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Written By: Alexandra Fir, Rockstar
What goes around, comes around. That’s the basic belief behind kharma. Kharma, derived from the Sanskrit word karman, which roughly translates to “act” or “action”, is a belief that your actions, including how you think and speak, will come back to you either in this life or the next. While the term “kharma” is often said with casualness or as a negative result of a wrongful action, it simply connects actions and results. In philosophy, kharma mainly focuses on the good you put out and how it will return to you in kind, but more than that, kharma is about creating a wholeness in your life, making you responsible for your own life and actions and how you treat other people.
Kharma does not just apply to how we act with people. It affects everything around us. How we treat the world we live in will have an effect on our future and the generations to come. For that reason, Flat Rock Cellars has built its foundation on sustainability. Starting with the earth, quite literally, we’ve taken many steps in the production process of our wine to ensure we give more back to mother earth than we take. From handpicked grapes, a unique gravity-flow facility, and off-the-grid geothermal heating and cooling, we’re doing our part to ensure our footprint on this beautiful bench is as small as possible. We are proud to say that our winery is Ontario Sustainable Winemaking Certified and although it’s vital to consider our future, it’s just as important to help those in need right now. We believe each action we take is important and impactful and we want to do our part in supporting our people and our community, as much as our environment.
In 2013, our team wanted to do something t0 make a difference in our community and partner with a charity going forward. We recognized how fortunate we are to be part of an industry immersed in the bounty of Niagara growing capabilities, simply as a part of what we do on a day-to-day basis. Food and wine often go hand-in-hand and those of us in the wine industry are lucky to enjoy these things as part of our business. This understanding helped us reflect on the inequity of food availability in our community and allowed us to make a plan to provide meaningful assistance to rectify this issue.
Flat Rock Cellars could support a number of local food banks in our area but our team wondered if we could reach an even larger number of people in need. We decided to partner with Feed Ontario (then called Ontario Association of Foodbanks), who provided support for all food banks in the province. Our team felt strongly that an Ontario-wide focus was important and this organization would help us reach not only our community but many of those in need in Ontario. The importance of going provincial instead of regional was because working with a larger institution means access to better logistical support, volunteers, and resources – which also means that our donations go farther and have a larger positive effect.
We began by crafting a wine that not only tasted delicious but gave back to our community as well. We called it Good Kharma Chardonnay, in partnership with Feed Ontario. Good Kharma is aptly named because with every bottle purchased, the buyer is helping feed those in need in Ontario. This bottle is our most popular wine for gift-giving because the customer knows that in buying a gift for a friend, it’s also contributing to the betterment of someone’s situation. To date, we have donated over $40,000 to Feed Ontario, providing the equivalent of 150,000 meals to people in need. Feed Ontario serves more than half a million people in 130 communities in our province, of whom one in three is a child. From securing fresh and healthy food sources, to driving change through policy research and innovative programming, Feed Ontario unites food banks, industry partners and local communities to end hunger and poverty.
Ed Madronich, Flat Rock Cellars proprietor, says “Aside from food being essential to life, it is essential to comfort and happiness. That is why we partnered with Feed Ontario…”. The tagline of this wine, Full Stomachs, Happy Hearts, is such because there is a direct correlation between food and happiness and if you are constantly struggling to feed yourself, you are struggling to be happy.
All of us here at Flat Rock Cellars take pride in our partnership with Feed Ontario and the good it does in communities across the province. When you enjoy a bottle of Good Kharma Chardonnay you can feel great about the positive actions you’re supporting.