Wine Alliance announces master of ceremonies, guest auctioneer, beneficiaries

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Narsai David will be the wine auction's master of ceremonies. Courtesy photo.


 

KELSEYVILLE – The weekend is the eighth annual Lake County Wine Auction, an event that over the years has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for great local causes.


The auction takes place this Saturday, Oct. 20.


Presented by the Lake County Wine Alliance, the gala charity event starts at 5 p.m. on the green under the big tent at Buckingham Golf & Country Club, Kelseyville.


Narsai David, the food and wine editor for KCBS Radio in San Francisco, is this year's master of ceremonies, the Lake County Wine Alliance reported.


David is sought after as the host for innumerable charity fundraising functions. The Wine Alliance is honored to have his assistance this year to create greater awareness of the community groups that have been selected as beneficiaries.


For 16 years Narsai David owned Narsai’s, the internationally renowned restaurant in Kensington, with a wine list described by the New York Times as “one of the ten finest in the world.”


A former columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, David also was the host of the nationally syndicated PBS television series Over Easy and co-host of Cook Off America.


In 2000 Narsai added “winemaker” to his resume with the release of his Narsai Cabernet Sauvignon from the Narsai and Venus David Vineyards in St. Helena. He continues to make celebrity chef appearances throughout the world.


Narsai David is president of the board of the Berkeley Community Fund, foundation board member and past president of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, president of the Assyrian Aid Society of America, and founding member of the San Francisco Hunger Awareness Project.


David’s past community and professional service includes serving as chairman of the Awards Committee for the Berkeley Community Fund, president of the board of the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, host of the annual “Narsai Toast to the Arts,” host of the Alameda County Meals on Wheels Dinner, and honorary chair of the VNA Hospices Annual Wine Tasting Dinner.


McLaren serves as event auctioneer


This year’s Wine Auction will feature Archie McLaren as auctioneer. McLaren is the founder and chairman of the Central Coast Wine Classic, the prestigious and comprehensive food and wine event now in its twenty-third year in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. With revenues exceeding $1 million dollars, this Classic is one of America’s most successful charity wine auctions.


McLaren is no stranger to the world of fine cuisine and rare wine. He is the founding Bailli of the Central Coast Chapter of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, a member of the Wine & Food Society of San Francisco, the San Francisco Chapter of Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, and the Marin County Chapter of the International Wine & Food Society. He is the former cellarmaster of the Avila Bay Wine Society and the former president of the Central Coast Wine Society.


Active in his local community, Archie has been chairman/executive director of both the San Luis Obispo Vintners & Growers Association and the Paso Robles Westside Grand Crew. He is one of only two Americans inducted into the Austrian Wine Brotherhood. Archie recently joined the Wine Committee of COPIA in Napa.


On San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Public Radio KCBX, Archie has hosted a fine wine program for twenty-three years, and has been a writer on fine wine for Adventures in Dining, the San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, and Santa Barbara Magazine.


McLaren has received the annual Tourism Award from the San Luis Obispo Visitors & Convention Bureau. His civic activities include president of the board of the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and a member of the board of the San Luis Obispo Arts Council.


Archie McLaren’s auctioneering skills and wine knowledge is expected to bring high bids from guests at the Wine Auction.


Beneficiaries for this year's event


Five nonprofit organizations, five high schools and five senior centers have been selected as beneficiaries to receive proceeds from this year’s gala.


Recipients include Sponsoring Survivorship, the Adult Day Care/Respite Day Care Centers, Habitat for Humanity of Lake County, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Lake County, Lake County Community Radio/KPFZ, the fine arts programs at the five Lake County high schools, and the Meals on Wheels on programs at five senior centers.


Funds in excess of $530,000 have been contributed to community groups in Lake County from the proceeds of the first six auctions. The auction chair is Marie Beery, assisted by Linda Byrd, co-chair, both of Kelseyville. They are assisted by a large committee of volunteers who work throughout the year to create a successful charity event.


Congressman Mike Thompson will present a special Congressional resolution honoring Gerald Ployez, the first president of the Lake County Wine Alliance. Thompson is a founder and co-chair of the Congressional wine caucus and a strong supporter of the wine industry in Lake County.


Organizers and sponsors


Members of the Lake County Alliance board are Margaret Walker, president; Marie Beery, vice president; Pamela Shine-Duncan, secretary; Rob Roumiguiere, treasurer; Judy Luchsinger, Jim Fetzer, and Wilda Shock.


Premier sponsors this year include Lockheed Martin, Neasham Financial & Estate Planning, Kelseyville Lumber, Conser Land Surveying, Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery, Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino, Bob Bartley Pumps, Kathy Fowler Dealerships, and Saw Shop Gallery Bistro.


Participating wineries include Big Valley Wines, Brassfield Estate Winery, Ceago Vinegarden, Cougar’s Leap Winery, Dusinberre Cellars, EdenCrest Vineyards & Winery, Gregory Graham Wines,

High Valley Vineyards, Langtry Estate & Vineyards, Moore Family Winery, Noggle Vineyards, Ployez Winery, Rosa d’Oro Vineyards, Roumiguiere Vineyards, Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery, Six Sigma Winery, Sol Rouge, Steele Wines, Tulip Hill Winery, Wildhurst Vineyards and Zoom Wines.


Participating restaurants and food purveyors are Angelina’s Bakery, Lakeport; Aromas, Culinary Arts Program, Yuba College, Clearlake; Blue Wing Saloon & Café, Upper Lake; Bruno’s Shop Smart, Lakeport; Carlos & Vinny’s, Lakeport; Foods Etc., Clearlake; Hardester’s Market, Middletown;

Ku-hu-gui Café, Konocti Vista Casino, Lakeport; Lindy’s Quality Catering, Lakeview Market & Deli, Lucerne; Marcie’s Brick Grill, Kelseyville; Park Place Restaurant, Lakeport; Ray’s Foods, Clearlake;

Riviera Hills Restaurant & Lounge, Kelseyville; Robinson Rancheria Grille, Nice; Rob Roy Golf Club, Cobb; Safeway Market, Lakeport; Saw Shop Gallery Bistro, Kelseyville; Sentry Market, Nice; Studebaker’s Deli & Coffee House, Kelseyville; WaterColor Restaurant, Soda Bay; Yerba Santa Goat Dairy, Scotts Valley; and Zino’s Ristorante & Inn, Soda Bay;


Auction information and how to get tickets


With 30 lots in the live auction, and more than 70 lots in the silent auction, the charity event is all about bidding often and bidding high. A feature every year is the original watercolor-on-silk painting created by local artist John R. Clarke. “Wine Colored Days” is another evocative piece of artwork that is certain to excite arts patrons.


Included in the live auction are numerous wine and travel packages, including destinations such as a Mexican Riviera cruise, a week in a Puerto Vallarta penthouse, a trout fishing expedition in Montana, a Lake Tahoe cabin, and a springtime visit to Atlanta. Closer to home, Ceago Vinegarden, the Tallman Hotel, Brassfield Estate Winery, and Wildhurst Vineyards are offering special activities which include their wines and food.


New this year, and of definite interest to true wine lovers, is a package from the Central Coast Wine Classic that includes tickets for the 2008 event and an unforgettable black-tie dinner at Hearst Castle, an event only available to sponsors and Wine Classic dignitaries.


Tickets to the black-tie optional event are $100 each. A limited quantity is available by calling the Wine Alliance, 866-279-WINE. The evening includes wine selections from 21 Lake County wineries, participation by 22 food purveyors, live and silent auctions, and music by Jim Williams & Friends.


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