It’s a common question asked of Karen and Buzz Buckingham, owners of Sol Stone Winery: How did you come up with the name? “We knew when we started the winery that we were going to give back to the community,” said Karen. “So we chose a name representing “sun” and “strength” – Sol Stone.”
Giving back has always been a priority for the Buckingham family. More than 20 years ago, Karen was involved in the formation of the non-profit foundation Women Against Violence Everywhere (WAVE). Since that time, the organization has raised millions of dollars for its mission to educate, empower and end domestic violence. “It’s important to raise money but it’s just as important to raise awareness. This is something that affects people from every background,” said Karen.
Karen was also instrumental in launching “Cycle the WAVE”, an all-women’s cycling event that increases awareness of domestic violence and raise funds for programs across the state. Last year, more than 1,200 riders participated. Karen is hoping to organize a team of women from the wine industry to ride in the event which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this September.
Karen and Buzz incorporate their passion for giving back into the Sol Stone Winery. They continue supporting WAVE by donating a portion of the proceeds from every bottle of Sol Sister Viognier to the WAVE Foundation. And Sol Stone Winery is a sponsor of the “Raise Your Glass” event held each spring to support the WAVE Foundation.
It is a significant commitment, but it’s not the only non-profit the Buckinghams are passionate about. For the past two decades, Karen and Buzz have also been active supporters of Guide Dogs for the Blind. The family has trained three puppies in hopes of becoming a certified guide dog. “Only 40 percent of the dogs that start the program make it all the way through,” said Karen.
Fortunately for the Buckinghams, they were allowed to keep two of the dogs who weren’t perfectly suited to be a guide dog but who ended up becoming perfect family dogs. And the latest addition to their brood, Digby the Golden Retriever, is often in the Sol Stone tasting room, eager to offer up some doggie lovins.
Again, the Buckinghams have found ways to support Guide Dogs for the Blind through their winery. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle of “Grateful Red” – a Malbec / Syrah blend – goes towards the Guide Dog organization. And this past Father’s Day weekend, the winery hosted a “Dads and Dogs” event, complete with a food truck for dogs.
Through the Sol Stone Winery, the Buckingham family have been able to tie together a number of their passions – a passion for bringing people together for enjoyment and a passion for giving back. As Karen says, “We just think celebrating family should coincide with helping others.”
[photo: Karen and Digby]