A well-known Napa Valley winery that has built the idea of giving back into its business model recently gave donations to three Pennsylvania fire departments.
Josh Cellars, in partnership with the state of Pennsylvania and Fine Wine & Good Spirits, gave $5,000 donations several weeks ago to the Moon Township Volunteer Fire Company in Allegheny County, the Haycock Fire Company in Bucks County and the Morton-Rutledge Fire Company in Delaware County.
Joseph Carr is the winery founder who grew up across the street from a firehouse in Berlin, New York, “in a community that needed to take responsibility for their neighbors,” he told PennLive in 2017 when asked about the initiative to aid volunteer fire companies across the country. “It’s going great and the people we are working alongside are spreading the word.”
He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he created the winery as a tribute to his father, Joseph “Josh” Carr, who served in the U.S. Army and later as a volunteer fireman along with Joseph’s grandfather in Berlin. “This has always been a tribute to him, and a great way to connect with his history and work with first responders throughout the country,” he said.
The Haycock Fire Company post on Facebook noted that Carr and Josh Cellars Wine “have been supporting all first responders as well as the volunteer fire service throughout the country for many years and is closely associated with the National Volunteer Fire Council.”
The funds will be used to improve and add to firefighting equipment and for training, Lt. Joseph Shields of the Moon Township Volunteer Fire Company told the Post-Gazette. He said that the training for new volunteers approaches 200 hours.
“On top of this initial training, the department holds house training sessions and brings in local instructors for classes,” Shields said.
Carr opened the winery in 2001. He released his first wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a year later under his dad’s name. In 2005, he began working on his first vintage of Josh Cellars with legendary Sonoma winemaker Tom Larson, and for a time was selling bottles of the wine out of the back of his truck, according to his website timeline.
It was selling 1 million cases by 2015 and was named Winery of the Year by Wine Spectator in 2021. The company announced on April 29, 2023, that it had surpassed 5 million cases sold in the U.S. in the 12 months ending March 31, 2022.
On the charity side, in addition to firefighters, the company through various organizations has supported veterans, active duty service members, service dogs for veterans, first responders and restaurant workers and aided the mission of the World Central Kitchen. To date, Josh Cellars has donated more than $1.5 million to organizations and causes, according to the April 29 press release.
You can find the links to several of its charitable partners at this link.
“I want to thank all the people who have supported our wines, our charitable efforts and our vision along the way,” Carr said in the April release. “My dad taught me to work hard in the pursuit of my dreams, and the success of Josh Cellars founded in my dad’s honor is truly a dream come true. I know he would be proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
Per the release on that 5 million cases, Josh Cellars:
- currently ranks #1 in consideration, #1 in affinity, and #1 most likely to recommend to a friend across all leading premium wine brands by Vinitrak Wine Intelligence
- gained 13% in the Table Wine category as of year-end 2022, accounting for nearly 420,000 new buyers, with exceptional repeat purchase rates (67%) across the brand’s base and reserve tiers.
- is one of the few wine brands priced over $11 SRP achieving substantial growth with consumers under 40.