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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner

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Rodney Strong Wine Estates and Empire Merchants Partner With City Harvest to Help Feed Hungry New Yorkers

California Winery Extends Giving With Unique Distributor Partnership

HEALDSBURG, CA--(Marketwired - January 28, 2014) - Sonoma County's Rodney Strong Wine Estates and their New York distributor, Empire Merchants, a division of the Charmer Sunbelt Group, announced today in New York at Oceana Restaurant that they have come together to create a unique partnership with City Harvest, the world's first food rescue organization dedicated to feeding hungry New Yorkers. Through a six month partnership that includes a monetary contribution, product donation and charitable event support, Rodney Strong and Empire Merchants will help City Harvest in their mission to end hunger in communities throughout New York City.

The value of the partnership to City Harvest includes cash, product and services. The two organizations are contributing $5 for every case sold in New York City, February through April up to $25,000, with Rodney Strong providing $15,000 and Empire Merchants contributing $10,000. They are also providing in-kind product donations and pooling their resources to help City Harvest raise funds at events through the first six months of 2014, making the total partnership value nearly $50,000.

About City Harvest

Now serving New York City for more than 30 years, City Harvest (www.cityharvest.org) is the world's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city's hungry men, women, and children. This year, City Harvest will collect 46 million pounds of excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms. This food is then delivered free of charge to more than 500 community food programs throughout New York City by a fleet of trucks and bikes. City Harvest helps feed the more than one million New Yorkers that face hunger each year.

About Empire Merchants

Empire Merchants is part of The Charmer Sunbelt Group, one of the nation's leading distributors of spirits, fine wines, beers, and bottled water. Empire Merchants is the critical link between the companies that produce alcoholic beverages and the retail outlets where they are sold, as well as the restaurants and pubs where they are consumed.

About Rodney Strong Wine Estates

Rodney Strong Wine Estates is a family-owned wine company that includes Rodney Strong Vineyards and Davis Bynum Winery. Rodney Strong grows and produces wines exclusively from four of Sonoma County's finest appellations -- Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and Sonoma Coast. The winery was founded in 1959 by Sonoma County wine pioneer Rodney D. Strong as the 13th bonded winery in the county. Davis Bynum crafts single vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The company aspires to conserve and protect the environment in all its operations. The Klein family, a third generation California farming family, entered the wine business with the purchase of Rodney Strong Vineyards in 1989.

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