Campos Family Vineyards is everything their name suggests. Translated into English, the word campos means “fields” – which perfectly describes the lush, green paddocks that surround the family property. What ties these beautiful fields together are the family members and the acres of vineyards that surround the Campos Family Vineyard estate. Family is not a word that is used loosely around the vineyard, either. This family-run vineyard and event center has brought two vintages to market that carry the name Gigi’s Blend. Gigi’s Blend is a rich blend of red estate varietals that may not define the estate wines and vineyard, but serves as a beautiful, and delicious, salute to the estates’ commitment to family.
Today, if you happen to attend a Wine Down event at Campos Family Vineyards on a Friday evening or watch a kickball game on a Monday afternoon, you might see a young lady selling lemonade. This is Gigi – a young woman with an entrepreneurial spirit and a heart of gratitude.
In 5th grade, Gigi and her family made the decision to enroll her in a school where she would be able to create a more personalized education plan. Although the decision did not come lightly, Gigi’s enrollment at the new school allowed her to focus on art. As she cultivated her creative spirit and art skills, she painted a uniquely intriguing, playful and bold piece that sat on the mantle of her parent’s home. The painting would soon become part of Gigi’s namesake.
Fast forward a few years and Gigi connects with Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is a pioneer in the autism community who has played a pivotal role in creating understanding, education, and acceptance for people who are on the autism spectrum and their families. When Gigi and Temple met, Gigi’s life changed. She came to realize that her differences were gifts that allowed her to experience the world in a way that not everyone could understand, but were gifts nonetheless to be appreciated and celebrated. Temple Grandin, and the resources and support she provides was an outlet for Gigi to finally begin to understand her value in a world where autism is often misunderstood.
Gigi’s Blend Comes to Market
This is where Gigi’s Blend comes into the story of finding an identity and finding community. Soon after Gigi’s grandparents took ownership of Campos Family Vineyards, Gigi presented a business proposal to her grandparents. She wanted to use her art on a wine bottle as a strategy to earn money to donate to the Temple Grandin Fund. When Gigi met Temple, she felt a connection and a sense of community that she had not shared with anyone else. As a way to express her gratitude to a woman she knows changed her life, Gigi wanted to use her gift of art to create awareness of the autism community, but also to give back to Temple Grandin.
Gigi’s grandparents went to work. Understanding that Campos Family Vineyards is a place of family and giving, supporting their granddaughter’s vision of contributing to a community she was a part of became an immediate part of their business plan. Gigi’s grandparents took the beautiful piece of art that sat on the mantle of her family home and turned it into the label for a vintage that took on the name “Gigi’s Blend.”
A Salute to the Senses and A Celebration of Community
Gigi’s Blend is truly a salute to the senses and a celebration of community. The label that you will see on the bottle today is a sensory friendly label, where the textures and colors of the original piece of art are an integral part of the label design. Adding to the layers of the sensory experience, opening a bottle of Gigi’s Blend will allow you to breathe in the fruit forward aroma of cherry, strawberries and plum. The added spice and pepper of Petit Sirah and Zinfandel grapes will tie together your senses through the balance of the cumulative wine notes. If you are lucky enough to open a bottle at one of the family-friendly events that are hosted throughout the year at Campos, the accents of laughter, music and the sweet breeze will further compliment the wine.
Outside of enjoying a wonderful wine, a portion of the proceeds from each bottle of “Gigi’s Blend” is donated to the Temple Grandin-Eustacia Cutler Autism Fund. First, in selling Gigi’s Blend, Gigi and her family are able to support the organization that has brought Gigi many of the resources and tools she has needed to build her path of success. Plus, as people admire the beautiful label of the wine, conversations will organically come to light. This means people will become more aware of autism and the intricacies of raising a child on the spectrum.
A Gift of A Shared Experience
Gigi’s desire to give back to the Temple Grandin Fund is not surprising. However, the sophisticated way that Gigi is able to share her gift of art, the love, and support of her family, her gratitude to Temple Grandin while also bringing awareness and connectedness to the autism community is overwhelmingly powerful. Gigi has been described as an “exceptional child” – and truly, her gift of shared experience through the wines of her family and her expression of art is exceptional
Temple Grandin is quoted as saying, “When I was younger I was looking for this magic meaning of life. It’s very simple now. Making the lives of others better, doing something of lasting value. That’s the meaning of life, it’s that simple.”
One could say, Gigi has taken her mentor’s frame of mind to heart as she too, at the age of 13, has taken powerful steps to make the lives of others better. Through her art, community, family and wine, Gigi is on the path to finding her magic meaning of life.
If you are interested in purchasing Gigi’s Blend, visit our tasting room, or you can purchase it online here.