Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Foundation Presents
“The Vintners’ Express: The American Riviera Wine Auction”to benefit U.S. programs of Direct Relief International
January 25, 2010, SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Winemakers Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley, are creating 25 cases of a commemorative cuvee of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir for auction at the upcoming fundraiser, “The Vintners’ Express: The American Riviera Wine Auction,” an event to benefit, for the first time, Direct Relief International’s programs supporting community clinics in Santa Barbara and across the United States. Sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Foundation, the dinner and auction will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at the Direct Relief warehouse in Santa Barbara.Hitching Post Wines, in collaboration with the winner of this designated auction lot, will create a commemorative cuvee of 25 cases of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir, including a label branded by Hartley Ostini and Direct Relief USA. Ten cases will be awarded to the winner with remaining wine to be sold at the Hitching Post II Restaurant and Terravant Winery’s Avant Tapas and Wine. The winner can name the cuvee in honor of a person, a birth, marriage or other special event. The winner will join Hitching Post winemakers Grey Hartley and Frank Ostini for lunch at Avant during the harvest of 2010, followed by a tasting of new wines and discussion of the custom created commemorative cuvee. The winner will be invited to return to the winery to help bottle this limited production wine in August 2011.
With a “Homeward Bound” theme, this biennial event will take place in Direct Relief’s warehouse, specially transformed with vintage-style train décor, and elegant family-style dining, featuring food from nationally recognized Chef Jeff Olsson, local Santa Barbara County restaurants, the Ballard Inn; Bouchon; The Hitching Post; The Hungry Cat,; Root 246; Sea Grass; and Wine Cask, served with fine wines from Beckmen Vineyards. Vintner of the year and founder of Beckmen Vineyards, Tom Beckmen, will be this year’s honoree.
While best known for its international programs, Direct Relief now operates the largest medical product support program for America’s safety net health centers and clinics – Direct Relief USA. In 2004, Direct Relief launched the program to address the needs of the more than 46 million people in the United States who are uninsured and struggle to access affordable medicines. To date, the program—the largest of its kind in the U.S.—has provided more than $150 million (wholesale) worth of medicines and supplies to more than 1,000 partner clinics and health center entities in all 50 states. This assistance includes more than 6 million needed prescriptions.
“Direct Relief’s commitment and hard work to help the underserved in our country access medicine is outstanding“ said Brook Williams, Board President, Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association and President and CEO of Zaca Mesa Winery. “The Vintners’ Foundation is proud to support such an amazing organization and to help make better health happen right here in the United States.”
“We are honored to participate in this event, which will help us continue this unique program that is providing critical medicines and supplies to the most vulnerable people right here ‘at home’,“ said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief International. “We are grateful for the generous support of the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association, an organization that continually turns its own attention to better our community and beyond.”
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. on February 20, 2010, at the Direct Relief warehouse at 27 S. La Patera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 with a guest reception and silent auction, followed by seated dinner and live auction, including the stellar donation from Hitching Post Wines and other premier travel, wine and other packages from the United States and abroad. Tickets to “Vintners’ Express: The American Riviera Wine Auction” are $225 before February 1 and $250 after February 1. Reservations are limited. For more information, call Alissa Larreta (805) 879-4952 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Vintners’ Express: The American Riviera Wine Auction” is generously sponsored by Abbott, SB Mailworks and Wilson Printing.
About Direct Relief International
Founded in 1948, Direct Relief is a Santa Barbara, California-based nonprofit organization focused on improving quality of life by bringing critically needed medicines and supplies to local healthcare providers worldwide. Direct Relief has provided more than $1 billion in privately funded humanitarian aid since 2000, including more than $150 million in assistance in the United States. It has earned a fundraising efficiency score of 99 percent or better from Forbes for the past eight years, and is ranked by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as California’s largest international nonprofit organization based on private support. For more information, please visit www.DirectRelief.org.
About the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association
The Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983 to support and promote Santa Barbara County as a premium wine producing and wine grape growing region. The Vintners’ Association produces festivals, seminars and tastings and provides information to consumers and the wine and travel media. Through the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Foundation, the Association contributes to the community with proceeds from various events, including a biennial event to benefit Direct Relief International.