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Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
3 Days. 200 Wineries and Chefs. One unforgettable Sonoma County experience. Learn more about our annual Labor Day Weekend celebration of wine and food here
Labor Day Weekend Event Gross Totals Up, Top $1.4 Million
Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction Wraps the 4th Annual Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Presented by Visa Signature
(Sonoma County, CALIF.) — With the nostalgic theme of “Sonoma Homecoming – Vintage 2011” plenty of memories were created during the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, the grand finale of the fourth annual Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, September 2 – 4, 2011 which raised essential dollars in support of a multitude of Sonoma County non-profits. Gross proceeds, due to the generosity of more than 4,000 attendees at various weekend events, were in excess of $1.4 million, up more than $100,000 from last year.
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, presented by Visa Signature®, included winery lunches, barbecues and dinner parties as well as the elegant and unparalleled gastronomic adventure of Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch on Saturday which sold out for the second year in a row, culminating with the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Cline Cellars on Sunday afternoon sponsored by Trilogy Glass & Packaging.
Following a “grown-up” tailgate party featuring classic and vintage winery trucks, complete with a marching band and cheerleaders, auction-goers at the nineteenth annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction enjoyed an afternoon of world-class wine and cuisine from Sonoma County’s hottest vintners and top-notch wine country chefs. Within the Wine Spectator Tent at Cline Cellars, and under the watchful eye and quick wit of Auctioneer Fritz Hatton, more than 500 auction attendees battled for lots ranging from extreme adventures to highly-sought wines to once-in-a-lifetime experiences at locations across the globe. While auction totals are being finalized, early tabulations total more than $600,000, which is more than was raised in 2010.
The largest grossing lot of the day was the “Fund-A-Need” which raised more than $140,000 that will be divided equally between the Redwood Empire Food Bank and the Sonoma Valley Hospital.
The hottest of the thirty-five live lots of the event included the Benziger Family Prom Party, Magnum Force and the Lasseter Family Winery lot. The top grossing lot purchased by multiple bidders was the Benziger Family Prom Party which sold for $62,500—bidders bought “tickets” to an upcoming “prom party” for $500 per person.
The top lot purchased by a single bidder was the Lasseter Family Winery lot, a “field trip” which sold for $40,000. It includes the first-ever dinner at the new Lasseter Family Winery with John and Nancy Lasseter prepared by Chef Roland Passot of San Francisco’s La Folie and entertainment by music star Chris Isaak as well as three personalized magnums of Lasseter Family wine decorated with John Lasseter’s “Toy Story 2” artwork.
Especially poignant was a video tribute to Jess Jackson which celebrated the late vintner and his passions of family, Sonoma County and giving back to the community. The Jackson Family Wines lot includes experiences at several Jackson Family winery properties as well as a twenty-two bottle collection of Jess Jackson’s personal favorites. The lot was purchased by John Lasseter.
The ever-popular Magnum Force lot consisting of a library of large format wine bottles was presented by the Magnum Force “Pink Ladies” of the wine industry who performed a choreographed “Hand Jive,” which urged bidders up to $22,000.
“Only in Sonoma will auction-goers experience the lively, spirited and authentic experience of Sonoma Wine County Weekend,” said Maureen Cottingham, Co-Producer, “From the winemakers who come from their cellars to the events to the vintners who host tables at the auction and guests on their private estates for winery dinner parties, the experience is beyond unique.”
“We are uplifted not only by the generosity of the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend attendees,” said Co-Producer Honore Comfort, “but also by the hospitality, as well as continued giving, creativity and longevity, of the hundreds of vintners and growers from throughout Sonoma County.”
The weekend ended with a celebratory post-auction party and special Trilogy ‘Glass Reunion Wine Bar’ offering ultra-premium and limited edition wines served by some of Sonoma’s legendary vintners, keeping in the theme of ‘Sonoma Homecoming – Vintage 2011.’”
For those who could not attend the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, yet would still like to participate in the charitable effort, an online auction of additional lots, including many of Sonoma County’s finest large format wine bottles and exclusive experiences, is open for bidding through September 9, 2011 at http://www.winecountryweekend.biddingforgood.com.
Produced in partnership by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and the Sonoma County Vintners, the 2011 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend event features the Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch® as well as the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Cline Cellars and an assortment of additional events throughout Sonoma County. More than 200 Sonoma County wineries, grapegrowers and chefs participate in Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, which is presented by Visa Signature.
Proceeds from Sonoma Wine Country Weekend benefit local communities and charities serving students, children, farm workers and people in need. To date, more than $10 million has been raised jointly by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners.
About Visa Signature
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is presented by Visa Signature, a premium consumer payment card bringing cardholders instant access to dozens of perks in addition to the points, miles, or cash back they may already earn. Cardholder perks include access to and discounts at Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, complimentary 24-hour concierge services to assist with travel and entertainment planning, exclusive hotel perks through the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, and much more. For complete information visit www.visa.com/signature.
About MacMurray Ranch
Nestled in the heart of the Russian River Valley, the historic MacMurray Ranch is home to award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. MacMurray Ranch crafts a collection of elegant, expressive wines from cool-climate vineyards in premier growing regions. Look for MacMurray Ranch at fine wine shops and dining establishments nationwide, or visit us online at www.macmurrayranch.com.
About 2011 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sponsors and Beneficiaries
A partnership between Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is California’s premier wine, food and social event, taking place on Labor Day weekend each year. The events comprising Sonoma Wine Country Weekend have raised over $10 million in support to local charities that benefit students, children, farm workers and people in need. The 2011 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is presented by Visa Signature®. In addition to Visa Signature, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend sponsors include: TricorBraun WinePak, MacMurray Ranch®, Trilogy Glass & Packaging, Wine Spectator, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Magazine, Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. For a complete list of beneficiaries and sponsors, please visit www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com.
About Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners
The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) is a non-profit trade organization serving over 500 members who share a mission to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley’s grapes, wine, and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry. The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation (SVVGF) is a non-profit 501c.3 organization that has raised over $8,000,000 for local Sonoma Valley charities. For more information on the SVVGA and SVVGF, please visit www.SonomaValleyWine.com.
Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions, and extraordinary quality. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 175 wineries of all sizes throughout the county. Learn more about SCV at www.SonomaWine.com.
Download the Press Release HERE [pdf]
Day of tastings and seminars scheduled April 5 at Palomar Hotel
Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA – March 14, 2011 – A group of Sonoma County’s finest vintners and winegrowers is headed to Washington, DC April 5 for a day of wine seminars, dinners and tastings for wine trade and consumers. The “Sonoma in the City: Washington, DC” tour is presented by Sonoma County Vintners (SCV), Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, Alexander Valley Winegrowers, Carneros Wine Alliance, Russian River Valley Winegrowers, Sonoma County Tourism Bureau and Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance. All events will take place at the Hotel Palomar, 2121 P Street, NW, Washington, DC.
Tickets are now on sale for the Sonoma in the City Grand Tasting and a separate Sonoma Wine & Cheese Pairing Seminar, with proceeds from the evening benefitting Share Our Strength in Washington, DC. Tickets are $35 for the Grand Tasting only; $55 for the Sonoma Wine & Cheese Seminar & Grand Tasting. The Wine and Cheese Seminar will take place from 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM. The Sonoma County Grand Tasting will run from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM. To obtain more information and purchase tickets, visit http://sonoma.eventbrite.com.
“The greater Washington, DC area is a very important market for Sonoma County wines, and we are glad to be here with the people who grow and make some of America’s finest wines,” explains SCV Executive Director Honore Comfort. “We have developed a full day of events designed to educate and update top members of the wine trade and wine consumers, too. We have more than 40 Sonoma County winemakers, winegrowers and winery owners joining us here for the day, so it will be an excellent opportunity for our guests to talk to the people who grow and make Sonoma County wine.”
Wineries participating in “Sonoma in the City: Washington, DC” include Bella Winery & Caves, Buena Vista Carneros, Captûre Wines, Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery, Dashe Cellars, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Freeman Wines, Hanna Winery, Hanzell Vineyards, J Vineyards & Winery, Kosta Browne Winery, La Follette Wines, Lancaster Estate Winery, Landmark Vineyards, Laurel Glen Vineyard, Lynmar Estate, Mauritson Family Winery, Papapietro Perry Winery, Patz & Hall Winery, Paul Hobbs Winery, Pedroncelli Winery, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Quivira Vineyards & Winery, Ramey Wine Cellars, Sausal Vineyards & Winery, Roth Winery, Seghesio Family Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, and Thomas George Estates.
About Sonoma County Vintners
Sonoma County Vintners is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its artisanal passion, diversity and distinctiveness, and quality. Through innovative, collaborative, and informative marketing programs, SCV increases awareness and improves the understanding and appreciation of Sonoma County wines and member wineries. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 170 wineries of all sizes throughout the county. For more information about Sonoma County Vintners and its member wineries, visit www.sonomawine.com.
About Sonoma County Winegrape Commission
The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission was established in 2006 as a non-profit marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. SCWC’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world. For more information about SCWC and its programs, visit www.sonomawinegrape.org
About the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau
Sonoma County, located 30 miles from San Francisco, is America’s premier wine, spa and coastal destination, featuring more than 300 wineries and 50-plus miles of stunning Pacific coast. For a free visitors guide or information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and
dining in Sonoma County, visit www.sonomacounty.com or call 800-576-6662.
About Alexander Valley Winegrowers
An hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge lies the Alexander Valley, located at the northern end of Sonoma County. The Alexander Valley is 22 miles long and varies in width from two to seven miles. There are 76,900 acres of land, of which 15,000 acres are planted to premium wine grapes. World class Cabernet Sauvignon grapes thrive from the valley floor all the way up the rolling hillsides and mountain ridges. The gravelly loam soils straddling the Russian River encourage Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot to flourish. For more information, visit: www.alexandervalley.org
About Russian River Valley Winegrowers
Russian River Valley Winegrowers, formed in 1993 is an education and marketing association of over 300 grape growers, wineries and commercial members in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. The RRVW is sustaining generations of winemaking – mentoring producers and encouraging enthusiasts. Learn more at www.rrvw.org and become a fan at Facebook.com/russianrivervalleywinegrowers.
About Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance
The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) is a non-profit trade organization serving over 500 vintners, growers and associates who share a mission to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley’s grapes, wine, terroir and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry. The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation (SVVGF) is a non-profit organization that has raised over $6,000,000 for local Sonoma Valley charities through the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction. For more information on the SVVGA and SVVGF, please call 707-935-0803 or visit www.SonomaValleyWine.com.
Contact: Sara Cummings 707/522-5849
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