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Charity Wine Auctions Announce Exciting Events for 2011

A Culinary Evening With The California Winemasters, 22nd Annual – Saturday, May 14, Burbank, California

Vintage Affaire, 29th Annual – Saturday, June 25, Atherton, California

Central Coast Wine Classic, 27th Annual – Thursday, July 7 through Sunday, July 10, Avila Beach, California

St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church Cellar Classic, 2nd Annual – Saturday, July 30, Los Olivos, California

The 22nd Annual Culinary Evening With The California
Winemasters Is Set For Saturday, May 14, 2011,
At Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California

A Culinary Evening With The California Winemasters, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will once again take place on the “Midwest Street” backlot at Warner Bros. Studios on Saturday, May 14.

Guests will enjoy fabulous wining and dining under the stars in the setting of a quintessential Any Town USA, always a sold-out extravaganza, attracting approximately 1,400 wine and food lovers.  Throughout the exciting, magical evening, attendees will delight in gourmet cuisine from over 45 celebrity chefs from around the world, and wines from nearly 70 of California’s most talented winemakers, while participating in silent and live auctions.  Extraordinary items offered for bidding include rare collector wines and travel fantasies.

Honorary Chairmen this year are the Schweiger family of Schweiger Vineyards and Craig Strong of Studio, Montage Laguna Beach.  Auctioneers are Dawnmarie Kotsonis and Paul Frank of Gemstone Vineyard, a special guest auctioneer.

There will be a special performance by Christina and Ali Christensen, finalists of “America’s Got Talent.”

Tickets for the event are $375.  Special Patron Packages are available:  Diamond Table of 12 at $10,000 (includes two tickets to the coveted Washington State Wine Dinner on May 12, lodging for two at Hilton Los Angeles Universal City and additional preferential treatment); Silver Patron Package for eight guests at $5,000; and Gold Patron Package at $2,000 per couple.

Renowned Vintners pouring their wines include Au Bon Climat, Caymus Vineyards, Grgich Hills Estate, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Justin Vineyards and Winery, Paul Hobbs Winery, Peter Michael Winery, Ridge Vineyards, Schramsberg Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Tablas Creek Vineyard, Von Strasser Winery and more.

Among the stellar lineup of celebrity chefs are Celestino Drago of Drago Ristorante/Drago Centro, Frank Ostini of Hitching Post II, Ken Frank of La Toque, Josiah Citrin of Melisse Restaurant, Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu Los Angeles, Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Thierry Rautureau of Rover’s & Luc, and more.

Last year’s event generated close to $1.6 Million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation making it one of the most extravagant auctions in history with over 900 live and silent auction items from fantasy trips to exclusive collector wines.  Winemasters is one of the most important CFF fundraisers in the U.S. and one of the largest single-day charity wine auctions in the world, having raised over $21 Million in 21 years.

Barbara Balik, Auction organizer and Director of Special Giving, says it is thanks to new treatments that people with cystic fibrosis are now living one year longer for every year of research.  Sponsors, vintners, chefs and guests understand their support is the reason for this lifesaving reprieve.  According to founding sponsor and Co-Chairman, Allen Balik, the event is a unique gourmet experience, offering something for everyone, and it is a particularly worthwhile charity event in that 91 cents of every dollar raised goes directly into Cystic Fibrosis research and cure programs, making this the highest percentage of any non-profit organization in the country.

Please contact Barbara Balik for further information and registration:  email: bbalik@cff.org; Telephone: (707) 258-1661.  For additional information on wineries, chefs and restaurants, tickets and special patron packages, please see the California Winemasters website:  www.californiawinemasters.org [1].

The 29th Annual Vintage Affaire “A Vision for Giving” Will Take Place on Saturday, June 25, 2011, at Menlo Circus Club, Atherton, California

Vintage Affaire, an elegant party with fine wines, gourmet cuisine, live music and one-of-a-kind auction items is scheduled to occur on Saturday, June 26 at the prestigious Menlo Circus Club in Atherton.  Always a wonderful affair to remember, it is one of the largest wine and destination auctions in California.

Over the past 28 years, Vintage Affaire has raised nearly $6 million for Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Palo Alto.  These funds enable Vista Center clients to achieve their highest potential through programs that promote independence and improve the quality of life, including the low vision clinic and rehabilitation services such as counseling, orientation and mobility training, living skills instruction and more.

The event is organized by the nonprofit Vista Center Foundation Board of Directors and is staffed entirely by community volunteers.  Susan Martin is the President of VCF’s Board of Directors.  The auction typically includes wine lots from hard-to-find California vintages, first-growth French Bordeaux, and emerging vineyards from “Down Under.” In addition, there are tours and tasting events at Napa and Sonoma vineyards, and wine country dinners in Napa and on the Peninsula.

Vintage Affaire offers two tiers of tickets, both of which support Vista Center.

Club Level — $195:  The afternoon begins with elegant wine tasting featuring approximately 30 of California’s top vintners and hors d’oeuvre pairings prepared and served by noted local chefs, while participating in silent and live auctions.

Patron Level — $400: Enjoy all Club Level events and a candlelight wine pairing dinner on the terrace at the Circus Club following the live auction and an invitation to the spectacular Vintage Evening at a private Woodside Estate and Cellar a few days prior to Vintage Affaire.

John Glines, who has conducted auction all over the west coast,  will once again be the auctioneer.

Please contact Vista Center at 650-858-0202 or visit the website, www.vintageaffaire.org [2] for additional information, including a list of vintners, chefs, unique auction items and tickets.

The 27th Annual Central Coast Wine Classic Will Take Place
July 7-10, 2011 at Avila Beach, California

From Thursday, July 7 through Sunday, July 10, wine enthusiasts will gather at the Avila Beach Resort and other venues in and around the areas of Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo, Shell Beach, Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles and San Simeon to enjoy the four-day extravaganza of gastronomic indulgences, celebrating wine, cuisine, music and art in the gorgeous setting of California’s Central Coast with its panoramic ocean views and laidback lifestyle.  The Central Coast Wine Classic will once again showcase special wine tastings, symposia, cooking demonstrations, winery dinners, auction events, and great camaraderie, all offering gracious hospitality and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

Events begin on Thursday afternoon with a Barrel Tasting at Avila Beach Golf Resort, offering guests the opportunity to taste a comprehensive array of unreleased wines from a variety of California wineries, from both Northern and Central California ($30/person).   That evening, the gala Dinner at Hearst Castle in San Simeon will be a fabulous, six-course meal featuring the work of  culinary luminaries, Hawaii chefs Roy Yamaguchi, D. K. Kodama and George Mavrothalassitis, with Michael Hutchings of Michael’s Catering in Santa Barbara and James Sly of Sly’s in Carpenteria, matching wines from Vintner Dignitaries.   The annual black-tie affair at Hearst Castle, dining under the stars, overlooking the La Casa Grande, the Greco-Roman swimming pool and the Santa Lucia Mountain range at San Simeon, is a magical event, always sold-out.  A special guided tour of the 165-room Castle with 127 acres of gardens, terraces and walkways and a sunset champagne reception around the Neptune Pool precedes the dinner ($1,250/person includes Barrel Tasting, Auction events and luncheon and Reserve Tasting).  Also scheduled for Thursday evening is the Fifth Annual Bring-Your-Own Bottle Paulée Dinner at the Avila Beach Golf Resort ($95/person).

Friday is the Central Coast Cycling Classic with Carissa Chappellet, beginning and ending at the Avila Lighthouse Suites, riding into the heart of Central Coast wine country.  Enjoy beautiful ocean and mountain view areas, winery visits and a luncheon ($75/person).   Friday events also feature several symposia: Malbec Symposium hosted by wine educator and author Karen Macneil at Avila Lighthouse Suites ($45/person); Maisons Marques & Domaines Fine Wine Symposium hosted by Xavier Barlier, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Avila Beach Golf Resort ($45/person); Cheese & Wine Symposium hosted by Kent Torrey, owner of The Cheese Shop in Carmel at Avila Beach Golf Resort ($45/person).  Also on Friday is the Cooking Demonstration & Luncheon hosted by San Francisco radio personality Narsai David, featuring renowned Hawaii Chefs D. K. Kodama and George Mavrothalassitis.  The multi-course luncheon will include the fine wines of Central Coast vintners ($95/person).  Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Sparkling Wine Discussion and Reception, featuring Roederer Estate Multi-Vintage Rose, hosted by Xavier Barlier and Archie McLaren, will take place at Avila Lighthouse Suites ($45/person).

That evening, winemaker-hosted dinners will take place at restaurants and wineries throughout San Luis Obispo County ($95/person).  An Outdoor Winery Dinner Concert will be presented on the putting green by The Grill Restaurant at the Avila Beach Golf Resort ($125/person).

The always exciting headline event, the Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction and Related Activities is set for Saturday under the great tent, at the Official Host Auction Venue, the Avila Beach Golf Resort in Avila Beach.  Auction activities include the Early Bird Silent Auction & Live Auction Preview, Super Silent Auction and Auction Luncheon prepared and presented by The Grill at Avila Beach Golf Resort.  Renowned auctioneer David Reynolds will wield the gavel at the Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction featuring an amazing array of rare and fine wine and comprehensive packages to various destinations throughout the U.S. and around the world, including extraordinary Relais & Chateaux hotels and restaurants ($125/person).

Sunday morning starts with a symposium, Chardonnay Terroir Symposium hosted by master sommelier and vintner, Larry Stone at Avila Beach Golf Resort ($45/person).  The finale of the festivities is the Reserve Wine Tasting at Avila Beach Golf Resort in the afternoon, offering the most special wines of 50 California wineries and culinary samplings from Central Coast restaurants ($45/person).

The Wine Classic has grown from an afternoon wine tasting to become a highly successful, very popular fundraiser, where education is key, attended by wine lovers, vintners, chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, honorees and press.  The Classic, founded by Archie McLaren, who remains the event’s Executive Director and driving force behind it, offers something of interest for everyone.  The Classic began with and continues to fulfill the multiple purposes of promotion of the Central Coast wine industry, education of event participants, encouragement of the symbiotic pairing of food and wine and the raising of money for the Wine Classic Foundation.  The Foundation, established in 2004, awards monies to fund project-specific grants to non-profits involving studio arts, performing arts, and healing arts in the counties of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.  Over the past six years the Foundation has conferred grants totaling $1,615, 943 to 76 such non-profits.

Please contact Archie McLaren for further information and registration:  email: archie@slonet.org [3]; Telephone: (805) 544-1285; fax (805) 595-2742; Wine Classic website:  www.centralcoastwineclassic.org [4].

The 2nd Annual St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church Cellar Classic Is Scheduled for Saturday, July 30, 2011 in Los Olivos, California

St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church in Los Olivos in California’s Santa Ynez Valley is hosting the 2nd Annual Cellar Classic Auction of Rare & Fine Wines on Saturday, July 30.  The event will take place in St. Mark’s garden courtyard.  The Cellar Classic is coordinated by a group of dedicated wine industry volunteers led by Brooks Firestone (owner of Curtis Winery), Richard Harris (owner of Calzada Ridge), and Steve Pepe (owner of Clos Pepe Vineyards).  Both a live and silent auction will benefit the many community programs of the Church.

The event made history by raising $103,020 at its first Cellar Classic held last year, auctioning 30 lots of rare and fine wines and unique lifestyle events.  Prior to the live auction, 120 guests enjoyed gourmet hors d’oeuvres and cheeses, wines donated from 13 area vintners, various musical selections. All food and wine served during the event as well as the rare wines, live and silent auction items were donated by St. Mark’s members and friends.

Donated wines for this year’s Cellar Classic include 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc, 1949 Leroy Musigny, 1949 and 1988 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 1945 Chateau Calon Segur, 1975 Chateau d’Yquem, a double-magnum of 1989 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon and 1994 Harlan Estate.

Professional auctioneer, John Glines, will again wield the gavel.

The Reverend Randall C. K. Day, Rector of St. Mark’s, said that last year’s Cellar Classic was successful in many ways, in addition to the financial result that will allow the Church to continue to serve not only their Episcopal congregation but also to function as a meeting place for the area’s Jewish congregation, Food Bank, Valley Community Theatre and recovery groups, as well as to provide art, music and educational programs.  The money raised was a result of many people giving an incredible amount of creativity, time, labor, financial and material resources.

The 2nd Annual Cellar Classic will take place in Los Olivos from 4 – 7 pm on Saturday, July 30th.  Wine donations will close July 8th.  The catalog will be emailed to registrants July 15th.

Tickets are $100 per person in advance only.  Contact Steve Pepe at steve@clospepe.com [5] or call 805-735-7867.  For more information, call St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church at 805-688-4454 or visit www.SMITV.org [6].