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Murphy-Goode Launches Search to Find a “Grill Sergeant” in Honor of Veteran’s Day


Murphy-Goode Grill Sergeant


Veteran’s Day is this Monday, and it’s a day to remember the brave men and women who have served our country and defended our freedom. And for those of us that served, it is a day to reflect on our service, where we’ve been and who we’ve met, and those close friends that we’ve lost along the way.

I proudly spent six years of service in the Army: four and a half years in the storied 82nd Airborne Division as a Paratrooper in the Airborne Infantry, and a year and half in the California Army National Guard as a reconnaissance scout. Before I was old enough to legally drink, I found myself in Iraq in the middle of a war. A planned four-month deployment quickly turned into fifteen months of ground combat.

Mutineer Brian Kropf in Iraq

Mutineer Brian Kropf in Iraq

After finishing my deployment to Iraq, I had the incredible opportunity to see the humanitarian side of military service as my unit spearheaded the relief efforts in Haiti. We arrived just days after the devastating earthquake in 2010 that killed 220,000 and displaced over a million people on the impoverished island. It was enlightening to say the least.

After experiencing so much during my military service, I am encouraged and thankful to see the philanthropic efforts by beverage companies to remember, honor and support those who have served.

One such company is Sonoma’s Murphy-Goode Winery. In honor of Veteran’s Day last year, Murphy-Goode launched “Give Goode. Do Goode.”, a holiday promotion which raised $40,000 for Operation Homefront, an organization that provides emergency financial aid and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. “The approaching holidays can be an emotional and trying time for military families,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of the Rockville, Md.-based Operation Homefront. “We’re grateful for the assistance from partners like Murphy-Goode.
Murphy-Goode Homefront Cuvée
This year, Murphy-Goode has continued their tradition of supporting Veterans with “Operation Grill Sergeant”, a project seeking a chef to be the Murphy-Goode Grill Sergeant. The Grill Sergeant will report directly to the Executive Chef and will be responsible for creating exciting recipes to pair with Murphy-Goode wines, compete in barbeque competitions, and represent the winery on national tours. Military service and culinary education (or equivalent) are a requirement. Visit the Murphy-Goode Operation Grill Sergeant website for complete information and requirements.

This is an important cause and a personal one for me,” said Dave Ready, Jr., winemaker for Murphy-Goode. “My father, both grandfathers and a great-grandfather were veterans. I think about my family’s experience, and I can’t emphasize how vital it is to support not only our soldiers, but the loved ones who stand bravely beside them.

Additionally, Murphy-Goode has collaborated with Operation Homefront on a special bottling of wine, “2006 Homefront Cuvée”, with a percentage of the proceeds from every bottle sold benefitting Operation Homefront. Homefront Cuvée will be released on Sunday, November 11 at the Murphy-Goode tasting room in downtown Healdsburg as part of a Veteran’s Day celebration from 11am to 3pm. The wine is 100% merlot made with grapes from the historic Keyes Vineyard located at an elevation of 1,600 feet on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley. According to winemaker Dave Ready, Jr., “Homefront Cuvée exudes aromas of smoke, minerals, cedar and leather. Flavors of red plums and blueberries give to a rich expression of round tannins and a long and smooth finish. Homefront Cuvée is a meaningful way for Murphy-Goode to show how much we appreciate what American service members do for our nation.” Homefront Cuvée can be purchased on the Murphy-Goode website.

Well-done Murphy-Goode, your efforts are appreciated.


  1. Julie | Friday, November 9, 2012

    Dad and I are so very proud of you Brian. You served our country with pride, integrity and honor. Love you!

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