A Mendocino County wine owner is donating US$30,000 from sales of his latest Pinot Noir to the 9/11 memorial.

Eric Munson lost his brothers-in-law Daniel J and Joseph P Shea – he is married to their sister – on 11 September 2001.

To mark the sixth anniversary of the tragedy, 10% of the profit of his most recent bottling – Dancing Bear Shea Cuvée Pinot Noir – will support construction of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center, the new name for the ground zero memorial announced this month by the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.

Munson, who owns properties in California and Italy, expects to raise about US$30,000 for the memorial, to which his family had already pledged US$250,000. The wine was made by Keith Rutz of Rutz Cellars and retails for $30.

‘This bottling is very close to my heart and really goes to the root of why I founded Dancing Bear Cellars,’ Munson, who was with the Sheas in their New York offices one week before 9/11, told decanter.com. ‘9/11 was part of the catalyst that got me in the wine business.’

The phrase on all his bottles, ‘Wine celebrating life’ comes from 9/11, he added. ‘This wine is a memorial. One of the lessons we learned from that tragedy is that life is short and therefore is meant to be celebrated. By bottling these wines I get the opportunity to share this vision.’

A spokeswoman for the Memorial and Museum said it was ‘grateful for the additional contribution.’

Munson’s wine joins donations from the US and 27 other countries, which have raised some US$300m so far. Construction of the memorial began in March 2006.

Written by Panos Kakaviatos