Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Wine Auction spotlights good causes, county's wine industry


Lake County Wine Alliance President Margaret Walker and Master of Ceremonies Narsai David get some tips from Wilda Shock, a media specialist and former Lake County Marketing director. Photo by Maile Field.



KELSEYVILLE – Bidding began slowly at Saturday night’s annual Lake County Wine Auction where silent and live auction lots totaling 100 in number were expected to rake in $125,000 for Lake County charities.

Live auction bidding, conducted by Archie McLaren, picked up speed and humor when Dr. Paula Dhanda of Kelseyville interrupted the bidding for lot 6, a private tasting, tour and lunch at Ceago Vinegarden, with a personal testimonial.

Bidding had slowed to near $3,000 for the 12-person lunch, when Dhanda took the microphone to tell the more than 400 ticket-holders how much she had enjoyed her $6,000 purchase from a prior year’s event. And the crowd roared when she added that she was Ceago owner Jim Fetzer’s gynecologist.

Clay Shannon, of Shannon Ridge Vineyards and Winery, whose ranch neighbors Fetzer’s Ceago, ended up winning the lot – twice - at $3,600 each, if Jim would agree to remove a tree for him.

Lake County Wine Auction Chair Marie Beery said about 70 percent of the attendees were from Lake County, adding that some of that number are second-home owners in the area.

The event is hosted by the Lake County Wine Alliance at the Buckingham Golf and Country Club and is held in a large tent on the golf course.

Master of Ceremonies Narsai David, food and wine editor at KCBS in San Francisco, welcomed the crowd, noting that Lake County is experiencing a “renaissance” in winegrowing, with 8,000 acres currently in grape vine production.

Alliance President Margaret Walker reminisced about planning the first wine auction 10 years ago. She said the event was hosted by just five wineries and 10 restaurants. The five wineries were Ployez, Wildhurst, Steele, Kendall-Jackson and Guenoc Wineries.

On Saturday some 21 Lake County wineries were on hand to pour their wines.



Congressman Mike Thompson considers bidding on a silent auction item at Saturday's Lake County Wine Auction. Photo by Maile Field.


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