FORT BRAGG, CA. (September 11, 2012) – During a late summer weekend on the beautiful Mendocino coast Winesong 2012 kicked off with a sold-out insider’s view of truly spectacular Anderson Valley Pinot Noir’s at “Winesong and Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association Pinot Noir Celebration” hosted by the Little River Inn. Guests enjoyed Pinot Noir tastings and a chance to “talk shop” with the winemakers from the now storied region. About 20 wineries were there including such greats as Goldeneye, Handley Cellars, Esterlina, and Phillips Hill pouring to a crowd of happy Pinot Noir lovers.
The exclusive Friday evening auction preview reception was held at the beautiful private home of Fedele and Linda Bauccio on a bluff overlooking the spectacular Mendocino Coast. Chefs from Piaci’s worked their magic on the James Beard awarded outdoor kitchen and turned out fabulous pizzas from the wood-fired pizza oven. The rest of the fare, from the inspired culinary talents of Margaret Fox of Harvest Market, featured Mediterranean meatballs, grilled marinated shrimp, Northern California artisan cheeses, and a kaleidoscope of brightly colored cold vegetable soups. There was also a wonderful raw seafood bar with a dazzling array of fresh oysters and clams. Wines were provided by Goldeneye Winery, J Vineyards and Un Po Pazzo.
On Saturday, over 1000 guests strolled through the enchanting Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens enjoying food and wine from many winemaking regions. Nils Venge, noted winemaker for Saddleback Cellars, PlumpJack, Groth and others, enthused, “We do things pretty big in the Valley I come from, but the rest of California better understand, Mendocino is hitting it hard and coming on fast.” With producers coming from Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, the Central Coast, Sierra Foothills, Oregon, Washington State, Italy, Chile and South Africa, the tasting was truly a world-class event!
More than 50 fine restaurants and food purveyors from Northern California provided a wonderful variety of culinary fare. The performances of acoustic music ensembles throughout the venue completed this stellar and unparalleled event. Tammy and Robert Swensen, a just- married couple decked out in full wedding attire brought their wedding guests to enjoy the festivities noting, “We had to hire no caterers, buy no wine, it was so easy. Winesong had it all.” (photo available).
The sold-out live auction at the end of the day, despite the current economy, raised over $600, 000 to benefit the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation. This year’s “fund a need” lot—helping underinsured and uninsured cancer patients receive treatment—brought in over $135,000 in a matter of minutes! Executive Director Jeri Erickson said, “When I left my office on Friday, I had a stack of requests for financial aid and no money to fill them. I couldn’t wait to get to work Monday morning to give all those people the good news that we can help them. The generosity of the event attendees is overwhelming!”
The original 2012 Winesong Art of the Year was a sand-carved, cobalt blue art glass vase by artist Cynthia Meyers that sold for $5,800. One of the highlights of the auction was a fabulous 7-night “Under The Tuscan Sun” vacation to Chianti, Italy that went for a whopping $25,000 and sold to philanthropist and winery owner, Dick Grace. Celebrity chef Bradley Ogden, participating for the first time – in fact it was a first for Winesong to highlight a chef of such international acclaim – donated two dinners which added $20,000 to this years bottom line.
This year’s auctioneers were David Reynolds and DawnMarie Kotsonis and master of ceremonies was Narsai David. Theresa Harrelson, one of Winesong’s biggest supporters came aboard this year as co-auction chairman, joining John Lewis. Rounding out the auction team was longtime Winesong auction consultant Norm Roby and auction coordinator Sid Hillman.
Winesong is produced by Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for the Mendocino Coast Hospital. Its mission is to help the small rural Hospital provide the best possible medical care to residents as well as the many visitors to the Mendocino Coast. Winesong-generated revenues have enabled the Hospital to purchase chemotherapy equipment, portable ultrasound machines for the Emergency Room as well as a state-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging Center which opened in last year. The special purchase this year is to be an InTouch Health Telemedicine Robot that will bring bedside treatment to patients from specialists all around the world. (photo available).
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