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 Ric and Michelle Campos’ granddaughter 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.
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 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.
About Dr. Temple Grandin: (taken from https://www.templegrandin.com)
Dr. Grandin did not talk until she was three and a half years old. She was fortunate to get early speech therapy. Her teachers also taught her how to wait and take turns when playing board games. She was mainstreamed into a normal kindergarten at age five. Oliver Sacks wrote in the forward of Thinking in Pictures that her first book Emergence: Labeled Autistic was “unprecedented because there had never before been an inside narrative of autism.” Dr. Sacks profiled Dr. Grandin in his best selling book Anthropologist on Mars.
Dr. Grandin became a prominent author and speaker on both autism and animal behavior. Today she is a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She also has a successful career consulting on both livestock handling equipment design and animal welfare. She has been featured on NPR (National Public Radio) and a BBC Special – “The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow”. She has also appeared on National TV shows such as Larry King Live, 20/20, Sixty Minutes, Fox and Friends, and she has a 2010 TED talk. Articles about Dr. Grandin have appeared in Time Magazine, New York Times, Discover Magazine, Forbes and USA Today. HBO made an Emmy Award-winning movie about her life and she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
When she was young, she was considered weird and teased and bullied in high school. The only place she had friends was activities where there was a shared interest such as horses, electronics, or model rockets. Mr. Carlock, her science teacher, was an important mentor who encouraged her interest in science. When she had a new goal of becoming a scientist, she had a reason for studying. Today half the cattle in the United States are handled in facilities she has designed.