The soul of the shoe
Shoe Shine Wine is the loving extension of our heart and soul and the first offering from our Bay Area based family run micro-winery, Justice Grace Vineyards.
Our passion is small volume, hand-crafted wines that reflect the innate life and energy of the fruit and that retain a distinct sense of place from each vineyard and vintage. We make authentic wines that speak volumes about a tiny parcel of the earth in time, rather than the hand that guides them.
While our winemaking goal is to help sustain and re-define California’s very own Petite Sirah varietal, as a business we are also equally dedicated to social justice. So much so, that “Justice” is part of our namesake. In particular, we are committed to and support a national Living Wage campaign. A staggering 45 million people now live in low-income working families in the U.S. One of the reasons: A multi-decade real decline in wage rates. The purchasing power of the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968 and has declined by over 30 percent since. Even worse, the national “Tipped minimum wage” of $2.13 per hour can sometimes result in “paychecks” of $0.00.
Millions of people are working full time in arduous jobs, doing the work that Americans require and are asking a human being to do. For that life, the workers live in poverty and suffer countless indignities from society.
The national living wage movement has been leading the way in restoring work-with-dignity and improving this reality. Grassroots campaigns have won living wage ordinances in more than 130 cities and have begun to restore dignity to low-income workers and their families across the country. While the Federal Government has recently signaled a desire to slowly raise wages, many State governments are quickly taking action.
While this is of course positive, we firmly believe the “poverty wage” rates are set way too low, and a “Living Wage” is the only true wage to lift families out of poverty. The evidence is clear: workers earning even the proposed $10 wage rates often depend on public assistance to make ends meet, while their employers earn tax breaks and record profits. These corporations have “outsourced” real wages to the middle-class: whether you are their customers, or not.
Our vision is to be a resource and a catalyst for the national living wage movement as we expand our reach across the country, beyond our base here in the Bay Area. We do not accept an economic or political system which perpetuates a false notion of scarcity and encourages a race to the bottom and poverty wages. We are committed to changing the values which enable this injustice and ending the system which perpetrates it.
As we look back at our first decade of winemaking, we look back at the remarkable adventure that this little winery has become. We are proud to have several hand-crafted, vineyard designated Petite Sirah’s in the market, all with their own distinct character and identity.
We are also proud of our Uniqueness:
- first in the industry to use beautiful fabric, often vintage, to cover the corks on every bottle.
- among the first in the industry to celebrate and feature Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) designs on our front labels.
- among the very few wineries worldwide so committed to transparency, that we enthusiastically embraced “ingredient labeling” on every back label
- our Wine labels were included in SFMOMA‘s 2011 curated exhibit about wine
- our abstract winemaking photography was named a finalist in SF Weekly’s 2012 “Masterminds” artist competition, as “among 10 extraordinary Bay Area artists”
And of course, Social Justice. While our winemaking goals and successes bring great energy and joy to our lives, without a National Living Wage we will never feel successful. And we will never stop working, striving, and agitating towards that goal. Making wine this way is one small step to making a difference. The best is yet to come.
The rumors are true—I was named after my dad’s Che Guevara pez dispenser. I’m seven years old now and I have six vintages under my belt. Literally. Fermenting grape skins stick like glue. Who knew?
If it were up to Eric, there would be no bio, but, as his close friend, I wrangled my way in and here’s what I have to say about him:
There are a few things you should know about Eric: He’s deeply ethical, an idealist, and leads from his heart. Eric is as likely to carry on about his devotion to natural winemaking and Petite Sirah, as he is about all the social inequities that burden him. He doesn’t give a damn about wine snobbery, instead naming his brand in honor of those all-too-often ignored members of society who quietly make the rest of us look good. In his utopia, capitalism is replaced by consensus-driven citizen democracy.
Eric is embarrassed to admit he ever worked in the financial industry in NYC, but it was the greed and corruption he witnessed there which solidified his political and moral stance. It propelled him into winemaking as a passionate exploration of beauty and mystery, social justice, and community engagement. In Eric’s ideal world, instead of buying his wine, you’d exchange it for goods and services made or produced with love.
When you join Eric’s world, you’ll be pushed to think about far more than wine. And grateful for his endless hours of hard work and dedication. Eric is a true testament to the power of vision and commitment and following a dream, whether working in the winery or parenting his beautiful son.”
–Michael Straus, Founder Straus Communications