Beverage Businesses Rally to Support Ukraine - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Beverage Businesses Rally to Support Ukraine

Photo courtesy of Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery

Beginning today, Friday, March 4th, until Sunday, March 6th, Finger Lakes winery Dr. Konstantin Frank will donate 50 percent of all their proceeds to World Central Kitchen. Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andres, World Central Kitchen (WCK) has served more than 60 million fresh meals to people affected by natural disasters and other crises around the world. Within a day of Russia’s initial attack on Ukraine, WCK began serving meals for Ukrainian refugees at eight crossings on the Ukraine-Poland border. At least 1 million people have left Ukraine since the attack.

“The current crisis overseas has been hitting close to home for us, as Konstantin, our founder, originates from Odesa, Ukraine,” wrote a representative for Dr. Konstantin Frank in The Chronicle Express. Dr. Konstantin Frank earned his Ph.D in viticulture from Odessa and became an expert in his field before leaving Ukraine during World War II and eventually immigrating to to New York in 1951. After moving to Geneva, New York, in 1952, Dr. Frank ignited the “Vinifera Revolution” at a time when American scientists did not believe that vitis vinifera grapevines could be grown in the cold climate of the Finger Lakes. Dr. Frank planted some of America’s oldest living vines in the U.S on Keuka Lake, with the pinot noir vines being the second-oldest in the U.S.

Royal Wine Corporation, whose founder, Eugene Herzog, immigrated to New York during the 1948 Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, are donating 100% of the sales of two of their leading vodka brands—Xdar, a Ukrainian vodka, and Lvov, a Polish vodka named after the Ukrainian town Lviv—to Emergency Ukraine. “Royal Wine stands with the people of Ukraine, and we demonstrate our support for their independence,” said Mordy Herzog, CEO of Royal Wine Corporation.

In direct response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Stoli Group announced that they are rebranding their vodka, Stolichnaya, to Stoli. The driving factors behind the decision included “the founder’s vehement position on the Putin regime, the Stoli employees’ determination to take action, and the desire to accurately represent Stoli’s roots in Latvia.” Since Stoli’s founder, Yuri Shefler, had been exiled from Russia in 2000, the vodka brand’s facilities have been located in Latvia. It was also announced earlier this week that Stoli would “engage exclusively with Slovakian sources to further ensure 100% non-Russian alpha grade spirit.”

David lives in New York City and is always looking for the next wine story worth sharing.

This is a W&S web exclusive. Get access to all of our feature stories by signing up today.