A Culinary Evening With The California Winemasters, 25th Annual — Saturday, May 17, Burbank, California
Vintage Affaire, 32nd Annual — Saturday, June 21, Woodside, California
St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church Cellar Classic, 5th Annual — Saturday, June 28, Los Olivos, California
Central Coast Wine Classic, 30th Annual — Thursday, July 10 through Sunday, July 13, Avila Beach, California
Our favorite charity wine auctions in California promise some exhilarating, high energy events this year. Record-setting highs in 2006 and 2007 were followed by the recessionary years of 2008 and 2009, but charity wine auctions began to show signs of economic recovery in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Revenues were back on track for 2013 and 2014 is anticipated to be a even stronger year.
A Culinary Evening With The California Winemasters, benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will once again take place on the “Midwest Street” backlot at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank on Saturday, May 17. Last year’s event brought the total dollars raised for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to $26 Million.
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 a dazzling sampling of gourmet cuisine from 45 internationally renowned, celebrity chefs, and wines from 75 of California’s most talented winemakers, while participating in silent and live auctions. Extraordinary items offered for bidding include over 800 rare collector wines and travel fantasies.
Honorary Chairmen again this year are Nick Morlet of Peter Michael Winery, Jodie and Luc Morlet, Morlet Family Vineyards, and David Fink, Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group. Dawnmarie Kotsonis is the Auctioneer. Rick Partlow and Dreu Morin are Guest Announcers.
Special Patron Packages are available: Diamond Patron Table of 12 at $10,000; Silver Patron Package for eight guests at $5,000; and Gold Patron Package at $2,500 per couple. Individual Premier Tickets are $500 and Individual Tickets are $375
Renowned vintners pouring their wines include Au Bon Climat, Caymus Vineyards, Domaine Carneros, Gemstone Vineyard, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Justin Vineyards & Winery, Peter Michael Winery, Pine Ridge Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, Schweiger Vineyards, Trefethen Family Vineyards, Von Strasser Winery and many more.
Among the stellar lineup of celebrity chefs are Ryan Bergunio of Bistro 45, Frank Ostini of Hitching Post II, Josiah Citrin of Melisse Restaurant, Claud Beltran of The Eatery, Joachim Splichal of Patina, Celestino Drago of Drago Centro, Francisco Avalos of Mistral, Raphael Lunetta of JiRaffe, and Cal Stamenov of Marinus Restaurant at Bernardus Lodge, and many more.
Among the lots to be auctioned off this year are many fabulous wine and fantasy lifestyle packages. Wine lots are once again exceptional. There is a vertical collection of Domaine de la Romanée Conti Montrachet, one bottle each from 2003-2005. A double vertical of Grace Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon includes 12 magnums from 1984-1995 and eight 1000 ml from 1996-2003, both in original wood cases. A triple vertical collection from Dunn, the only collection of its kind in the world, includes one bottle each of Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain from 1990-1999, Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley from 1990-1999 and Dunn Petite Sirah from 1992-1995.
The Chairman’s Lot from Honorary Culinary Chairman David Fink is a VIP trip for three couples to Paris, Burgundy and Champagne. You will spend two nights in Paris staying at the exclusive Hotel Le St. James, followed by two nights in Burgundy, with private tours and tastings at Drouhin, Rousseau and Vogue. In Champagne, you will enjoy a private tour of Dom Perignon Cellars, with a special tasting and lunch. This amazing lot includes a magnum of 1994 La Tache, donated by Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti as well as many surprises.
A 9-day holiday for two in South Africa fashioned by the Travel Sommelier offers a wine adventure and the opportunity to experience Volun-Tourism. You will stay at luxurious hotels and resorts in Cape Town, Franschhoek, Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and visit new wine appellations in South Africa including the region of Wellington. Volun-Tourism at the end of the trip offers a chance to make a difference in the lives of children who live in a village near Victoria Falls.
A magical 8-day journey to Turkey from Sea Song showcases Turkey’s rich history and culture, focusing on art, wine and food. You will visit archaeologists, academics, artisans, museum directors, chefs and curators. You will discover the country’s cuisine and growing wine regions and stay in luxury hotels, tour exotic markets, enjoy a ballooning experience, Turkish baths, a cruise on the Bosphorus, and exclusive wine dinners.
Embark on a spectacular 13-day trip to Argentina, stopping in Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Salta, delighting in tours, tastings and gourmet meals, with TGIC Importers and Alex Guarachi. Enjoy an in-depth tour through the winelands of Molinos and stay at a 5-star resort in the Tierra del Fuego. The winning bidder also receives 200,000 AAdvantage miles.
Cruise Europe With Celebrity Cruises for 15 days with a spotlight on the awe-inspiring Norwegian Fjords. If you have already discovered the Fjords, you may select 15 days visiting the Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Russia, or the British Isles — your choice. These are the most sought after cruise destinations in a state-of-the-art luxury Celebrity ship, exploring lands rich in romantic languages, classic architecture, food, art and music, then return to luxurious accommodations in a Veranda Stateroom with private balcony onboard. Delight in the ship’s outstanding restaurants and cafes, fitness center and spa and exciting nightlife and see for yourself why Celebrity Cruises are second to none. The winning bidder also receives 200,000 AAdvantage miles.
The official event hotel is Hilton Los Angeles Universal City.
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. It has been named one of Wine Spectator magazine’s “Top Ten U.S. Charity Wine Auctions” for 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.
Event Co-Chairmen include: Ken Avedisian, Allen and Randy Balik, Teresa & Bill Elder, Sharon & Hal Lampert, Patty McCormick, Pat Hitchcock O’Connell, Emma Murmuridis and Steve Silverman, Marcia and Gordy Kamofsky, and Karen & Ray Wolkoff.
For further information and registration, please contact Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Telephone 323-939-0758 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information on wineries, chefs and restaurants, tickets and special patron packages, please see the California Winemasters website: www.californiawinemasters.org.
Vintage Affaire, Silicon Valley’s premier wine auction, an elegant party with fine wines, gourmet cuisine, live music and one-of-a-kind auction items is taking place on Saturday, June 22, at an exclusive Woodside estate. Always a wonderful affair to remember, it is one of the largest wine and destination auctions in California benefitting Palo Alto’s Vista Center.
Over the past 31 years, Vintage Affaire has raised over $8 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. Pam Brandin is Executive Director of Vista Center, Alla Pachenko is President of VCF’s Board of Directors and Meaux Costello is Vice President. The auction typically includes wine lots from hard-to-find California vintages, First Growth French Bordeaux, Vintage Ports, Champagne, and emerging vineyards from Down Under. In addition, there are tours and tasting events, as well as overnight stays at Napa and Sonoma vineyards, and wine country dinners in Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco and on the Peninsula, global travel, unique jewelry and art. Spectacular travel items will spark a new romance or rekindle an old one.
A select group of vintners joins Vintage Affaire each year to share their wonderful wines. Many also offer special auction items. Outstanding local chefs contribute their talents to Vintage Affaire with special food and wine pairings to be featured during the silent auction.
Vintage Affaire offers two tiers of tickets, both of which support Vista Center. Guests at the Club Level will enjoy the Silent Auction, Pouring Vintners, Elegant wine and amuse-bouches from Guest Chefs, and Live Auction. Patron Level guests will enjoy all of the Club Level events, plus a lovely dinner on the estate grounds following the Live Auction, and an invitation to the spectacular Vintage Evening at a private residence in Silicon Valley a few days before the event.
John Glines, who has conducted all types of auctions all over the west coast, will once be the auctioneer for the fourth year.
For information and registration please contact Vista Center at 650-858-0202 or visit the website, www.vintageaffaire.org for additional information, including a list of vintners, chefs, unique auction items and tickets.
St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church in Los Olivos in California’s Santa Ynez Valley is hosting the 5th Annual Cellar Classic Auction of Rare & Fine Wines on Saturday, June 28. The event will take place from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. in St. Mark’s garden courtyard at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in downtown Los Olivos. The Cellar Classic is coordinated by a group of dedicated wine industry volunteers led by Steve Pepe (owner of Clos Pepe Vineyards) and Brooks Firestone (owner of Curtis Winery).
The Cellar Classic features both a live and silent auction offering fine and rare, highly collectible wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, Spain and Portugal and California cult wines as well as other fine wines, wine-related gifts, wine tours, tastings and dinners and fantasy lifestyle packages. Professional auctioneer, John Glines, who has conducted all types of auctions all over the west coast, will again wield the gavel. A delectable array of gourmet hors d’oeuvres and cheeses will be served during the event as well as delicious local wines, accompanied by various delightful, live musical selections. All food and wine served during the event as well as the rare wines, live and silent auction items are donated by St. Mark’s members and friends. All proceeds benefit St. Mark’s and its extensive community programs and services in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Legendary wine author, consultant and one of the most influential wine commentators in the world, Steven Spurrier has been named the 2014 Honorary Chair. Spurrier is the founder of L’Academie du Vin, France’s first private wine school and the man behind the “Judgment of Paris” Tasting of 1976. He staged the famous event when Chateau Montelena Chardonnay and Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon both took first place above France’s Grand Cru wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux’s First Growths. There will be a special pre-Cellar Classic reception welcoming Spurrier on Friday, June 27 from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
This exciting, fun-filled event made history by raising $103,020 at its first Cellar Classic held in 2010, auctioning 30 lots of rare and fine wines and unique lifestyle events, before a sold out audience of 120 guests. In each successive year, Cellar Classic revenues have increased considerably, along with attendance. The event is always a sell-out since seating is limited.
Wines donated for this year’s Cellar Classic include Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Domaine Henri Jayer, Bruno Giacosa Barolo, 1977 Vintage Ports, Chateau Climens, Madeiras, Vega Sicilia Unico, California Cult wines and many more.
According to The Reverend Randall Day, St. Mark’s Priest and Rector, “We embrace a spacious Christianity where there is room for absolutely everyone. St. Mark’s is the home of a vibrant Episcopal congregation as well as serving as a meeting place for the area’s Jewish community, along with many other organizations including the Food Bank, Valley Community Theatre, 12-step recovery groups, Santa Barbara County commission hearings, Solvang Festival Theatre, People Helping People, Los Olivos Business Organization, and Rotary just to name a few. We actively support the arts with our Schoolhouse Music Evenings and other concerts throughout the year as well as hosting exhibitions of photography and painting. Our Pre-School provides top-flight early childhood education for those of all faiths. Everyone is invited to attend the Cellar Classic, truly a stellar wine industry event.”
Santa Barbara News-Press wine journalist Gabe Saglie has named St. Mark’s Cellar Classic one of his top ten not-to-miss wine events and noted that the event has given “the fancy Napa Auction a real run for its money.” (Pinotfile)
Cellar Classic tickets are $125 per person including wine, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment – available only in advance with payment by check, credit card or PayPal. Admission to the Friday evening reception with Steven Spurrier and Saturday’s Cellar Classic Auction is $200 per person. To donate wine for the auction, contact Steve Pepe at email@example.com or telephone at 805-735-7867. For additional information, email info@SMITV.org or visit the website at www.SMITV.org.
Wine enthusiasts will gather at Avila Beach, San Simeon and Shell Beach for the festivities of the 30thth Annual Central Coast Wine Classic, from Thursday, July 10 through Sunday, July 13, a four-day extravaganza celebrating the wines, cuisine, music, art and the laidback lifestyle of California’s Central Coast. The Wine Classic will once again showcase special wine tastings, symposia, winery dinners, auction events, and great camaraderie, all offering gracious hospitality and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere in the gorgeous setting of California’s Central Coast with its panoramic ocean views.
Thursday, July 10
Events begin on Thursday afternoon with a Barrel Tasting at Avila Lighthouse Suites, once again the Official Hotel venue of the 2014 Central Coast Wine Classic, offering guests the opportunity to taste a comprehensive array of unreleased wines from a variety of California wineries, from 3 – 5 p.m. ($35/person).
That evening, the gala Black Tie Dinner at Hearst Castle in San Simeon will be a fabulous six-course meal with matching wines from Vintner Dignitaries, featuring the culinary artistry of renowned chefs from throughout California, including Cal Stamenov of Marinus Restaurant in Carmel’s Bernardus Lodge and television chef Wendy Brodie, Chef Kurt Grasing of Grasing’s in Monterey, Napa’s Ken Frank of La Toque, Frank Ostini of Buellton’s Hitching Post, Chef James Sly, Chef-Owner of Sly’s in Carpenteria, and Michael Hutchings of Michael’s Catering in Santa Barbara. Before dinner, gourmet appetizers and Champagne will be presented by the Neptune Pool. The annual black-tie affair at Hearst Castle, dining under the stars, overlooking La Casa Grande, the Greco-Roman swimming pool and the Santa Lucia Mountain Range at San Simeon, is a magical event, always sold-out ($1,250/person Patron Sponsorship Required, which includes the Barrel Tasting, Auction, Auction Luncheon and Reserve Tasting.
Friday, July 11
Friday will be an exciting, fun-filled day with six special and exhilarating events. If you are up for something different, join Carissa Chappellet’s Cycling Classic, from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. as she leads you through San Luis Obispo County wine country, cycling among wineries in Edna Valley. Transportation to and from the Edna Valley, returning to the Avila Lighthouse Suites is provided, along with luncheon ($75/person).
For the less adventurous, there are two symposia: The California Pinot Noir Terroir Symposium, will take place at the Avila Lighthouse Suites, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ($50/person). The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Symposium, “The Venerable, the Relatively New & the New” will be held at the Avila Lighthouse Suites from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ($75/person).
On Friday evening, a vertical tasting of Chateau Pavie (vintages of 1998, 2000-2005) will accompany a very special dinner at a private home or a nearby exceptional restaurant ($750/person).
Also that evening, Justin Vineyards & Winery will host a Winemaker Dinner at Lido Restaurant at the Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in Shell Beach, and Talley Vineyards will host a Winemaker Dinner at their winery, both from 7 – 10 p.m. ($115/person). Friday evening will also feature a VIP Outdoor Winery Dinner Dance at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, hosted by special Wineries from San Luis Obispo County from 7 – 10 p.m. Cuisine for the seated, multi-course dinner will be by Chef Meghan Loring of the Dolphin Bay Resort in Shell Beach ($125/person).
Saturday, July 12
Saturday morning is the special Schramsberg Vineyards Methode Champenoise Symposium, at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, from 10 – 11:30 a.m. ($125/person).
The always exciting headline event, the Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Live Auction, Silent Auction and Luncheon is set for Saturday under the great tent, at the Official Auction Host Venue, the Avila Beach Golf Resort in Avila Beach, from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. The Luncheon showcases the eclectic cuisine of Renowned Central Coast Chef Rick Manson. The Auction, which begins at noon, features an amazing array of rare and fine, highly collectible wines, comprehensive fantasy lifestyle packages to various destinations throughout the U.S. and to faraway lands around the world, including extraordinary Relais & Chateaux hotels and restaurants, special wine tours, tastings and dinners ($125/person).
Sunday, July 13
Sunday morning starts with the Central Coast White Rhone Varietal Symposium at the Avila Beach Golf Resort from 11 a.m. ($50/person). The finale of the festivities is the Reserve Wine Tasting at Avila Beach Golf Resort in the afternoon, from 1 – 3:30 p.m., offering the Most Special Wines of 50 California Wineries, with culinary samplings from fine Central Coast restaurants, accompanied by the eclectic and upbeat music of Soul Sauce ($50/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 Chairman 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 10 years, the Foundation has conferred grants totaling over $2.3 Million to their designated charities.
For many of its 30 year history, the Central Coast Wine Classic has been among the top charity wine auctions in America, usually every year among the Wine Spectator’s “Top Ten.”