Paula Sendar loves animals. Four cats roam her Ashland home, and she famously dresses up in whiskers and a tail for costume parties.
Paula Sendar loves animals. Four cats roam her Ashland home, and she famously dresses up in whiskers and a tail for costume parties. From such personal expressions, she has created a wine business that steadily feeds donations to six Rogue Valley animal-welfare agencies.
Sendar calls her company Philanthropie — the French spelling of the word "philanthropy" — and donates 10 percent of wine sales to C.A.T.S. (Committed Alliance to Strays), Dogs for the Deaf, Friends of the Animal Shelter, SNYP (Spay/Neuter Your Pet), Sanctuary One and the Southern Oregon Humane Society.
"Animals and animal welfare are my passion," says Sendar.
She started Philanthropie in 2009, buying local grapes from growers and hiring Linda Donovan of Medford's Pallet Wine Co. as winemaker.
Sendar since has sold out of 2009 Grenache, Syrah Rose and Viognier and offers a 2010 Sauvignon Blanc ($15) that received silver medals in the Southern Oregon World of Wine, Taste of Harry & David and Best of the Bioregion competitions.
In May, she will release a French oak-aged 2010 Tempranillo ($22) made from grapes grown at Steelhead Run, a certified Live (Low Input Viticulture & Enology) and Salmon-Safe vineyard in the Applegate Valley.
The Philanthropie label has always shown an illustration of a dog and cat sitting side by side. With this year's releases, Sendar is debuting a new label. The red wines will show a dog leaping over the label, his long body bent into a half circle. Labels on white-wine bottles will have a cat, swooping up in a half circle. When the two images are put together for the logo, it looks as if the dog is chasing the cat. Or maybe it's the other way around.
"The branding on my new label and card continues to reflect my love for animals," says Sendar, who holds degrees in nutrition and interior design. When she moved to Ashland in 2000, she worked as a designer and still does, "time permitting," she says, but the winery and her charity work keep her busy.
Her wine is available at Amuse, Chateaulin and Smithfields restaurants in Ashland, wine shops and www.phiwine.com. Online sales generate larger donations to the designated charities.
Sendar serves on the board of Sanctuary One, a farm in the Applegate Valley that provides a haven for abused animals, and she co-chairs the organization's largest fundraiser, the third annual Bachelor Auction planned for May 5 at the Historic Ashland Armory.
Sendar says more than 250 men and women have attended past auctions, and only 60 tickets remain this year. About $18,000 was raised last year for Sanctuary One.
Up for auction that night will be dates with 19 bachelors and 165 items, services and experiences, such as a limousine tour with a stop at Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden.
Sendar has donated bottles of 2010 Sauvignon Blanc that guests can buy and enjoy at their tables, as well as a one-liter bottle of 2010 Tempranillo for the silent auction. Other wineries donating are Domaine Paradox, RoxyAnn, Slagle Creek, Weisinger's of Ashland and Willamette Valley Vineyards.
"The evening is a lot of fun for all," says Sendar.
One bidder will accompany 30-year-old Jevon Schelldorf of Medford for a romantic boat ride around Emigrant Lake, dinner at Arbor House Restaurant in Talent, an Oregon Shakespeare Festival play, then dancing the night away.
Another bidder will enjoy a date that will take her to Table Rock, then to a psychic reading and a three-course dinner at The Peerless Restaurant in Ashland.
Says Sendar: "The guys get to take a lovely lady out on a date they have created."
And just like the people who buy Philanthropie wine, they do it for a good cause.
Reach reporter Janet Eastman at 541-776-4465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.