New Zealand wine company doing its bit for mental health

rosé in a glass
Every bottle of the 'Pink Sheep' rosé sold will benefit various mental health foundations. Photo credit: Getty

A New Zealand wine company is doing its bit to help tackle New Zealand's mental health epidemic, launching a rosé, with a chunk of the proceeds going to help mental health foundations. 

For every bottle of Soho Wines' new 'Pink Sheep' rosé sold, 50c will be heading to the ‘Key to Life’ Charitable Trust. 

Kiwi businesswoman and Soho founder Rachael Carter has taken this on as a passion project, partnering with mental health campaigner Mike King to try and raise more awareness for the cause. 

Her family has been involved in the NZ wine industry for more than 40 years and she says they have a real connection to our chronic suicide rates.   

"My father has had depression and my uncle committed suicide," Ms Carter told Newshub. 

"I have seen the awful waterfall effects of a family member taking his own life and how, even 40 years later, our family is still affected."

She said they hoped to inspire other New Zealand companies to do the same. 

"Mike King is doing a great job of getting this message out there to kids and if we can help Mike further his reach by selling rosé, then I hope other companies jump on board and do the same." 

The new 'Pink Sheep' label is inspired by designer Alexander McQueen
The new 'Pink Sheep' label is inspired by designer Alexander McQueen Photo credit: Supplied

The name 'Pink Sheep' was inspired by flamboyant fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who took his life at age 40. 

"We are big McQueen fans and he always referred to himself as the pink sheep in the family," Ms Carter said. 

"He suffered with mental illness and took his life. He really was my main inspiration behind the name and we thought the mental health charity was the perfect match, in more ways than one." 

Ms Carter said she thought New Zealanders have a special connection with the wine industry. 

"Ultimately, New Zealand produces bloody great wine," she says. 

"We have the right climate and our winemakers are uber-talented, so it is no wonder Kiwis appreciate how good 'home-made' vino actually is. Kiwis love to support Kiwi-made, which is awesome." 

However, she's aware that with a connection between mental health and alcohol, there was going to be some controversy behind the move.

"We are aware that being a wine company and providing funding to support mental health could be seen as controversial," Ms Carter said, but she hoped people co uld look past it. 

"We are a family wine company who actually wants to make a difference and lower the suicide rate, and with the huge demand for rosé, we believe this is the best way we can contribute.

 "We chose this as our charity, as I believe it is the most in need of urgent attention." 

The Soho Wines 'Pink Sheep' rosé launches today.