5/21/2010 Just a quick update, I received a thank you letter today from Make-A-Wish, they raised over $760,000 in cash and “in-kind” donations.  Wow!

Once in a while a convergence of powers come together and amazing things happen.

Last weekend was one of these occasions.  Wine and Wishes, the Make A Wish Foundation holds an annual event at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, this coincides with the ” US Open”of Croquet, it is an invitational event where the best Croquet players get together and compete on the amazing courts of Sonoma-Cutrer.

In conjunction with this event Make-A-Wish holds one of their fundraisers.  An auction based on wine and wishes, they gather donations from local Sonoma and Napa County wineries and business and the attendees bid on these great items which benefit the children of Make-A-Wish.  These children are all afflicted with some fashion of terminal disease or condition and they are granted one amazing wish.  The proceeds of events like this allow them myriad possibilities.  We were graced by one such individual who’s wish was to visit Egypt and see the Great Pyramids of Giza.  His story was told and it’s nearly impossible to not hear this and have a dry eye.

This year Make-A-Wish raised over $200,000 at this event alone!  (I’ll see if I can get the final number but the executive director Patricia Wilson said it would be well over that number)

Wine has some amazing pull.  The folks attending this event paid $200 per seat with about 600 attendees, this was just the beginning.  There were 31 live auction lots and many more silent auction lots.  The auctions ranged from collections of wines to a Safari in Africa and a seven night adventure in a Scottish castle.

waiting to bid

I was fortunate to win lot 21, wine education seminar with Tom Simoneau (local wine radio host, and winemaker) with dinner at Girl & the Fig in Sonoma, CA.  (watch for a post on that one!)

Tom Simoneau, Michelle, Me

I got to do some pouring of my own.  My wife put me to work!  Oh well, work like this ain’t bad.  I was pouring some 2003 Sonoma-Cutrer, Founders Reserve Pinot and some just released 2007 Russian River Pinot (Big Bottle 3L Jeroboams).

My Boss, my Wife!

By the way, opening up these big bottles is really challenging ;-)

Pouring is hard work!

Along with all of the charity at this event there were some great wines to be had.  I was lucky enough to get a couple of tastes of the oldest white wines I will likely ever have!  Retiring Sonoma-Cutrer winemaker Terry Adams showed us how to properly open a few Jeroboams.

A master at work

Me with Terry Adams

Some 1986 and 1988 Chardonnays…  Yeah, that’s a 24 year old white wine!  These were awesome.  I could hardly believe, not only how well these wines stood up to time, but how amazing they tasted.  The finish on the ’86 was longer than any wine in recent memory.

1986!

There were some great people at this event.  The winemaking crew up at Sonoma-Cutrer are awesome!  Michelle McLendon and Cara Morrison, the Pinot and Chardonnay Assistant winemakers.

Cara and Michelle

The latest addition to the Sonoma-Cutrer is winemaker Michael (Mick) Schroeter and his lovely wife Linda.

Mick and Linda Schroeter

This was a truly amazing event supporting a truly amazing cause.  I can’t wait until next year, I need to practice my Croquet so I can get an invite to the “Open.”

I need more practice.

If you enjoy wine and have the wherewithal, please take a moment and hop over to Make-A-Wish and donate to their cause.  They provide an outstanding service to children who are in need of a break from the pain and suffering of terminal illness, every little bit helps.

Cheers
Brian Wing

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