Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World

Wine to Water A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World by Doc Hendley (Avery, 288 pp., $26, January 2012)In 2004, Doc Hendley was a bartender and a bit of a partier in Raleigh, N.C. But an encounter with a family friend whose husband worked for an international aid organization set his life on a different course. Using his experience in the bartending industry, Hendley launched a series of wine tasting events to fund clean water projects. However, instead of donating the funds, Hendley traveled to Africa and witnessed the water crisis firsthand.

In his memoir Wine to Water, Hendley recounts the sequence of events that led to the development of his passion for international water safety, and his harrowing and confusing experience in Darfur, Sudan. While issues of water quality are addressed, the book is more focused on Hendley’s personal transformation from renegade biker to a globe-travelling nonprofit director.

-review by Katherine Silkaitis