If you want some good karma, go to the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction this Sunday and raise your paddle OFTEN.
The theme of this Sunday's Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, now in its 20th year, is "Bollywood Spectacle Meets Sonoma Wine Country Splendor."
Organizers plan to immerse guests in the intrigue of India with a bustling bazaar at the event's new location, Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood. There will even be a silk-swathed spice lounge to linger in before the auction begins at 1 p.m.
Vintners will no doubt give their Bollywood-best performances at what has come to be known as the zaniest of auctions. It is customary to start with a skit.
This is the fifth year the auction has been part of the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, which also features the Taste of Sonoma at Healdsburg's MacMurray Ranch this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a new Sonoma Starlight Supper Club dinner Friday at Francis Ford Coppola winery in Geyserville.
"By uniting the efforts of the Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance, we have been able to elevate the entire experience and broaden the view of all of Sonoma County's regions. But most importantly we have together been able to raise more than $11 million that has been distributed to many critical Sonoma County charities and non-profits," said Honore Comfort, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend co-director.
While coordinating efforts has been a logistical challenge, organizers said packaging the events into one weekend has been a smart move.
"By teaming up to showcase the entire county, the event has grown in scope and gained increased attention throughout the country," said Maureen Cottingham, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend co-director.
For the past several years the auction was at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, but organizers picked Chateau St. Jean this year to offer guests a wider lens of Sonoma County.
"We offer a broad range of events planned throughout the county that expose guests to as many of the diverse regions of Sonoma as possible while they are here," Comfort said.
Organizers said the numbers of guests is expected to hold steady from last year, with a total of 550 expected at the auction and 2,500 at the Taste of Sonoma.
"We expect both events to sell out as they did last year, possibly even sooner than last year," Comfort said.
Every year the auction has a winery co-chair and a grower co-chair, and this year honors go to Margo and Don Van Staaveren for the winery Chateau St. Jean and the Robert Young Family for its role as grower.
Organizers said the Robert Young Family was tapped because it has farmed the same land in Alexander Valley for more than 150 years, spanning six generations. For more than 100 years, prunes and livestock sustained the family enterprise, but in 1963 Robert Young recognized that the land was better suited to grow wine grapes and pioneered the planting of cabernet sauvignon in Alexander Valley. The family has been a grower for Chateau St. Jean for many years.
"We are especially delighted to share this honor with Margo and Don Van Staaveren as winery co-chairs, given our long-standing relationship with them and Chateau St Jean Winery," said Jim Young of Robert Young Vineyards.