John and Joanne Van Eck, the owners of Cole Creek Equestrian Center and "Narley Dude Ranch" are proud to be the honorary co-chairs for this year's Wine Alliance auction. The Van Eck's have have been involved in the life of Lake County and been strong supporters of Hospice of Lake County, Operation Tango Mike, the Lake County Farm Bureau and other organizations.
Clarke, a former anesthesiologist, has been painting on silk since 1994 and each year has created an original piece of art that has been reproduced as a poster by the Wine Alliance and used in various publications and publicity for the event. His use of intense pastels enhance colorful presentations of Lake County scenes, and this year is no exception. This year the subject of John's painting is our venue the Brassfield Estate Vineyard & Winery, which seems especially suited to his style of work.
The original painting, will be on display at the Saw Shop Gallery Bistro in Kelseyville and will be among the special items up for bid during the live auction portion of the gala event. The posters sell for $20 each, with signed copies to be made available at the auction and other copies at locations all over the county.
Mark grew up in Hilmar, California, an agricultural community southwest of Modesto and was actively involved in raising livestock for the Future Farmers of America. He raised many a champion, each win helping him pay for an agronomy degree at community college. A harvest job with Gallo changed the direction of his career and life abruptly. He so enjoyed the work that he transferred to Fresno State and changed his major to Viticulture. He continued working for Gallo while attending school and after graduation they promoted him to Production Supervisor.
In 1989 a former colleague wooed him away from the Central Valley to Sebastiani in Sonoma and 10 months later they made him their Cellar Master. On a quest to learn as much as possible about making super-premium wines, he went to Kendall-Jackson where he worked as their Assistant Winemaker. Through Kendall-Jackson he met Myron Holdenried, and the excellent reputation of his grapes led Mark to Wildhurst Vineyards as consulting enologist where he was able to customize his ideal workspace, given his years of hands-on training working his way from the cellar to winemaker.
Mark’s exposure to many different winemaking techniques over the years has helped him develop his own personal style. Chacewater wines are exceptional because of Mark’s creativity and vision.
Mike Thompson has represented Lake County in Congress since 1998. Prior to serving in Congress, he represented Lake County in the California State Senate. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Wine Caucus, which consists of over 215 U.S. Senate and House members.
Mike has been an active supporter of the Lake County Wine Alliance and the annual Wine Auction since its inception. He believes that the Wine Auction benefits many worthy charitable organizations while also bringing attention to Lake County as a premium wine region.
Mike and his wife Janet, a family nurse practitioner, own a small vineyard in Lake County. They are the parents of two sons, a firefighter and a deputy sheriff, and grandparents of four children.
Shaun Hornby, owner/operator of Hornby's Furniture Restoration in Lakeport and vocalist and guitarist of the popular band LC Diamonds, will be the evening's auctioneer. Hornby is an experienced and dynamic auctioneer, having conducted auctions in England and in Lake County. Born and raised in Cheshire, England, Hornby moved to Lake County in 1999 with his wife Janice and daughter Faith. His wife owns and operates Skin Fitness in Lakeport, while his daughter was crowned Miss Teen Lake County in 2010.
Stephanie Green of Kelseyville will assist with auctioneering and provide wine information at the annual Lake County Wine Auction. Green, of Kelseyville, is a certified sommelier through the Court of Masters Sommeliers who owns and operates Focused on Wine, a wine bar and tasting room in downtown Kelseyville. She is a wine educator, a private wine consultant, and noted cellar master of wines, on both the domestic and international wine scene.
Twice As Good is the professional name of the music duo formed by Paul Anthony Steward (Son, born 1984) and Richard James Steward (Father, born 1951) from Clearlake Oaks, CA; Pomo Indians of the Elem Indian Colony. Richard had grown up around music all his life, having learned to play guitar and sing Country music from his mom. He mostly admired Blues & Soul. When Paul was a young teenager at 14, Richard taught Paul to play guitar, encouraging him to be a Lead Guitarist. Paul, inspired by B.B. King began imitating the electric blues guitar he heard on the radio and CD's, also practicing his vocals. In May 2003 they debuted as "Twice As Good, 2XG" in Santa Rosa, CA. Since then they have been all over the USA, released 6 albums, gained a West Coast Blues Award and a Native American Music Award, a great write-up in the San Francisco Chronicle, shared the stage with many legends and famous artists, and continue to garner success and praise with Paul leading the band through flashy show tunes with soulful vocals, screaming guitar, and unbelievable stage presence. Click Here to Listen and Learn More