Country music star LeAnn Rimes has been an animal lover her whole life, sometimes sharing her home with as many as seven dogs at one time. Through the years, her pack had dwindled to just one pooch, her beloved rescue dog, Eveie. When Eveie passed away after a brutal attack by a coyote near her rural Los Angeles home, Rimes and her family were heartbroken, postponing several concerts to spend time recovering from together grief.

So when ONEHOPE Wine approached Rimes with the opportunity to collaborate on their latest signature wine to benefit the PEDIGREE Foundation and their efforts to give grants to shelters and rescue organizations that help dogs find their forever homes, she jumped at the chance. “It’s kind of an emotional thing,” Rimes recently shared in front of a group of ONEHOPE “Cause Entrepreneurs” gathered at a conference at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort. “Grief went into this wine. [Franklin-based] PEDIGREE Foundation is such an incredible group. I did a show for them last year, and they’ve gotten involved in my yearly holiday show. I’m so happy that they are involved with this, and pairing wine with giving back is so smart!”

ONEHOPE Wines was founded by eight friends in California with a vision: “to create exceptional products that inspire people to indulge while doing good.” ONEHOPE grows their own grapes and produces some of their 40+ wines on a ten-acre plot of land right in the heart of the famous Napa Valley as well as purchasing grapes and partnering with other wineries to craft award-winning reds, whites and rosés. A salesforce of more than 3,000 entrepreneurs across the country sells their wines by throwing parties in their homes and taking orders for direct shipments from the winery, with a portion of each sale contributed to charitable causes. Through this structure, ONEHOPE empowers their partners to “make a difference while making an income.”

ONEHOPE developed their first Signature Series wine on a previous trip to Music City when they partnered with Darius Rucker to create a cabernet sauvignon to help provide therapeutic services for children with multiple disabilities at a school in his hometown of Charleston. When Rimes agreed to collaborate on ONEHOPE’s latest Signature Series wine, she worked with Director of Wine, Mari Wells Coyle, to select her favorite from a range of options presented to her by Coyle.

Rimes chose a luscious cabernet from Paso Robles, and she definitely has an excellent palate because the wine she selected recently received a gold medal in an international competition. Retailing at $40 at the ONEHOPE website or from one of their Cause Entrepreneurs, each bottle of the Signature Series features Rimes’ signature embossed on the label plus a stylized rendering of her cherished Eveie. The wine is a deep garnet color in the glass with aromas of dark fruits on the nose. It exhibits gentle structure and soft tannins with plenty of notes of cherry, chocolate and soft oak that develop during the long finish.

ONEHOPE is proud to be working alongside LeAnn Rimes to support PEDIGREE Foundation,” said Amanda Lamberti, Director, ONEHOPE Foundation. “Animal rescue is one of the causes that our company is passionate about, and we were thrilled to hear that it is also a cause that is close to LeAnn’s heart. We are grateful that our collaboration will help PEDIGREE Foundation help provide care and find loving homes for many dogs in need,” Lamberti added.

“More than 3 million dogs in the United States end up in shelters and rescues every year,” said Debra Fair, Executive Director, PEDIGREE Foundation. “PEDIGREE Foundation is honored to partner with ONEHOPE and LeAnn Rimes to further our mission of finding dogs everywhere loving homes,” Fair added.

It’s hard to believe that Rimes has never played a show at the Ryman Auditorium, but she’ll be making her first appearance there at an upcoming show on Sunday, September 22 at 7:30 pm. Since she’ll be coming back to Nashville, we asked her about some of her favorite wines and spots in town, as well as about her involvement with ONEHOPE and the PEDIGREE Foundation:

The Nashville Edit: What were your inspirations for picking this particular wine and also for choosing the PEDIGREE Foundation as the beneficiary?

LeAnn Rimes: I chose the wine by doing several tastings, which was fun! I chose what I loved. It’s important to me to have a real connection to everything I put my name on. PEDIGREE and I share a love for animals. When I chose to design my bottle around my late rescue dog, Eveie, the connection with PEDIGREE and the work they do with shelters all across America felt seamless. I absolutely love my cabernet, the label and the deep part of my heart that it honors and PEDIGREE’s initiative of supporting animals all across our county in finding their forever homes.

TNE: How do you pick a wine for a summer dinner party?

LR: By the label! Yes, when it comes to wine, I do judge a book by the cover, and 95% of the time my strategy serves me well. Or, by recommendation. Go to a great wine store, like The Wine Shoppe at Green Hills and never be afraid to ask them to point you in the right direction. Trust their lead!

TNE: What places do you like to go in Middle Tennessee for a great glass of wine?

LR: My favorite place for a great glass of wine is always a friend’s house, specifically in Nashville, my tour manager’s house. Yes, we actually hang outside of work, and he and his wife have great taste in wine. I’m much more of a homebody than a “go out” type.

TNE: What are your favorite wines for summer and fall?

LR: Summer wine is always a sauvignon blanc or a rosé, and fall is pinot noir, cabernet or Barolo.

TNE: Do you have any dinner recipes that you think pair exceptionally well with your OneHope Signature Series wine?

LR: A roasted flank steak stuffed with a delicious spinach and blue cheese filling pairs well with this wine. And for dessert, a rosemary cake, which is a very light cake that pairs well with red wine.