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Roots of Peace: Mines to Vines

Submitted by on March 23, 2023 – 5:57 pmNo Comment

Roots of PeaceViolet Grgich, President and CEO of Grgich Hills Estate, and Heidi Kuhn, Founder and CEO of Roots of Peace and Forbes 50 over 50 honoree, will come together to promote cultivating peace through agriculture at the second annual Roots of Peace “MINES TO VINES” Celebratory Dinner this evening.

This event, a fundraiser for Roots of Peace, will take place at The Metropolitan Club of San Francisco and will feature Grgich Hills Estate wines. The event aims to raise awareness about their ongoing land demining activities and support farming communities worldwide.

During the event, Heidi and Violet will discuss the importance of cultivating peace in war-torn lands and how the international community can contribute and participate in this mission. Among the topics to be discussed is the program launched by Roots of Peace and Grgich Hills Estate last December to support farmers in Ukraine.

“As the snows thaw in Spring 2023, we look forward to working with our demining partners to clear the land of explosive remnants of war and restore the bountiful vineyards with fresh grapes. Together, we are literally turning ‘blood to wine’ as we turn ‘mines to vines’ in Ukraine.” says Heidi Kuhn in a recent interview. Raised with Croatian values, Violet Grgich is the president of Grgich Hills Estate and has been key in Roots of Peace programs worldwide. “We’ve helped each other raise awareness of the plight of farming communities by donating funds and by hosting events focusing on peace through agriculture,” says Violet.

Violet GrgichFor the past two decades, Heidi and Violet (pictured, right) personally promoted and witnessed the transformation of turning MINES TO VINES, first in Croatia, then in Afghanistan and Vietnam, and now in Ukraine. Since 1997, Roots of Peace has actively worked to raise funds and demine lands in seven countries across the globe.

At the celebratory dinner, Heidi and Violet will update attendees on Grgich Hills Estate’s involvement in supporting Roots of Peace’s current initiatives, especially in Ukraine. Recently, Roots of Peace announced its plans to visit vineyards in Odessa where mines have ravaged. With Heidi and Violet’s backing, Roots of Peace aims to restore these lands to their former glory and assist local farmers in reclaiming their livelihoods. By reviving these vineyards, Roots of Peace hopes to promote a message of hope and peace, showing that even amid destruction, regrowth and renewal are possible.

Grgich Hills Estate

Grgich Hills Estate was founded after Vintners Hall of Fame inductee Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first earned world-wide recognition when the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that he crafted won the 1976 Paris Tasting, beating the best of France and drawing international attention to the Napa Valley. Mike then partnered with Austin Hills of the Hills Bros. Coffee family in the pursuit of creating the best wines in the world and chose Independence Day, July 4, 1977, to launch their family-owned-and-operated winery. Today, Grgich Hills Estate is 100% estate grown and certified organic, incorporating biodynamic principles in farming practices and a Napa Valley leader in Regenerative Organic Agriculture. Referred to as “Organic Plus,” regenerative farming is a science-driven approach focused on no-till soil management, building organic matter to sustain microbial life, incorporating livestock and biodiversity, and caring for people who work in the fields and winery. Grgich Hills Estate is in the process of becoming certified through the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA), a leading force in the Regenerative Agriculture movement worldwide, a key component of combating climate change.

Roots of Peace

Roots of Peace

For the past 25 years, Roots of Peace has worked in war-torn countries around the world to clear the remnants of war, landmines, and unexploded ordnance, and restore land to rebuild peaceful communities for generations to come. More than 500 million smallholder farm households around the world live on less than $2 a day. Building a sustainable and regenerative source of income that provides families with livelihoods and stability is one of the most pressing issues to be addressed in post-conflict countries. With the help of Roots of Peace, farmers are addressing key challenges to increase income by applying modern technology and farming techniques that result in higher yields and sustainability.

Roots of Peace’s “Mines to Vines” approach has impacted more than a million farmers and families. By removing landmines and remnants of war, Roots of Peace liberates land sequestered by riots. In Afghanistan, it has facilitated the export of fresh fruits, nuts and spices to markets around the world, helping to increase Afghan agricultural exports from $250 million in 2014 to over $1.4 billion in 2020. Roots’ award-winning methodology of Peace is rooted in building a business model for peace: providing market-driven solutions tailored to rural communities in lands devastated by war and serving as a catalyst for the development of the entire industry worldwide.

(Photo courtesy of Grgich Hills Estate and sketch courtesy of Roots of Peace)

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