13-Year-Old Vintner's First Wine Is for Kids With Heart Disease

Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

Thirteen-year-old Colby Groom was born with a hole in his heart. After recovering from two grueling open-heart surgeries, he became a champion for other children with heart disease.

Recently, Colby enlisted his father, renowned winemaker Daryl Groom, to help his cause. Daryl tells TakePart, "We put two of our passions together," and made a charitable wine—Colby Red.

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Colby and his family with a bottle of Colby Red. (Photo: Gail L. Ginder)

When Colby asked his dad if they could make a bottle of wine together, Daryl at first "shrugged him off a bit," thinking "there was no way he's going to keep up the routine of what it takes to make a wine."

Colby, as his father has been forced to admit, is a "persistent young man." The son kept pressing, telling Daryl he wanted to make the wine and donate the profits to heart research.

The two dove in and created a red wine that Daryl describes as "soft, velvety, silky, round and juicy."

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Daryl and Colby spent many hours making Colby Red. (Photo: Gail L Ginder)

The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Merlot.

Daryl says Colby Red "reflected to me the tenderness we felt for Colby as we were going through the whole lot."

The velvety blend costs $12.99 and can be found at your local Walgreens—if they sell beer and wine—and online at Cellar 360.

The sale of the wine started selling this February—for American Heart Month—and Daryl estimates, "we will be close to raising $100,000 for heart related charities" when March rolls in.

Funds so far have been donated to the American Heart Association, and the Grooms have earmarked future donations for St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital and UCSF Pediatric Heart Center, the hospital where Colby had his second heart surgery.

The Grooms also hope to fund individual causes.

Daryl says: Colby has "quite openly said if there's a kid out there who's got heart disease like I had, and his family can't afford medical care, we want to be able to help."

Colby has "always thought out of the box," his father says. "In a lot of ways, he’s a normal 13-year-old, but he just gets these ideas, and he has this persistence. Before you know it, you’re going with it."

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