A recent September weekend saw the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation’s 31st ‘Winesong’ Charity Auction and Tasting. For the last 30 plus years the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation has been hosting Winesong, a fund raising wine, food and music extravaganza to raise funds for the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. This year was another record breaking event including the most elegant Friday afternoon Pinot Noir Celebration, hosted by the Little River Inn, Saturday’s Food and Wine Tasting which was followed by the Live Auction and Luncheon with Master of Ceremony, radio personality, Narsi David. The weather cooperated perfectly with glorious blue skies on Friday afternoon and alternating blue sky and coastal fog on Saturday just to keep it comfortable. One extravaganza after another.
Friday’s Pinot Noir celebration at the Little River Inn in glorious Little River could not have been more perfect. The sun, the coastline, the Pacific Ocean, the passed hors d’oeuvres from the Inn’s Co-owner/Chef Marc Dym and the wonderful Anderson Valley Pinots. Perfectly named, “Winesong and Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association Pinot Noir Celebration”….could life be any better?
Just a few of the highlight’s from the Anderson Valley Pinot celebration included:
Elke Vineyards 2014 Rosé of Pinot Noir and a vertical (vintage 2011, 2012 and 2013) Anderson Valley Pinot Noir poured by Mary Elke herself – stunning wines;
Foursight Wines 2012 Zero New Oak Pinot Noir and the 2013 Paraboll Pinot Noir – excellent fruit and balance;
Knez Winery 2013 Demuth Vineyard Pinot Noir – elegant and textured;
Lichen Estate 2012 Sparkling Blanc de Gris and the 2013 Anderson Valley Estate Pinot Noir – perfect for the afternoon occasion.
Over 2,000 guests enjoyed the unique Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens setting on Saturday (11am – 2pm). With the various themed gardens offering smaller mini venues it was like visiting Disneyland for wine and food lovers. The Dahlia Gardens featured a musical ensemble, food from some of the finest restaurants in Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma and, of course, amazing wines. The 130 wineries from Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, the Central Coast and other appellations help make Winesong the world class event that it is. Add in nine different musical groups performing music representing a wide variety of styles including jazz, classical, calypso and folk and you have something for everyone’s musical tastes.
You want good taste, consider the 50 food purveyors representing restaurants and caterers from all over the North Coast who provided the coup de grâce. Highlights included Costeaux French Cafe and Bakery, cheeses from Pennyroyal Farms, the Little River Inn Restaurant, wonderful pizza from Piaci’s Pub & Pizzeria and artisanal chocolates from Guittard Chocolate Company. Gourmet elegance in a lush coastal botanical setting with views of the Pacific Ocean is hard to beat. One cannot do justice to this amazing combination of sensory satisfying and tantalizing sights, sounds, smells and tastes! Checkout the slideshow and get a glimpse of the various wineries and food purveyors who stood out.
The event was reported to have raised over $600,000 for the Mendocino Coast District Hospital this year with the proceeds from ticket (another sold out record), the silent auction and, of course, the ‘exciting’ Live Auction, energetically managed by fire brand auctioneer Dawn Marie Kotsonis and her able partner Richard Pio Roda. The pace was rapid fire, good-natured and fun. Everyone knew they were raising money for a great cause and the auction lots included many amazing donations of wine, travel (including Tuscany), dinners and vacation lodging.
It is not too early to mark your calendar for Winesong 2016. It is typically held the weekend after Labor Day weekend. You will be able to purchase tickets to all or each individual event….you will not be disappointed!