5 lots to keep an eye on at the Sonoma County Wine Auction

Here are five intriguing lots expected to ignite some competitive bidding at Saturday’s Sonoma County Wine Auction, being held in-person again after the pandemic forced the 2020 event to go virtual.|

The Sonoma County Wine Auction takes place today at the La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard. Out of 27 total lots, here are five intriguing lots expected to ignite some competitive bidding at the auction.

With the annual auction, the Sonoma County Vintners trade organization raises money, with help from the Community Foundation of Sonoma County, for dozens of nonprofits throughout the county. Last year, despite being held online, the auction raised $4 million for 90 local organizations.

The “G.O.A.T. Collection” (Lot 17): In sports, the acronym means “greatest of all time,” and this lot features the wines of 11 wineries considered by many to be the crème de la creme. It offers a 126-bottle collection along with a tour and tasting at these wineries: Aperture Cellars, Arista Winery, B. Wise Vineyards, Fisher Vineyards, Kamen Wines, Laurel Glen Vineyard, Martinelli Vineyards & Winery, Mauritson Wines, Pride Mountain Vineyard, Rodney Strong Vineyards and Williams Selyem.

A private magnum party at La Crema (Lot 1): This lot features a gathering for 30 guests at La Crema in Windsor with live music, a range of magnums and award-winning Chef Douglas Keane in charge of food. Keane, who headed the two-Michelin starred Cyrus in Healdsburg before it closed in 2012, is at work on a new Cyrus in Geyserville. Guests will get a sneak peek of the lavish new Cyrus, slated to open in the fall of 2022, and they’ll get a taste La Crema’s new sparkling brut rosé.

Monday Standard Reimagined (Lot 3): This lot offers a winemaker lunch for five couples, prepared by celebrity chef Daniel Kedan. It celebrates the longstanding camaraderie of five winemakers who met regularly for lunch on Mondays and had one rule — to bring a wine to share that they didn’t produce. Each couple will walk away with a signed magnum from five esteemed winemakers: Jeff Stewart of Hartford Family Wines, Mike Sullivan of Benovia Winery, John Holdredge of Holdredge Wines, Tony Lombardi of Lombardi Wines and Rod Berglund of Joseph Swan Vineyards.

The Montana Western Adventure (Lot 8): This lot features a trip to Montana for four guests, with airfare and a three-night stay at a luxurious ranch home. Foley Family Wines will be uncorked, including Chalk Hill Estate, Ferrari Carano Vineyards & Winery and Lancaster Estate wines.

Lunch with Sonoma County leading ladies (Lot 11): This lot features a lunch for 12 guests at Keller Estate with a host of Sonoma County women winemakers and industry leaders, plus a 156-bottle collection of Sonoma County wines. The women include Ana Keller, estate director at Keller Estate; Akiko Freeman, founder and winemaker at Freeman Vineyard & Winery; Bettina Sichel, partner at Laurel Glen Vineyard; Chantal Forthun, director of winemaking at Flowers Vineyards & Winery; Courtney Foley, a second-generation vintner at Foley Family Wines; Erin Brooks, owner of Ernest Vineyards and Grand Cru Custom Crush; Jasmine Hirsch, general manager and winemaker at Hirsch Vineyards; Jennifer Brown, director of BACA Wines; Joy Sterling, CEO of Iron Horse Vineyards; Kathryn Walt Hall, proprietor of WALT Wines; Kim Stare Wallace, president of Dry Creek Vineyard; Prema Behan, president of Three Sticks Wines; and Shelly Rafanelli, winemaker at A. Rafanelli Winery.

Peg Melnik

Wine, The Press Democrat

Northern California is cradled in vines; it’s Wine County at its best in America. My job is to help you make the most of this intriguing, agrarian patch of civilization by inviting you to partake in the wine culture – the events, the bottlings and the fun. This is a space to explore wine, what you care about or don’t know about yet.

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