Santa Rosa, CA (August 18, 2021) — Today, the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation announced the Vintner Honoree for this year’s Sonoma County Wine Auction as the venerable Gary B. Heck, President, Chairman and Owner of historic Korbel Champagne Cellars. The team also unveiled the list of exclusive live auction lots for the charitable auction taking place in-person on September 18 at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard.
“Each year our Vintner Honoree is selected for their leadership and commitment to Sonoma County,” said Michael Haney, Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director. “With an impressive career spanning five decades, Gary has been instrumental in building Korbel’s national presence and he has been a champion for our county’s wine and grower community along with a steadfast commitment to supporting the citizens of Sonoma County. We are thrilled to recognize his incredible work and generosity,” he added.
“I am sincerely honored to be this year’s Vintner Honoree,” said Gary B. Heck, “Our family has been a part of the Sonoma County wine community for over 65 years and I am always happy to do my part in helping promote and support every aspect of our community,” he concluded.
In addition to the announcement of the Honorary Vintner, the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation is also pleased to share the collection of this year’s auction lots that include rare, sought-after wine collections and exceptional private experiences and excursions in Sonoma County and around the world.
The weekend of activities kicks-off on Thursday, September 16 and culminates with the live auction on Saturday, September 18. Named one of the nation’s top charitable wine auctions, proceeds from this annual event support more Sonoma County non-profit organizations than any other local fundraiser. Over $37 million has been raised since the auction’s inception, making a substantial direct local impact on literacy, education, health and human services, the environment, and arts and culture.
The live auction lot collection features unique experiences in travel, culinary, wine and sports and can be explored in advance at SonomaCountyWineAuction.com. A critical fundraising lot is the 2021 Fund-A-Need Paddle Raise. Each year, this powerful collective giving opportunity raises funds for children’s education and literacy while also addressing new educational challenges the county faces.
A selection of live auction lots ranging from rare wine and once-in-a-lifetime trips to all-inclusive wine and culinary experiences include:
- Bubbles, Baseball & More! With Korbel Champagne Cellars and Vintner Honoree Gary Heck
Includes a 3-night stay at the Korbel Guest House for four couples and a game day experience at the Oakland A’s ballpark, RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, featuring the Oakland A’s vs. Boston Red Sox.
- Palio Pageantry: Sonoma to Siena with Vérité and Tenuta di Arceno
Home for the week is the Jackson Family’s glorious Tenuta di Arceno estate, located in the province of Siena, known as the medieval Gothic jewel of Tuscany. Enjoy a curated collection of winery and culinary experiences, including a traditional Contrada dinner and watching the thrilling Il Palio di Siena, the famed horse race that has been attracting visitors to Siena since the 1500s.
- Bubbles Galore, Direct from the Source with Krug Champagne, Dom Perignon Champagne, Ruinart Champagne, Hamel Family Wines, Pamela & George Hamel and Seth Box of LVMH
A bubbly dream vacation for two couples with an insider’s tour of the finest Champagne Houses. After a send-off 6-course dinner at Hamel Family Wines, then it’s off to Reims in the heart of France’s Champagne region with a two-night stay at the prestigious Les Crayeres. Days will include VIP tours, tastings and luncheons and you’ll be feted with a dinner at the 3-Michelin Star L’Assiette Champenoise.
- The Whole Hog! With Guy Fieri and Friends
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity for an epic Pig Roast with Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri! Hang out with Guy and his entourage including Dan Kosta of AldenAlli Winery, Rich Aurilia of Red Stitch Wines and Alan Henderson, hosting at his majestic Star Lake Vineyards property, overlooking a picturesque lake surrounded by rolling wine country vineyard views.
- Montana Western Adventure with Foley Family Wines
Get ready to experience the ultimate Western adventure as your party of four is whisked off to a Montana dream vacation at The Ranch at Rock Creek! Includes airfare and luxury ranch home accommodations for a 3-night stay, or a 2-night stay with private jet from Santa Rosa Airport to Montana.
- KB Cult Wines Collection, courtesy of Kosta Browne
Since Kosta Browne’s founding over two decades ago, their mission has been to produce Pinot Noir wines that stand side-by-side with the best in the world. This special lot consists of an exclusive 12 bottle Kosta Browne Magnum collection specially curated for the winning bidder and an exclusive Private Observation Tasting with Winemaker, Julien Howsepian.
- March Madness, Magnums and More! With ESPN, V Foundation, Johnny Sanchez Restaurant, Golden State Warriors and Williams Selyem
This exclusive sports lot includes two hard-to-get tickets to the Final Four (April 2 and April 4, 2022) in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the VIP dinner at Johnny Sanchez in New Orleans, plus two tickets to a Golden State Warriors game at the new Chase Center in San Francisco and a 2-night stay at the Williams Selyem Guest House.
- Sonoma County Wines of Elevation – Best Collection Ever! “G.O.A.T.”
This “Greatest Of All Time” lot includes a critically acclaimed, one-of-a-kind 126 bottle collection of high elevation Sonoma County wines along with top-tier hospitality experiences with each of these iconic producers: Aperture Cellars, Arista Winery, B. Wise Vineyards, Fisher Vineyards, Kamen Wines, Laurel Glen Vineyard, Martinelli Winery, Mauritson Wines, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Rodney Strong Vineyards and Williams Selyem.
Many of the live auction lots crafted by generous vintners and donors focus on bringing wine lovers here to Sonoma County to support the region after the challenging past years. Examples include: a Private Magnum Party for 30 at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, a Historical Rockpile AVA Tour & Lunch for 20 with Mauritson Wines, a Modern Retreat (Sonoma Style!) with Montage Healdsburg, a Weekend Getaway at Skipstone with exclusive experiences hosted by Atelier Melka Collection, a classic Sonoma Valley Getaway with Rombauer Vineyards at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, and an ultimate weekend with Wings over Wine Country hosted by Bricoleur Vineyards.
In addition to the incredible collection of live auction lots, a special selection of online auction lots will also be available, with online auction dates and lot details to be announced soon. To learn more about all of this year’s live auction lots and to register to attend, visit SonomaCountyWineAuction.com.
If you are unable to attend in person, proxy bidding is available. If you would like to make a donation to support the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, please click here.
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About Sonoma County Wine Auction
The Sonoma County Wine Auction brings the region’s most renowned winemakers and growers together with distinguished collectors and generous bidders for an opportunity to acquire some of Sonoma County’s top wines and bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. Named one of the nation’s top charitable auctions by Wine Spectator, the proceeds raised benefit local Sonoma County charitable organizations. Since its inception, the Sonoma County Wine Auction has raised over $37 million to help fund charitable organizations focusing on literacy, education, health and human services, the environment and arts and culture, and has supported more nonprofits than any other fundraising event in Sonoma County. Learn more at sonomacountywineauction.com.
About Sonoma County Vintners Foundation
The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation provides support to our local community through philanthropy and charitable giving. Fundraising efforts have a direct impact in the areas of literacy, education, health and human services, the environment and arts and culture. The signature fundraising event, Sonoma County Wine Auction has been recognized as one of Wine Spectator’s Top Charity Wine Auctions in the United States. Learn more at sonomawine.com/foundation.