E.B. Foote Releasing “Remembrance” Wine For Alzheimer’s
Sherrill Miller hopes her newest wine makes a lot of money, but not for her.
E.B. Footeâ€™s newest wine, Remembrance, will raise money for Alzheimerâ€™s research, in honor of her late husband, Rich Higginbotham, who died of the disease last year.
â€œRich’s dad had Alzheimer’s, and research has shown a strong heredity link,â€ Miller says. â€œOnce Rich was diagnosed at 56, he knew what would eventually happen, but he didn’t know a timeline. We learned as much as we could about the disease and found out that often the earlier the onset, the faster the timeline.â€
Miller and Higginbotham took over the winery, one of Washingtonâ€™s oldest, in 1991. They moved from South Park to Burien in 1999.
In that time, they learned to make award-winning wines, focusing on reds using grapes from Washingtonâ€™s Columbia Valley.
â€œRich had always liked to make blends and I tended to be the purist,â€ Miller says.
â€œFrom early in our winemaking career, he wanted to make a Bordeaux-style blend. In 2002 we finally had all three grapes to do it, and we made Perfect a Trois.
â€œHe was pleased with the wine, and he was pleased with the name that I had come up with,â€ Miller recalls. â€œThe wine was well received by customers, and earned a Gold Medal at the Northwest Wine Summit and 89 points from Wine Spectator.â€
Now Miller is using that knowledge to create a new wine, Remembrance, also in the Bordeaux style (French wines from that region typically are blends of different grapes, unlike varietals, which largely use a single grape variety).
Higginbotham was diagnosed with Alzheimerâ€™s in 2003.
â€œRich’s decline too soon got to the point where he was not able to do very much at the winery,â€ Miller says. â€œI decided that I wanted to make a wine in tribute to him that would benefit Alzheimer’s research. Of course the wine had to be a Bordeaux-style blend.â€
Using 2007 vintage grapes, Miller created Remembrance, a blend of 60 percent Cabernet, 30 percent Merlot and 10 percent Cabernet Franc. The grapes come from three different Columbia Valley vineyards, including Milbrandt, Graves and Arianses.
â€œI wanted to make as many cases as I could, and I will end up making 795 cases of this wine, the most of any wine I’ve made by nearly double,â€ Miller says.
The label, designed by Sharone Fischer, features Higginbothamâ€™s picture with information about him and the creation of the wine.
Miller is donating 50 percent of the $28 purchase price to Alzheimerâ€™s research. That could raise as much as $133,000. In addition, 50 percent of the purchase price of a special commemorative wine glass also will be donated.
Miller continues to collect Alzheimerâ€™s donations at the winery as well.
â€œMy plan is to make my â€˜Step into Spring and Stamp Out Alzheimer’s Diseaseâ€™ an annual fundraising weekend in March, and all year I plan to donate 10 percent of all Perfect a Trois sales to Alzheimer’s,â€ she says.
An estimated 4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimerâ€™s.
â€œWe wanted to do what we could to support the Alzheimer’s Association so that someday no other families would have to suffer with this dreadful disease,â€ Miller says.
â€œI’ve seen first-hand what this devastating disease can do to a person and a family,â€ she says. â€œIt may be the worst diagnosis to receive since there is neither a treatment nor a cure.
â€œUnlike other diseases like diabetes or heart disease where medications can control the disease, current treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease only slow the progression of the disease for a very short time. I am hopeful that this money can make a difference in finding a treatment or a cure.â€
Step into Spring and Stamp Out Alzheimerâ€™s, featuring the release of Remembrance, will be Thursday, March 26 from 5-9 p.m.; Friday, March 27, 11 a.m. â€“ 9 p.m.; Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m. â€“ 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 29, noon-6 p.m.
The event includes a $5 tasting fee, which can be applied toward a purchase of a bottle. Miller advises customers to dress warmly, as E.B. Foote is a working winery.
E.B. Foote Winery is located at 127B SW 153rd St. in Burien. It is open for tasting Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.