Save The Date Saturday, September 16

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (October 5, 2016) – The 2017 Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction date, location and Honorary Chairs are confirmed! The County’s leading annual fundraising event will be held Saturday, September 16, 2017 at the La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, a new hub of wine education and culinary exploration located in the heart of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley.

The Sonoma Wine Country Weekend team is also excited to announce the extraordinary commitment of Jackson Family Wines Chairman & Proprietor Barbara R. Banke and the entire Jackson family, who will be serving as the Honorary Chairs of the 2017 Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction. Selection of the Honorary Chairs recognizes individuals who demonstrate community leadership, dedication to innovation, and commitment to helping others.

“The Jackson family’s deep commitment to sustaining Sonoma County agriculture and community is legendary in Sonoma,” stated Jean Arnold Sessions, Executive Director of Sonoma County Vintners. “This is reflected both by Barbara Banke’s acceptance of this role and generous donation of the La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard for the auction location.”

One of the wine industry’s top executives and innovators, Banke has spent the last two decades leading the company she co-founded in 1982 with her late husband, wine icon Jess Jackson. Today, she and her family continue fostering a legacy of leadership in sustainable grape growing and environmental innovations, as well as community development through philanthropy, farm worker housing, education initiatives, and wine business advocacy.

Situated atop a knoll overlooking the storied vineyard, the beautiful La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard opened in August after undergoing an extensive renovation to the site’s historic four-story barn, which now anchors the visitor experience. Saralee’s Vineyard is widely cherished in the Sonoma County community, known for producing some of the finest grapes in California, and its former owners, the late Saralee Kunde and her husband Richard, who planted the vineyard in 1989, were well respected for their community contributions.

“Hosting this hallmark Sonoma County event at La Crema’s new Estate was a natural fit, given the great synergy between the history of the property and its former owners and the Jackson family’s values,” said Caroline Shaw, chief marketing officer for Jackson Family Wines. “Richard and Saralee Kunde used this site to cultivate a sense of community in Sonoma County, and today, we are continuing that legacy of uniting wine, community and family through events like the Harvest Wine Auction.”

“We are honored to have the support of Barbara and her family for the 2017 Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction,” Arnold Sessions said. “They are wonderful philanthropists as well as passionate advocates for education and the Sonoma County Community, and we are so appreciative of their time and dedication to this special event.”

Named one of the top three charitable wine auctions by Wine Spectator, the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction brings the wine industry, chefs and guests together to invest in our community by supporting children for future success, preserving our environment, and improving the health and welfare of our local community. The Auction has raised $24 million to date for more than 95 local Sonoma County charitable organizations focusing on Education, Arts & Culture, Environment, and Health & Human Services. Fund the Future, Sonoma County’s children’s literacy initiative raised $2.7 million at the 2016 Auction, and this year also represents an additional four-year commitment the Sonoma County wine community has made to continue to support these important reading programs.