Lake County, CA — A winning combination of wonderful wines, locally produced food and an exciting atmosphere inspired people from all over our region at the 15th annual Lake County Wine Auction Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the Cole Creek Equestrian Center in Kelseyville.

The bidding fas fast and  furious as auctioneers Shaun Hornby and Matt Hughes racked up some impressive totals during the live auction part of the program. John Clarke’s 2014 painting, which featured a red-headed woman riding through a vineyard on horseback earned a top bid of $6,000. Seven other items went for $2,000 or more making for some impressive numbers. A preliminary tabulation indicates that the evening’s activities brought in more than $62,000, which includes both the live and silent auctions.

Over the next few weeks, figures figures will be combined with numbers from ticket sales and sponsorships, to provide a final accounting. Last year the Lake County Wine Auction raised enough money to cover expenses and then donate $90,000 to local charities and community organizations. Based on preliminary figures,the Wine Auction board expects to meet or beat last year’s figures.

During the auction, the sold-out crowd dined on a farm to fork meal inspired by the magical tastes that abound in our community. The meal was complemented by a pair of Cuvee wines blended by Six Sigma winemaker Matt Hughes and appetizers from 8 local farms and restaurants.

The Lake County Wine Alliance, producer of this event, wished to thank the more than 450 volunteers, sponsors and participants who made the evening possible.

Announcing this year’s beneficiaries, Wine Alliance President Kaj Ahlmann said: “To build a strong community, we need to help the next generation respect Lake Countyʼs agricultural tradition and improve their educational skills. With our grants, the Wine Alliance is working towards those goals.”