The 40th Anniversary Harvest in the Vineyards Gift and Wine Benefit Auction, held Saturday at the Charles Krug Winery Carriage House, raised $132,000 for local Boy Scouts.
Proceeds from the dinner, live and silent auctions went to the Boy Scouts of America’s Mt. Diablo Silverado Council, which administers camps and provides programs for more than 10,000 Scouts in Napa, Lake, Contra Costa, southern Solano and northern Alameda counties.
“The council administers the Boy Scout programs,” said John Fenoglio, Scout executive for the council. “We have a camp in El Cerrito and a camp in the hills. Our staff works with all the volunteers from the (local) units. We’re the people who work behind the scenes to support those units.”
Market chef Ernesto Martinez served dinner, and St. Helena’s Troop One performed a flag ceremony before the live auction.
Local vintners also played a key role, donating the one-of-a-kind Scout wine blend that was one of the prizes of the live auction. Two collections of Scout Blend were sold on Saturday for $700 apiece.
The first Scout Blend was created in 2000 by Eagle Scout Nils Venge of Saddleback Cellars, Scout Leader Dave Cofran of Silver Oak, and Eagle Scout DeWitt Garlock, who was then with Robert Mondavi Winery. This year’s featured the 2016 Round Pond Estate Cabernet from winemaker Chris Pedemonte, a 2016 Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Varietal Cabernet from Garlock’s personal collection, and Venge’s 2016 Saddleback Cellars Cabernet.
“There’s none other like it in the world,” Garlock said.
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Roxanne Prager of St. Helena has been etching and painting each Scout Blend bottle since its inception – first a single 9-liter bottle each year and then three 3-liter bottles.
“I love when my art and etching can create a wonderful reaction when people set eyes on my work,” Prager said. “It’s so rewarding, and even more rewarding to know that lots of money will be raised for young adults to learn and succeed and have fun doing it, with good life skills.”
The highlights of the fundraiser included an instant wine cellar that sold for $9,500, and a matching gift of $10,000 that was matched with $22,000, for a total of $32,000.
Another live auction lot was the inaugural release of The Ghost of Autumn 2016 Single Vineyard Diamond Mountain Cabernet, which sold for $550.
The Ghost of Autumn will use a different label each year. The first, painted by Tyler Christian, shows different-colored hands holding a grape, symbolizing “all the hands of different races and cultures people that have to touch the grapes before they even get into the bottle,” said Bradley Tyner.
The Ghost of Autumn team – including Tyner, John Arrambide and Fernando Candelario – were invited to the auction because Arrambide and his brother Steven are both Eagle Scouts. Tyner wasn’t a Scout himself, but he served with them in the U.S. Air Force.
“It’s great to have a Scout with you, especially when you’re in a situation that’s not ideal,” Tyner said.