Wine Country Weekend arrives
DEAN BORDIGIONI leads the ladies of Magnum Force to the stage during last year’s Harvest Wine Auction.
Sonoma is known as a wine town, but that moniker goes into hyper-drive during the Wine Country Weekend. With sommeliers flying in from across the country, dozens of winemaker dinners and lunches and hundreds of bottles included in the extravagant Harvest Wine Auction, the three-day event is not for beer-drinkers.
Tickets are still available to various winemaker barbecues, lunches and dinners spread out all weekend across Sonoma County, including dozens in Sonoma Valley. Saturday’s Taste of Sonoma, a showcase for wineries and restaurants set at MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg, is completely sold out at all levels.
As of Thursday morning, a handful of tickets remained for Sunday’s 20th annual Harvest Wine Auction, but are expected to sell out by Friday.
While the weekend functions as a path for wineries to promote their products, it also raises funds for about a dozen nonprofit organizations.
Every year, those charities vie to be selected as the fund-a-need at the auction, when bidders raise their paddles to donate cash to a deserving cause. This year’s beneficiaries are the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County, and auction organizers are hoping event will raise $400,000 to help develop youth programs.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County serve 6,200 kids throughout our county every year. Several of the young program participants will be at the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction to convey the importance of these programs and urge bidder support,” said Maureen Cottingham, executive director of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance, which produces the Wine Country Weekend in conjunction with the Sonoma County Vintners.
The money raised will support the clubs’ day-to-day operations. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley offers students a place to go during after-school hours enhanced with educational and enrichment opportunities such as cooking classes, sports, video editing equipment, a recording studio and a caring staff who help kids reach their potential.
“In the Sonoma Valley, there has been a significant increase in demand for services from our clubs,” said Dave Pier, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley. “The Fund-A-Need auction lot proceeds are necessary to continue the programs that help our kids achieve academic success.”
Now in its 20th year, the Harvest Wine Auction has raised more than $11 million for charities in Sonoma County. Those unable to attend the auction who want to contribute to the fund-a-need can call 935-0803.
For those with an itch to bid who won’t be at Harvest Wine Auction, there is an online auction of items ranging from a tour of Sonoma wineries chauffeured by David Homewood of Homewood Winery in his classic 1957 red and white Chevy station wagon to a four-night stay at Annadel Estate Winery along with a case of wine.
Bids can be placed at www.biddingforgood.com/sonomawinecountryweekend through Sept. 7.
To see what tickets are still available for this weekend’s events, visit sonomawinecountryweekend.com.