Bodhichitta Winery, the first Oregon winery with a mission of service and philanthropy, is thrilled to announce the launch of its wines. Bodhichitta (pronounced "bodda-cheetah") is a Sanskrit word meaning "to give of oneself". The winery produces a range of quality, handcrafted wines such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Willamette Valley and Contemplative Cabernet Sauvignon and Giggling Pinot Gris from Southern Oregon, as well as lavender aromatherapy products. The wines are available for sale on the winery's website, www.bodhichittawinery.com. One hundred percent of the profits from Bodhichitta sales are donated to charity.
Founded in 2008 by Mark Proden, a student at the Northwest Viticultural Center and former Air Force pilot, Bodhichitta was born of the Buddhist idea that everything in this life and the next starts with a thought; a thought may then turn an intangible concept such as "easing the suffering of others" into a concrete reality. According to Proden, "The winery's vision and purpose, 'passion for wine; compassion for others', underscores my desire to serve others while working in this great industry."
Bodhichitta has already begun its mission of giving to others with a recent $12,000 donation to the Central Asian Institute (www.ikat.org), which builds schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Inspired by Greg Mortensen, Director of the Central Asian Institute and author of New York Times bestseller, Three Cups of Tea, Proden developed a "Three Cups of Wine" fundraiser during Crush 2008. The proceeds from sales of $20 t-shirts on the winery's website plus funds received from a private donor will cover the cost of materials for one K-5 school.
Bodhichitta is run by Proden and his all-volunteer team of friends and family who are donating time, energy and materials to build the winery from the ground up. The wines are made entirely by hand from fermentation to bottling and in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. The winery recycles bottles from local wineries and friends, soaking off the labels and sanitizing them before bottling. The purple lotus flower on its label represents the winery team's innate yearning for the happiness of others, and the Om symbol is a reminder that all things are possible.
The winery will produce 600 cases in 2009 and grow to a maximum of 10,000 cases as demand increases. Once Proden completes schooling at the Northwest Viticulture Center at the end of the year, he will look to planting Bodhichitta's own vineyard, lavender field, apple and olive orchard, as well as an apiary to provide honey and wax for its product lines. A more permanent and larger facility will then be sited to support increased production -- one that will offer a retreat from the fast pace of modern life, concentrating on healing and the easing of suffering through a beautiful, natural setting, counseling, tai chi and yoga.
Bodhichitta is Oregon's newest winery, located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, in Salem, Oregon. It looks to service before self and the connection amongst all of us. Bodhichitta Winery emphasizes hand-crafted, home-made wines and lavender aromatherapy products using local, natural and whenever possible, organic ingredients. Bodhichitta has passion for wine and compassion for others. While not currently open to the public, its wines, lavender aromatherapy and culinary products are available through direct sales in person, online, select wine shops and stores.
Bodhichitta (pronounced "bodda-cheetah") is a Sanskrit word for the basic human wisdom that can drive away the sorrows of the world. Bodhi means "awake"; free from the ordinary, confused mind, free from the illusion that we are separate from one another. Chitta means "heart" or mind." According to the Buddha, the unbiased mind and good heart of bodhi hold the key to happiness. Bodhichitta Winery is a vision to embody that spirit in each feeling, thought and action in our daily lives to bring compassion, equanimity, joy and kindness to our world -- to ease our eliminate suffering and pain. Bodhichitta Winery believes that everything in this life and the next begins with a thought -- a thought that can bring possibilities that already exist into fruition.