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California Winemasters Toast 20 Years of Giving

June 4, 2009

Almost 70 of California’s most renowned winemakers and dozens of premier chefs from around the world flocked to “Hollywood” for the 20th annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters in May, which raised more than $1,350,000 to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Setting the Scene

The CF Foundation Southern California Chapter hosted its glam wine-tasting and hors d’oeuvres extravaganza on the backlot at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif. The event has become one of the largest single-day charity wine auctions in the world, and this year, more than 1,400 guests from California and beyond gathered to dine on “Midwest Street,” a famous set used in such movies as “The Music Man” and the hit television show “The Gilmore Girls.”  The set was designed to look like “Anytown USA,” but the scenery, the fare and the festivities this year were anything but average.

Wine enthusiasts milled around the famous Warner Bros. set "Midwest Street" at the California Winemasters event in May.
Wine enthusiasts milled around the famous Warner Bros. set "Midwest Street" at the California Winemasters event in May.

High Bids, High Spirits

The 20th Anniversary event boasted one of the most extravagant auctions in history, with more than 900 live and silent auction items, including an eight-day sake trip to Japan, a D.R. Stephens wine dinner at Drago Centro with CNN’s Larry King, and a one-of-a-kind “Green Basket” created by artist Dale Chihuly that included a custom-designed 24.0L of “Pursued by Bear.” Co-vintners Eric Dunham and Kyle MacLachlan of “Desperate Housewives” fame added a winemaker dinner for 10 created by noted chef Thomas Moran, and the entire lot sold for $41,000.

Winemasters is the Los Angeles Chapter’s largest event. Since the first Winemasters event in 1989, it has raised an incredible $19 million for the Foundation. Event Co-Chair Hal Lampert remarked on the event’s contributions: “We raise our glasses to celebrate 20 years of giving, for all we have achieved and for all we will continue to do adding tomorrows every day for people with CF.”

Special Thanks to:

  • Event Co-Chairs Sharon and Hal Lampert
  • Honorary Chairmen Pam Starr of Crocker & Starr Wines
  • Chef/Owner Josiah Citrin of Mélisse Restaurant 
  • Brenda and Gerry Schwartz
  • Patty McCormick
  • Carolyn Rhoades
  • Bob Gold
  • Ken Avedisian
  • American Airlines
  • Go Country 105 FM
  • Dole Food Company
  • Cobblestone Vineyards 
  • The Alfred Hitchcock Family
  • Warner Home Video
  • Oracle Corporation
  • Flask Fine Wines
  • Universal Studios
  • Ameristar Casinos, Inc.
  • BJ’s Restaurant Foundation
  • Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. 
  • Auctioneer DawnMarie Kotsonis
Participating Chefs and Restaurants:
  • a.k.a. A Bistro – Chris Aken
  • Ameristar Casinos – Jeff Astemborski
  • Bar Tartine – Jason Fox
  • Barking Frog at Willows Lodge – Bobby Moore
  • The Basement Bistro – Damon Baehrel
  • Bistro 45 – Damon Bruner
  • Bouchon Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Yountville – Rory Herrmann
  • Brothers Restaurant at Mattei’s Tavern – Matt Nichols’ Chameau – Adel Chagar’
  • The Cheese Store Beverly Hills
  • Circa 59 – Adam Votaw
  • Citron at The Viceroy Palm Springs - James Bailey
  • Curtis Stone
  • David’s Events – David Slatkin
  • The Dining Room at The Langham Huntington Hotel – Craig Strong
  • Drago Ristorante – Celestino Drago
  • Fig Restaurant Santa Monica – Ray Garcia
  • Globe, Zuppa – Joseph Manzare
  • Go Fish – Victor Scargle
  • Grace Restaurant, BLD Restaurant – Neal Fraser
  • Hitching Post II – Frank Ostini
  • Hotel Bel-Air – Dan Olson
  • The Hump – Kiyoshiro Yamamoto
  • Il Vigneto at Cordevalle, A Rosewood Resort – Luca Rutigliano
  • Jiraffe Restaurant – Raphael Lunetta
  • La Toque – Ken Frank
  • Marché Moderne – Amelia & Florent Marneau
  • Mélisse Restaurant – Josiah Citrin
  • Metro Bis – Chris Prosperi
  • The Modern – Gabriel Kreuther
  • Montage Beverly Hills – John Cuevas
  • Noé Restaurant – Glenn Ishii
  • Primal Alchemy – Paul Buchanan
  • Providence – Michael Cimarusti
  • The Restaurant at the Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas –
  • Guillaume Burlion
  • Sam’s by the Beach – Samer Elias
  • Silks at the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco- Joshua Nudd
  • Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras – Junny and Guillermo Gonzalez
  • Tra Vigne – Nash Cognetti
  • University of Southern California – Thomas Moran
  • Warner Bros. Studios/Warner Bros. Special Events – Christian Thillet
  • Westside Tavern – Warren Schwart

Pouring Wineries:

  • Anomaly Vineyards
  • Antica Napa Valley
  • Au Bon Climat
  • Baileyana Winery
  • Blockheadia
  • Brogan Cellars
  • Cafaro Cellars
  • Calafia Cellars
  • Caymus Vineyards & Conundrum
  • Charnu Winery
  • Chimney Rock Winery
  • Clark-Claudon Vineyards
  • Cosentino
  • Crocker & Starr Wines
  • D.R. Stephens Estate
  • Dutton-Goldfield Winery
  • Ehlers Estate
  • Fiddlehead Cellars
  • Frank Family Vineyards
  • Garric Cellars
  • Gemstone Vineyard
  • Grgich Hills Estate
  • Hall Wines
  • HdV Winery
  • The Hess Collection
  • Hitching Post Wines
  • Jaffe Estate Wines
  • Joseph Phelps Vineyards
  • Judd’s Hill
  • Justin Winery
  • Krupp Brothers
  • Lagier Meredith Vineyard
  • Lancaster Estate 
  • L’Aventure Winery
  • Malibu Vineyards
  • Morlet Family Vineyards
  • Outpost Estate Winery
  • Paradigm
  • Parallel Napa Valley
  • Parry Cellars
  • Patz & Hall
  • Paul Hobbs Winery
  • Peter Michael Winery
  • Pisoni Vineyards & Winery
  • PlumpJack
  • Pride Mountain Vineyards
  • Quady Winery
  • Ravenswood
  • Ridge Vineyards
  • Round Pound Estate
  • Schramsberg Vineyards
  • Schweiger Vineyards & Winery
  • Silver Oak Cellars
  • Sonoma Valley Portworks
  • Tablas Creek Vineyard
  • Talisman Wine
  • Tangent
  • Three Winery Company
  • Tom Eddy Wines
  • TOR Kenward Family Wines
  • Trefethen Family Vineyards
  • T-Vine Cellars
  • Twomey Cellars
  • Von Strasser Winery
  • W.H. Smith Wines
  • William Cole Vineyards


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The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.