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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 on Saturday, May 18.

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 over 70 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 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 and Paul Frank of Gemstone Vineyard is the Special Guest 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 Caymus Vineyards, Domaine Carneros, Gemstone Vineyard, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Hyde de Villaine, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Justin Vineyards & Winery, Ridge Vineyards, Schweiger Vineyards, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, Trefethen Family Vineyard, Von Strasser Winery and many more.

Among the stellar lineup of celebrity chefs are Steven Lona of Bistro 45, David Hands of Bouchon Beverly Hills, Frank Ostini of Hitching Post II, Ken Frank of La Toque, Josiah Citrin of Melisse Restaurant, Claud Beltran of Noir Food & Wine, Joachim Splichal of Patina, and more.

Among the lots to be auctioned off this year are many fabulous wine and fantasy lifestyle packages.  The Romanee-Conti Experience for three couples is an overnight stay at the exclusive Hotel Le St. James in Paris, where you will join David Fink, Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group CEO, then on to a 3-day visit in Burgundy.  You will tour the vineyards of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti followed by a tasting and lunch with Aubert de Villaine.  David will be your personal guide through Burgundy visiting other prestigious domaines, and enjoying Relais & Chateaux accommodations and extraordinary lunches and dinners arranged especially for you.

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The Travel Sommelier Presents Spectacular South Africa, a 9-day, 8-night Odyssey for Two focuses on wine and the safari experience at the finest safari lodges, boutique hotels and wineries.  The Travel Sommelier, a destination specialist featuring luxury safari travel throughout South Africa, lets you experience a wine region or a vineyard as though you were walking in the footsteps of a local.  Your adventure will take you to Cape Town, the Cape Peninsula, Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Sabie Sands Private Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park, visiting one of the most stunning wine regions of the world.

Sea Song – Your Partner in Turkey is offering a holiday for two where you will experience the magical country of Turkey during an 8-day journey that focuses on the country’s rich history and culture, visiting archaeologists, academics, artisans, museum directors, chefs and curators.  You will discover the country’s cuisine and growing wine regions and stay in luxury hotels in Istanbul and Cappadocia, tour exotic markets, enjoy a ballooning experience, Turkish baths, a cruise on the Bosphorus, exclusive wine dinners, domestic air travel in business class and more with a private professional guide.

Ten Nights in China from Small Luxury Hotels of the World lets you indulge in a luxury hotel stay in Beijing, see rooftop vistas of the world’s largest palace complex, the Forbidden City.  Dine out on a sumptuous Chinese banquet along a private section of the Great Wall.  Experience outdoor spas that look out on views which have inspired centuries of exquisite landscape paintings.  Choose luxury city breaks offering Imperial palaces, temples and cutting-edge architecture or luxury Chinese countryside offering restored townhouses, tea plantations and retreats with boutique spas.

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Eight lucky people will enjoy their own private “stomp event” just like I Love Lucy in the vineyards at the Schweiger Vineyards winery.  Join the generations of Schweigers at their 2,000 foot mountain top vineyard and winery and help with grape sampling, sugar testing, handpicking grapes, destemming, stomping grapes with your own feet and barrel tastings, ending with a family harvest picnic overlooking the Napa Valley.

Cruise Europe With Celebrity Cruises for 13 days, 12 nights, visiting the Mediterranean, or Scandinavia/Russia, or the British Isles or Norwegian Fjords, 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.

Gilroy & Camm Ltd. And The Manta Resort offer a once-in-a-lifetime, two week personal safari experience beginning in Tanzania and concluding on Pemba Island, Zanzibar.  Visit Arusha and Manyara National Park for spectacular game viewing, descend a 2,000 foot crater, then on to Pemba Island where you will stay in a Seafront Villa enjoying fascinating tours and exfcursions.  The breathtaking finale is two nights in the Manta Resort’s Underwater Room where you will enjoy sunbathing and star gazing above and sleep surrounded by a tropical marine environment below, on a private floating island.

Wine country adventures include an exciting 3-day Spring Mountain adventure that includes an entire magnum collection, or an extraordinary visit with 2013 Winemasters Honorary Wine Chairmen Jodie, Luc and Nick Morlet that features a stay in the private guesthouse at Peter Michael Winery and a Chef’s dinner for four at the French Laundry.

An in-depth 3-day adventure in Napa Valley’s newest appellation, Coombsville includes a wine collection, luxury accommodations and meals and tastings with many winemakers and vintners.  Shadybrook Estate, nestled in the hills overlooking Napa Valley, is owned by Alice and David Alkosser.  Since their purchase of the 12 acre property in 2009, they have made major investments, planting vineyards, building a magnificent estate and cave as well as three idyllic casitas for friends and VIP visitors.   Three couples will have their own casitas and will enjoy a private dinner in the cave dining room, with the Alkossers and the Baliks, prepared by Tra Vigne’s Executive Chef Nash Cognetti.  There will be a private barrel tasting of Shadybrook wines and a picnic lunch with winemaker, Rudy Zuidema.  The winning bidders will also enjoy a private tour and tasting at Harlan Estate and a wine class and tour at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

The official event hotel is Hilton Los Angeles Universal City.

Last year’s event generated over $1.7 Million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation making it one of the most extravagant auctions in history with over 800 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 almost $25 Million in 23 years.

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Silent auction bidders who helped raise $1.65 Million at the 23rd annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters.

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Event Co-Chairmen Sharon and Hal Lampert raise a glass to toast another successful California Winemasters event.

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Relic Winery’s Mike Hirby and Event Chair Allen Balik in photo by Jackie Rosenthal.

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.

The year 2013 promises to be an exciting one for CF patients and their families.  Recently, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced the initiation of international Phase 3 clinical trials of Kalydeco in combination with VX-809, a CF drug in development.  The combined therapies are designed to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis.  In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently awarded a “Breakthrough Therapy Designation” to Kalydeco and VX-809, which should speed the development of select potential therapies that treat life-threatening diseases or conditions.

Event Chairmen include: Ken Avedisian, Allen Balik, Teresa & Bill Elder, Sharon & Hal Lampert, Patty McCormick, Pat Hitchcock O’Connell and Karen & Ray Wolkoff.  Marcia and Gordy Kanofsky are the Chairmen of Corporate Giving.  Lisa and Erik Schrody are the Bid for a Cure Chairmen.

For further information and registration, please contact Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Telephone 323-939-0758 or email bbalik@cff.org [7].  For additional information on wineries, chefs and restaurants, tickets and special patron packages, please see the California Winemasters website: www.californiawinemasters.org [8].