Friday, September 04, 2009


Internationally renowned saxophonist and six-time Grammy® nominee Dave Koz has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world over the past two decades through his recordings, radio shows, annual tours, cruises and now his wine – KOZ Wine. In his travels, Koz continually observed the strong connection between people’s love of jazz and their love of wine, echoing his own two passions. While hosting his annual Smooth Jazz cruise in 2008, Koz met one of his fans, Patrick Bradley, the President of Whole Foods Market for the Southern Pacific region. They shared their passion about wine and, on the open seas, the idea to start a wine brand was born. This is the first time Whole Foods Market has collaborated on a project such as KOZ Wine from start to finish. The company was involved from researching the vineyards, tasting the wines, developing packaging, shipping the product to the stores and the marketing. In fact, Koz accompanied Whole Foods Market team members to Santa Ynez, Mendocino and Napa to interview winemakers before they selected Chris Condos of Napa Valley’s boutique winery, Vinum Cellars. "Chris has an intense passion for the winemaking process, a wonderful sense of creativity and openness that I felt was really important in this collaboration," says Koz. "I’m certainly a student in this whole process, but I love it–I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time and the more I learn the more I want to know. That this project directly benefits Starlight, my long-time charity, it's all the more sweet...doing good and drinking good will now go hand in hand!" says Koz. "Whole Foods Market is thrilled to be partnering with KOZ Wine, Vinum Cellars, and Starlight Children’s Foundation in launching 3 types of KOZ Wine exclusively at our stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada," says Bradley. "We are proud to be welcoming Dave and his wines into our stores and to be a part of Starlight’s mission to help brighten the world of seriously ill children and their families." As a humanitarian, Koz has served as global ambassador for the last 17 years to the Starlight Children’s Foundation and will be donating all his proceeds from KOZ Wine to help Starlight continue their vital mission. "With 17 years of steadfast support for Starlight under his belt, Dave’s impact on our children and families is truly unmatched," said Paula Van Ness, CEO of Starlight. "He continually comes up with creative ways to support our organization, and this cause-marketing concept enables him to join forces with Starlight and Whole Foods Market to let seriously ill children and their families know they are not alone." KOZ Wine is now available at all Southern California Whole Foods Markets as well as in Nevada and Arizona. There are 3 different varietals: KOZ 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; KOZ 2008 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc; KOZ 2007 El Dorado "Red Alto" Blend.

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