The Story of Emery’s Pinot Noir
Imagine the difficulty of hearing that your child has cancer. Receiving a diagnosis can be a devastating blow to the entire family and can escalate quickly into a physical, financial, and emotional crisis. The hospital visits, the ongoing treatment, who will stay with the child? Can we afford this? Can we keep our jobs? These are just some of the questions in addition to every parent’s gut-wrenching worry about the health and life of their vulnerable child, their number one concern. The physical and emotional toil of childhood cancer affects not only the diagnosed child, but the entire family.
This unimaginable situation was experienced first-hand at Melville when our longtime employee and wine club manager Ethan Johnson and wife Kim received a diagnosis in 2013 that their three-year old daughter Emery, had Leukemia. As an employer and friend, the Melville family felt the pain of this devastating news delivered to Ethan and Kim and offered whatever they could to help, but were concerned about the overwhelming challenge that lay ahead for them.
Immediately, however, a most amazing organization, The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) from Santa Barbara, reached out to the Johnsons and started flooding them with support to get through this incredibly difficult time…offering financial assistance, emotional counseling, educational services, and more. By providing this type of support, TBCF helped alleviate some of the pressure so that Ethan and Kim could focus on what was most important at this time…attention to the health of Emery.
After twenty-six months of treatment, in June 2015, Emery went into remission and to this day continues to be cancer-free. The kind and generous support that Ethan and his family received from Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation was so impressive and emotionally moving to the Melville family, and after discovering that TBCF provides these services to many children and their families in the greater local community, they became inspired to find a way to give back. This inspiration led to a special block of Pinot Noir on the estate being designated “Emery’s Block” and the commitment to donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this wine to TBCF.
For Emery’s Block, the Melville family chose a vineyard section located on the westside of the estate, planted in a heart shape with a white cross sitting at the top…a beautiful spot to watch the sunset over the Sta. Rita Hills. These vines were planted in tightly spaced rows with just 2 feet between them, and the image of a crawling child comes to mind, as our crew literally has to get on their hands and knees in order to navigate the section. As it was 2013, these vines had already produced fruit from the 2012 harvest, which was fermenting in barrel. Rather than wait for a future Emery’s Block harvest, this 2012 vintage was dedicated as the first Emery’s Block wine offering, in order to immediately begin supporting TBCF.
Since then, there have been six vintages of Emery’s Block Pinot Noir, with the most current offering being the 2016 vintage. Although Ethan is no longer working at the winery, the Melville family has been so impressed with the mission and care of Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation that we are continuing our relationship with TBCF and have committed to donate the proceeds from the current and future sales of the Emery’s Block bottling.
To learn more about the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and their programs to support families of children diagnosed with childhood cancer, please visit their website here. They offer many opportunities to donate and get involved. We are incredibly grateful to our patrons who have purchased Emery’s Block Pinot Noir over the years, helping to support this amazing organization and the families in their care.
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation supports children and families living in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties by providing financial, educational, and emotional support, during their battle with childhood cancer. Programs allow parents to focus on what matters most, their child’s well-being, during one of the most difficult times of their child’s young life.