Wine for a Good Cause: Humanitas

Napa is home to more than 500 wineries and more than 750 charities, according to Judd Wallenbrock, owner of Humanitas Wines.

Humanitas Wines in Napa has created a business model in which it is making wine as well as giving back to the community and supporting regional charities.

Wallenbrock has been in the wine industry for more than 35 years. Between 1992-2001, he was the head of global marketing for Mondavi. He had always dreamed about having his own winery but knew that there was no shortage of wineries in existence.

Judd Wallenbrock

“Why pollute an already polluted area?” he asked. “To start a winery, it would have to be different.”

When Wallenbrock turned 40, in 1997, he felt strongly about doing something good in life and setting a positive example for his children. But, coming from the wine industry as opposed to the tech industry, he was not flush with money.

“If you want to do good and you do not have money, what can you do?” he asked rhetorically. He volunteered with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Feed the Poor. While most people felt good with what they were doing, Wallenbrock said, it made him depressed. “I did not want to be a Band-Aid to issues. I wanted to be a solution.”

In response, Wallenbrock decided to make and market wine with the intention of giving back. Working at Mondavi for all those years, Wallenbrock had been taught that wine is a “part of the good life” and that enjoying it can make life better. He took out a home equity line, got a license and launched Humanitas in 2001.

Read the complete story in the Napa Valley Register.

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