Renowned vintners, from as far away as Australia and as near as Napa Valley, will headline the 11th Naples Winter Wine Festival from Jan. 28-30, 2011 in Naples.
Among the 28 vintners is Christian Moueix who presides over both Dominus Estate of Yountville, Calif. and iconic Château Petrus in France, which produces wine referred to in The Wine Advocate as “the vinous Holy Grail.”
Also on the roster is Paul Hobbs, a leading consultant winemaker around the globe. Hobbs will pour wines at the festival from his esteemed Viña Cobos winery in Argentina. In addition, one of 11 first-time participants at the festival, Didier Séguier of Domaine William-Fèvre of Chablis, France, will pour top Chablis wines.
“Each participating vintner is a prominent figure in the wine industry and we are honored they are sharing their time and special vintages to benefit underprivileged and at-risk children,” said Bruce Sherman, festival chair and trustee of the Naples Children & Education Foundation, which founded the festival in 2000.
His wife Cynthia, festival co-chair and NCEF trustee, added, “These vintners are ushering in the festival’s second decade of fine wine paired with philanthropy, and that is a winning combination for children in need.”
According to vintner committee chairman and NCEF trustee Scott Lutgert, festival vintners represent a stellar mix of Old World and New World vineyards from four continents and six countries, and showcase some of the most coveted wines ever produced. “Our guests will taste these magnificent wines at the festival and we anticipate enthusiastic auction bidding from seasoned and novice wine aficionados alike for the outstanding lots personally created by vintners as well as those donated by private collectors.”
For the 11th festival, Grace and Ken Evenstad of Domaine Serene in Oregon have been named the Honored Vintner in recognition of their support of the festival through the years. The Evenstads have been NCEF trustees since 2002, and Grace chaired the festival in 2006.
According to Bruce Sherman, the Evenstads’ passion and commitment to produce the world’s best Pinot Noir mirrors their dedication to helping children.
“Grace and Ken put their hearts and souls into producing award-winning wine, and they bring that same drive to making the Naples Winter Wine Festival a success," said Sherman. "We are very pleased to name them Honored Vintner on behalf of all NCEF trustees.”
The festival begins with the children. Guests take a Meet the Kids tour for an up-close look at programs and services funded by NCEF grants and meet the children who benefit. A luncheon and wine tasting follows, with four California vintners pouring their wines from CONSTANT Diamond Mountain Vineyard, Grace Family Vineyards, Kelly Fleming Wines and Martinelli Winery.
On Friday evening, intimate vintner dinners are hosted at 17 NCEF trustees’ homes, with renowned chefs and vintners creating exceptional dining experiences for guests. Saturday, a culinary showcase, wine tasting and world-class auction take place on the grand lawn of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples – a festival founding sponsor.
The auction is a festival highlight, featuring 70 one-of-a-kind lots including trips, unique experiences and special wines, one of which is the Perfection Lot: 100 bottles of 100-point wine as rated by The Wine Advocate or Wine Spectator. A wine-down party follows the auction, and on Sunday, a celebration brunch brings the festival to a close.
The Naples Winter Wine Festival was founded and is hosted annually by trustees of the Naples Children & Education Foundation. Since 2001, the festival has raised $82.5 million, with proceeds helping nearly 100,000 children through grants to children’s charities and collaborative funding of major projects including a pediatric dental center and early learning center. The festival has been ranked the most successful charity wine auction in the nation since 2004 by Wine Spectator and a top 10 event for wealthy Americans by the Luxury Institute.
Festival ticket packages are $7,500 per couple; $20,000 for reserved seating at the same vintner dinner for two couples.
For a festival schedule and other information, please visit www.napleswinefestival.com or call the wine festival office at 888-837-4919.
Honored Vintner for the 2011 Naples Winter Wine Festival is Grace and Ken Evenstad of Domaine Serene in Oregon, producers of award-winning Pinot Noir.