The question?

“Is There Still Hope for Syrah?”

He went on in his story to further ask?

“THERE’S a joke going around West Coast wine circles: What’s the difference between a case of syrah and a case of pneumonia? You can get rid of the pneumonia. It would be funnier if it weren’t so sad…”

This past week, Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines joined the Petite Sirah advocacy group that I founded (with Lou Foppiano) and am still executive director of, called PS I Love You. (BTW – Dan Berger of Vintage Experiences came up with the name PS I Love You.)

After joining PSILY, Larry asked if I’d help him on this blog with an event that’s happening tomorrow, November 9th. “Sure,” I thought, “Why not?”

And when, as I read his E-Mail to me, I realized what an important event this is.

My hat’s off to the Rhone Rangers for having this one all come together.

Here’s Larry’s Email content, as he wrote it:


I wanted to reach out to you to let you know of an event that the Rhone Rangers, a national non-profit wine organization based in Northern California, is putting on next week. The event is entitled Pneumonia’s Last Syrah, and it stemmed from a blog post in the New York Times, followed by another one written by a immunization specialist for the Huffington Post.

The long and short of it is that the Rhone Rangers have partnered with the GAVI Alliance, a Swiss-based organization that provides vaccinations to children in developing nations around the world. GAVI is funded by Unicef, by the World Bank, and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others; and, has already provided over 5-Million vaccinations against numerous childhood diseases worldwide.

They have noted November 12 as World Pneumonia Day to bring to the attention of the world that pneumonia is the leading killer of children worldwide. They therefore are pushing for a campaign to help vaccinate children.

We are cooperatively holding a wine tasting and awareness event on November 9th at the DogPatch Studios in SF, and hoped that you might find it interesting enough to cover.

How do wineries fit into this? Here is a link to the Rhone Rangers’ website spelling this out, but again, the long and short of it is that member wineries have committed to donating $10 per case of Syrah sold in November to the GAVI Alliance and their efforts. Why $10? That’s the cost of a vaccination against pneumonia.

Thanks in advance for considering this request and please let me know if you have any follow up questions or if I can assist in any way.


Larry Schaffer

Board of Directors, the Rhone Rangers

Some wine people are the finest on the planet.

Here’s to November 12 as World Pneumonia Day, and completely immunizing children against this child killing disease.

Check out the Rhone Rangers site for member wineries, many of whom are also members of PSILY, if you’d like to do your part.

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