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.
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