LAKE COUNTY—Five, five high schools, six youth oriented programs and five other Lake County nonprofit organizations have been selected as beneficiaries of this year’s Lake County Wine Auction. Announcing the beneficiaries, Wine Alliance president Kaj Ahlmann said, “Lake County should be a place where young families want to stay and raise their children. When we support our schools and encourage young adults to choose agriculture as a viable career, we have taken a big step in that direction.”

The Wine Alliance, a nonprofit organization of wineries, wine grape growers, vineyard owners, related businesses and community supporters founded in 2000, has contributed $991,302 to foster the arts, benefit health services, and support the community while promoting Lake County as a premier growing region for fine wine grapes.  An all-volunteer board of directors and auction committee plan and direct the annual charity event.

This year’s Wine Auction, the fourteenth annual, will take place at The Cole Creek Equestrian Center in Kelseyville on Saturday September 21, 2013 from 5pm to 11pm.  This exciting venue, which has been used  for numerous social and community events over the years will provide our guests with a unique view into the diversity of Lake County’s agricultural community. The event is open to guests 21 years and older.

The gala benefit features wine and food tastings, silent and live auctions, and dancing. Auctioneers will be Shaun Hornby and Stephanie Green.

All proceeds from the Wine Auction activities will benefit the selected beneficiaries.  Some 30 organizations, agencies, and programs submitted their funding requests to the Wine Alliance, demonstrating the number of worthy programs in Lake County seeking financial assistance.  The recipient organizations will use their grants for these projects:

This year’s beneficiaries are: The fine arts education programs at the five Lake County high schools (Clear Lake High, Kelseyville High, Lower Lake High, Middletown High, and Upper Lake High) will share the funds in this category.The Clear Lake Performing Arts Youth Programs, The LCLP Imagination Library, Yuba College culinary Club, Operation Tango Mike, Friends of the Lake County Museum outreach program for students, Wreaths Across america, Lake County Cub Scout Day Camps, The Lake county council of Church Women Shoes and Socks Program, People Services, Taylor Observatory Student Programs, Lake County     4H Council

Tickets for the Wine Auction will be available through the Wine Alliance website,, or by calling1-866-279-WINE to make reservations.
Information about sponsorship opportunities is available from Marie Beery, 707-278-0129.  Major sponsors confirmed to date are Mendo Lake Credit Union and American Ag Credit. In addition, $5,000 matching grants have been received from Deutche Bank and General Electric.

Honorary co-chairs for the  Wine Auction are John and Joanne Van Eck, proprietors of Cole Creek Equestrian center.   They will be assisted by committee co-chairs Judy Luchsinger, Lakeport, and Sharron Zoller, Kelseyville.

Members of the Wine Alliance board are Kaj Ahlmann, president; Dr. Judy Luchsinger, vice president; Sharron Zoller, secretary; Rob Roumiguiere, treasurer; and Marie Beery and Bill Groody directors.