Henschke’s other top drop of red

The Award winning Henschke Wines’ team. Back: Kirsty Pomery, Cathy Ireland, Fraser Armstrong, Dave Bursey, Kate Chaplin, Adam Dutschke, Tim Hackett and Hayley Potter. Front: Andy Cummins, Justine Henschke, Zoe Carter, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood representative; Paul Hampton and Monica Mattner celebrating their trophy win.

Their premium wines are internationally renowned and now Henschke Wines have been recognised for another quality red with  this top drop achieving life saving results.

The winery’s staff have won the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood award for Most New Donors in the Red Cross Winery Challenge Blood Drive by bringing in eight new donors.

The team took part in the inaugural SA winery challenge and managed 15 donations over the six month period, which saved more than 60 lives, a number participants were excited to hear last week when the trophy was presented.

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Winemaker, Paul Hampton instigated the idea to get his cellar team and other  winery staff together and donate blood while listening to the radio on his way to work one day.

“I think it was a the peak of flu season…and I heard on the radio that they were running short of blood,” said Paul.

“I worked in another organisation years ago where we gave blood and the organisation used to support us going. So, we just chatted about it within the cellar  and thought it was something we could
do.”

When Paul looked into how to co-ordinate a group blood donation team, he learned about the Red 25 initiative to rally corporate and community organisations and groups together in an effort to achieve 25 per cent of the annual blood donations needed by
Australians.

“Then I saw there was a winery challenge – that was a bit of fun and we all jumped into that.”

Every time the mobile donor centre comes to Nuriootpa, the team from Henschke are booked in to donate blood.

“As a business, we’ve offered to give paid time away to go and give blood…they are able to do it within company time which is Henschke’s contribution to the whole thing.”

Paul was surprised when representatives from Australian Red Cross Lifeblood arrived with a trophy in hand.

“I didn’t know there was a trophy involved!” he said.

“It’s a nice acknowledgment.”

Now he’s putting down the challenge for other smaller wineries to get involved in the important cause.

“Why not? If a little company like us can do it.”

“It’s nice to see that larger companies have been supporting it for a long time…but for a smaller family owned company to come in the top ten, it’s a bit of fun because there isn’t as many of us and we were able to achieve that.”

Ms Jennifer Salter, of Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, said Treasury Wine Estates won this year’s challenge with 120 blood donations over six months, contributing to the 29,000 needed each and every week in Australia to meet demand.

“Initiatives like this one are important and lifesaving,” said Jennifer.  

“The SA Wineries’ Blood Challenge has proven a great success in its first year, with 31 wineries taking part. This resulted in 377 donations, helping to save 1,131
lives.