All World Wines

INTERNATIONAL WINE AUCTION FUNDRAISING EVENT TO HONOR RENOWNED VINTNERS


This yearís event, co-chaired by Tom Conrad of Extreme Beverages and Bob Bofman of Samís Wine and Spiritís, begins with a sampling of Stagís Leap and Heritage wines. A five-course wine dinner prepared by the award winning Four Seasons Executive Chef Robert Sulatycky will be followed by a live auction featuring attractive wines, trips, and in home dinners prepared by some of the regions finest chefs.

"It is a privilege to have Warren Winiarski participating in Treasured Vintages," said event chair Thomas Conrad. It will be an honor to welcome both Mr. Winiarski and Mr. Hirsch to this year's event, and hear firsthand about winemaking traditions and their experiences. We are grateful to both for agreeing to join us in Chicago and help raise money and awareness for Meals on Wheels Chicagoís programs and services.Ē

Stagís Leap Wine Cellars became known internationally in 1976, when Stephen Spurrier, an enterprising Englishman who owned a small wine shop and wine school in Paris, arranged a blind tasting in celebration of the American Bicentennial. With a tasting panel consisting of venerable representative of French wine society, the event pitted several Grand Cru Bordeaux and first-rate white Burgundies against American counterparts. The results astounded everyone. Stag's Leap 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon, made from grapes grown in Warren's three-year-old Stag's Leap Vineyard, edged out such highly-regarded entries as the 1970 Mouton Rothschild and 1970 Chateau Haut Brion, among others. In addition, Chateau Montelena's 1973 Chardonnay trumped the top Burgundian entries.

The unexpected victory in Paris and its subsequent trumpeting in the press worldwide assured a fledgling Stag's Leap Wine Cellars of some very welcome attention. More significantly, the tasting toppled long-held perceptions about American wines in general. "Suddenly our wines joined the great and the beautiful,Ē said Warren. ďIt was recognized that, although our wines might be different from the French, they shared the same degree of excellence, and both were judged by universal rather than regional standards."

Twenty years later, that seminal tasting in Paris was celebrated as an important part of U.S. history, when the Smithsonian Institutionís American History Museum added the winning wines to its permanent collection.

Today, the wines of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars continue to command the respect and admiration of wine aficionados worldwide, proving beyond a doubt that that first victory was no accident, but proof positive of the ability to create consistently splendid wines from a distinctive corner of a very special valley.

Michael Davis, senior vice president and head of the New York-based Sothebyís North American Wine Department, again will serve as the official auctioneer for Treasured Vintages. American Airlines, who for the past decade has played an important role in providing air transportation for Meals on Wheels Chicago fundraising events, will return as a sustaining sponsor. Samís Wine and Spiritís, in addition to producing the event for the third year in a row, also remains a sustaining sponsor.

Treasured Vintages began in 1999 as a way to generate interest and awareness for Meals on Wheels Chicago among a developing group of wine lovers. Last year's Treasured Vintages auction raised nearly $200,000 for Meals on Wheels Chicago.

Meals on Wheels Chicago, the beneficiary of Treasured Vintages, is dedicated to providing programs for homebound elderly and disabled Chicagoans, allowing them to live healthy, independent lives rather than face costly institutional care. It began operations in 1988 with the delivery of Thanksgiving meals to 1,218 Chicagoans. Today, the organization delivers more than 100,000 meals each year to people in every community in the city.

Tickets for Treasured Vintages are priced at $300 per person. To purchase tickets, or to make a donation, call Maura Burke at (312) 744-2120 or send an e-mail to burke@mealsonwheelschicago.org.




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