VIP Biographies

This Year's Band
One Rockin' Party Band

The "Funky Dozen" was such a big hit last year, that we are bringing them back. This band blends fun and funk to keep people on the dance floor all night long. Led by Larry Thompson, the band focuses primarily on favorites from the 1970s, but also pulls the best from the 80s and 90s, to provide high energy music people want to move to. Expanded dance hours (9-11) give you more time for the fun.

Cuvée Winemaker
Steele Vineyard & Winery

The Lake County Wine Auction is proud to have award winning winemaker Jed Steele as the maker of this year's cuvée blends. Using grapes from throughout the county, Jed has created a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon Blanc that capture the forward looking feel of our Lake County Appellations.

This year marks the forty-seventh that Jed has been making wines From his start as a cellar worker at Stony Hill in Napa Valley in 1968, to UC Davis for a Master’s Degree in Enology, to starting Edmeades in the Anderson Valley and being there for ten years, to then starting Kendall-Jackson and working there for the first nine vintages of that wildly successful winery, to the start of his own STEELE Wines in 1991, Jed says "it has been an incredible ride."

John R. Clarke
Creator of the 2015 Painting

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 John's painting features a group of musicians playing their hearts out under an oak tree near a vineyard. It's a hint of what you will see and hear at this year's event.

Mike Thompson
Special Guest
United States Congressman

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. Mike and his wife Janet, a family nurse practitioner, own a small vineyard in Lake County.

Shaun Hornby
Hornby's Furniture Restoration

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.

Honorary Co-Chairs
Owners Cache Creek Winery

The Lake County Wine Auction is proud to have Don and Marggie Van Pelt as the honory co-chairs for the 2015 Wine Auction. The Van Pelt's are owners of Cache Creek Vineyard and Winery. "I am thrilled to have been chosen to participate in the wine auction," said Don Van Pelt in accepting the co-chairmanship, "It's rewarding to build something and have the community use it for a great cause." Cache Creek Winery sits on a 500 acre natural preserve that serves as home to a majestic heard ot tule elk. It's a perfect place for an unforgrettable evening under the stars.