Lake County—The twelfth annual Lake County Wine Auction on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Ceago Vinegarden will be a showcase for the bounty of Lake County, featuring wine, food, music, local products and personalities to benefit local nonprofit organizations and programs.
The sponsoring Lake County Wine Alliance has announced that a limited number of tickets for the afternoon portion of the event will be sold at the door. The Grand Tasting ticket, $75 per person, will include an afternoon of wine and food tasting, the silent auction, music, and escorted tours of the Ceago gardens by members of the host Fetzer family.
This part of the event will begin at 3:00 p.m. and conclude at 6:00 p.m. Several Lake County growers will display their products and offer tastings, including Lake County Grown, the Lake County Community Coop, Villa Barone, Moon Essence, and the LAVA Center Popular keyboard artist David Neft will provide music and his sparkling wit during the afternoon.
The Grand Tasting and Auction Reserve ticket for $150 per person will include all of the afternoon activities as well as a gift tote, reserved seating for the served, three-course dinner, the live auction, and dancing. These tickets must be purchased in advance at www.winealliance.org. This portion of the event will start at 3:00 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m.
Preparing the dinner will be Park Place Restaurant, Saw Shop Gallery Bistro, Chef Nicholas, and Studebakers Coffeehouse and Delicatessen. This is the first year that a served dinner has been offered to Wine Auction attendees.
Twice as Good, the popular blues and rock and roll father-and-son duo of Richard and Paul Steward, well-known for their energetic beat, will provide danceable music to conclude the evening’s festivities. Awarded the “Best New Blues Band” in 2010 by the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame, their guitar and vocal talents are widely recognized.
The attire is Wine Country chic. Attendees must be 21 years and older.
All proceeds from the Wine Auction benefit nonprofit organizations and programs that meet local needs in Lake County. Beneficiaries are, by category: in the arts, the fine arts programs at five high schools; in health services, Any Positive Change, Catholic Charities-Rural Food Program, and Meals on Wheels nutrition programs at five senior centers; and in the community, Lake County Council of Church Women United, Lake County Literacy Coalition, Military Funeral Honors Team, Northshore Fire Protection District, Operation Tango Mike, and People Services, Inc.
The Lake County Wine Alliance, a nonprofit organization of Lake County wineries, wine grape growers, and allied businesses whose mission is to foster the arts, benefit health services, and support the community while promoting Lake County as a premier grape growing and fine wine region, has contributed over $831,700 to local agencies and programs in the past eleven years.
Major sponsors contributing to the 2011 Wine Auction include Alienor/Bella Vista Farming Company, Calpine, Konocti Vista Casino, Mendo Lake Credit Union, Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, and Sutter Lakeside Hospital.
Additional sponsors include American AgCredit, Beckstoffer Vineyards, Brassfield Estate Winery, Bruno’s Property Management, Ceago Vinegarden, Chacewater Wine Company, Kelseyville Pharmacy, Lake County Winegrape Commission, Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery, Specialty Care & Surgery Center, and Umpqua Bank.
Twenty-nine Lake County wineries will pour their award-winning wines. Participating will be Beaver Creek Vineyards, Bell Hill Vineyards, Big Valley Wine Company, Brassfield Estate Winery, Cache Creek Vineyards, Ceago Vinegarden, Chacewater Wine Company, Dusinberre Cellars, Gregory Graham, Hawk and Horse Vineyards, High Valley Vineyards, Langtry Estate & Vineyards, and Lavender Blue.
Also present will be Moore Family Winery, Mt. Konocti Growers Winery, Noggle Vineyards and Winery, Ployez Winery, Robinson Lake Vineyard, Robledo Family Winery, Rosa d’Oro Vineyards, Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery, Shed Horn Cellars, Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, Snows Lake Vineyard, Sol Rouge Vineyard, Steele Wines, Tulip Hill Winery, Vigilance Winery, and Wildhurst Vineyards.
Fifteen of Lake County’s finest restaurants and caterers will offer tasty food pairings to complement the fine wines. Participants include Aromas at Yuba College, Biggs 155 Diner, The Boathouse, Cache Creek Catering, Chic Le Chef, Ciao Thyme Catering, Konocti Vista Resort and Casino, Lindy’s Quality Catering at Lakeview Super Market and Deli, Lyndall’s Sports Stop Grill, Main Street Bakery, Molly Brennan, Richardson’s Ribs, Riviera Hills Restaurant and Lounge, Rob Roy Creekside Restaurant, and The Blue Wing Saloon at the Tallman Hotel.
Others offering products and support are Braito’s Riviera Foods, Bruno’s Shop Smart, Foods Etc., Hardester’s Market, North Shore Sentry Market, and Ray’s Food Place.
Bill Brunetti, Lakeport businessman and property manager, has been spearheading an all-volunteer committee for many months as this year’s honorary chair. While he was the owner of Bruno’s Foods, the buying, selling and displaying of wines became one of his passions.
After selling the market in 2006, Brunetti and his wife Patty have expanded their passion for wine and food by growing wine grapes and developing their homestead winery, Quattro Fratelli (Four Brothers), named in honor of his grandfather and grand-uncles. He is an active member of the Lake County Winegrape Commission and chairs its Industry Relations committee.
Congressman Mike Thompson represents Lake County in the U.S. Congress and has been an active contributor to the annual Wine Auction since its inception, believing that the wine industry is a major force in Lake County’s economy, providing employment and protecting agricultural lands. He and his wife Janet, a former member of the Wine Alliance board of directors, will be recognized for their support of the many nonprofit organizations that will receive proceeds from this year’s event.
Shaun Hornby, owner of Hornby’s Furniture Restoration in Lakeport and vocalist and guitarist of the popular band, the LC Diamonds, will be the auctioneer for the live auction. He has conducted auctions in England and in Upper Lake for Vintage Antiques, where his dynamic and enthusiastic banter energizes the bidders.
Born and raised in Cheshire, England, Hornby worked as a French polisher and furniture restorer for an antique and interior design company near Manchester prior to moving to Lake County in 1999 with his wife and daughter.
Stephanie Green, owner of Focused on Wine, a wine bar and tasting room in downtown Kelseyville, will assist with the auctioneering and provide detailed information about the wine lots in the live auction. She is a certified sommelier, wine educator, private wine consultant, and a noted cellar master of wines. Her engaging personality will encourage competition amongst the bidders.
Barney Fetzer, vineyard manager and winemaker for Ceago Vinegarden, is this year’s cuvee winemaker. A third generation grape grower and winemaker, he is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Bernard Fetzer, who originated Fetzer Vineyards, and his father, Jim Fetzer, owner and developer of Ceago Vinegarden. He moved to Lake County in 2001 when Ceago planted its first vineyards on the north shore of Clear Lake.
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon cuvee will be crafted of donations from Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery, Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, Steele Wines, and Wildhurst Vineyards. The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc cuvee will be composed of donations from Ceago Vinegarden, Langtry Estate & Vineyards, Shed Horn Cellars, Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, Steele Wines, and Vigilance Winery.
Bottles of the red and white cuvees will be served with the three-course dinner while additional fine wines from Lake County vintners will be available for purchase to accompany dinner.
The live and silent auctions will feature special wine packages, large format wine bottles, weekend and extended vacation getaways, fine art, and a variety of goods and services for wine and travel interests.
The original watercolor on silk painting by Lake County artist John R. Clarke, “Thankful in Lake County,” will be auctioned during the evening. Original art donated by Clarke has been reproduced every year by the sponsoring Wine Alliance as a fine art poster to promote the event.
A limited number of posters, at $20 each, are available for sale through the Saw Shop Gallery Bistro and Inspirations Gallery, and the tasting rooms of Wildhurst Vineyards, Steele Wines, Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, Ceago Vinegarden, and the Lake County Wine Studio.
Members of the Wine Alliance board of directors are Margaret Walker, president; Marie Beery, vice president; Sharron Zoller, secretary; Rob Roumiguiere, treasurer; and directors Kaj Ahlmann, Judy Luchsinger, and Wilda Shock.
More information about the Wine Auction and ticket availability may be obtained by calling 1-866-279-WINE.