Connecting “heart” and “mission,” winery owner Stacy Bellew Thornton launched Coeur Cause® Wines with a passion to create world-class wines AND support vital charities with every bottle sold.

Compass is proud to share that the winery’s inaugural Relume Red Blend is devoted solely to Compass Housing Alliance! 10% of every bottle sold is given as a direct donation to Compass Housing Alliance.

Compass: What about Compass Housing Alliance inspired you to choose us to benefit from one of your first wines?

Stacy: When I worked in politics, affordable housing was a key issue in our portfolio. Homelessness and housing insecurity always touched me on a very deep level because of my own experiences with instability as a child. I’ve been in the wine industry now for over 15 years, and when I learned more about Compass and its programs, I was reminded of just how deeply connected I am to these issues. Seeing firsthand how dedicated the Compass team is, well, let’s just say, it takes so much heart (Coeur) to do what they do. I know many times that kind of work can go unrecognized. I’m hoping the Relume (to relight) Red Blend will help illuminate Compass’ mission. It’s highlighted on the back label of every bottle.

I’m also passionate about War Veterans. It’s confounding to think that many Veterans can’t even afford to buy a home after returning from war zones where they fought for our country and were willing to die for our country. Yet, many times, they find themselves dealing with the trauma of war, racked with bills, and scraping together what they have just to provide a roof over their family’s heads. The fact Compass has programs devoted to Veterans and military families was huge for me.

Do you have any personal connection to this mission?

When I was 5, my parents divorced, and soon after for whatever reason, mom and I found ourselves living in a single-wide trailer. At this point, my brother and sister had graduated high school (I obviously was a surprise baby of the family), so it was just mom and me. Sometimes we had no heat, sometimes the electricity went out, and sometimes the flashing alarm clock at dawn was a cause for celebration. Mom would jump out of bed and say, “Woo hoo! We can make coffee! The electricity is back!” She always reminded me how lucky we were to have a roof over our heads at least. And let me just say, mom always walked out of that trailer every morning with her head held high and looking like dailies from the pages of a Dynasty script thanks to her thrift store acumen. 

It took years, but mom was able to scrape together a down payment on a very modest home – it was life-changing for us.

Finally, the confidence she was trying to emulate from the outside, she really felt on the inside too. It truly changed her. This is incredibly important to a person’s self-worth, especially living in a world where our soul and character are already put to the test every day in the smallest ways. Can you imagine facing those challenges, AND not having a warm bed to escape to? Housing changes everything, and affordable housing should be accessible to everyone. Thank you Compass for reminding us of the warm gift that is so often overlooked. My mom thanks you too.

Stacy and her mom in a quiet moment

Tell us about Relume Red Blend 2019.

It’s mostly a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet and Merlot, but a kiss of Malbec gives this wine a lovely herbal lift with subtlety. Its lighter mouthfeel is playful and layered with black cherries and toasted oak.

This is a perfect holiday wine with vibrant complexity thanks to our winemaker Joshua Maloney. Both bold and approachable wine lovers will adore this blend. Pairings are endless! My favorite – Prosciutto and Fig Crostini, Pork Loin with the fixings, or my husband’s favorite – Flank Steak with Chimichurri potatoes!

What other charities does Coeur Cause support in this first release?

My mom was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease several years ago, and my initial bottles have benefitted the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s a mission I am passionate about, and always will be. And, other bottles are devoted to various student-driven programs like College Radio. With Cabernet Sauvignon, the Relume Red Blend, Chardonnay, Rosé, and a Sparkling due in February, it’s a well-rounded wine club portfolio. I look forward to bringing in more charities as we grow!

Where can people find you?

Our wines are always available to order online here, and we will be hosting wine pop-ups with local food artisans in gorgeous locations throughout the area until we open our tasting room later this year. Wine Club Members get extra perks and discounted tickets.

Direct donations from wine club memberships also go to Compass. Buy a couple of bottles or more here:

Become a Wine Club Member here:

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