Friday, July 24, 2009

Vineyards support The Center

Local and out-of-state wineries take part in wine weekend

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction is a weekend celebrating wine at the peak of the summer. Numerous vineyards and winemakers descend upon the valley to enjoy the bounty of their colleagues and support The Center, the beneficiary of the annual event.

"It is important to support special calls," said Suzanne Pride Bryan, co-owner of Pride Mountain Vineyards. "The Sun Valley Center is important. We get asked to donate every year to many nonprofits, but we consider The Center to be important and it is important to give back."

Pride Mountain Vineyards is located on the historic Summit Ranch, at 2,100 feet in the Mayacamas Mountains, on the Napa-Sonoma county line. The vineyard has been operating for 140 years and Wine Spectator magazine since 2000 has consistently listed Pride Mountain as one of the top 100 wineries.

"We are a small winery and depend on what Mother Nature gives us each year," Bryan said. "Winemakers are special people with a ton of resilience."

Pride Mountain Vineyards will have its current releases—2007 chardonnay and 2006 merlot and cabernet—available at the wine auction and picnic. In addition, Pride Mountain is auctioning an exclusive wine trip to the vineyard.

"We are stewards of the land," Bryan said. "We feel very special to have this place and we honor our vineyard and history. Our guests should have the best experience possible."

Ketchum's local winery, Frenchman's Gulch Winery, will pour its 2005 Ketchum Cuvee and its 2006 chardonnay for the wine tasting and the picnic. The winery also has donated two silent auction items as well as for The Center's new Junior Patron's Circle, which will have a dinner at the Elkhorn Supper Club tonight with an after-party at the Wine Auction Gala.

Frenchman's Gulch supports The Center, especially in its effort to offer young people the opportunity to take part in the Wine Auction weekend and other Center events for a reduced cost.

For details on the Sun Valley Center Wine Auction, visit Events last through Saturday.

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