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Inspire Napa Valley raises more than $1 million for Alzheimer’s and dementia research

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Group gathers at Press restaurant for wine discussion

At St. Helena’s Press Restaurant during a VIP Wine Seminar, the panelists were, from left, Brue Phillips, VHR; Mary Maher, Harlan & Bond; Celia Welch; Antonio Galloni, moderator; Will Sherer, MS, REDD and Redd Wood; and Graeme MacDonald, MacDonald Vineyards.

The inaugural Inspire Napa Valley weekend, May 4-6, raised more than $1 million in support of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“When my mother was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s in 2014, I knew I must act to help fight this disease, which is why I founded Inspire Napa Valley,” said Kerrin Laz. “Through this three-day event, wine acted as the catalyst to advance awareness. We are thrilled to have reached our goal of raising more than $1 million for Alzheimer’s and dementia research while supporting individuals who are currently living with the disease.”

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous founder with Kerrin Laz and David Abreu

Vinous founder Antonio Galloni with Kerrin Laz and David Abreu at the early May "Inspire Napa Valley" event that raised $1 million.

The weekend began with a reception and dinner on Friday, May 4 at Abreu Las Posadas Vineyards on Howell Mountain. Vineyard grower David Abreu went deep into his cellar to share some of his best vintages of Abreu Cabernet Sauvignon.

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David Abreu and Brad Grimes of Abreu Vineyards

David Abreu and Brad Grimes of Abreu Vineyards at the early May "Inspire Napa Valley" fundraising event.

Saturday morning commenced with a wine tasting at PRESS Napa Valley moderated by Vinous founder Antonio Galloni. The panelists included Mary Maher (vineyard manager, Harlan Estate), Celia Welch (consulting winemaker), Bruce Phillips (grapegrower, VHR- Vine Hill Ranch), Graeme Macdonald (vintner, MacDonald Vineyards) and Willi Sherer (MS and Wine Director, REDD & Redd Wood). The program also included an update on Alzheimer’s research from Maria Carrillo, the chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The event continued Saturday afternoon at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone with a walk-around wine tasting featuring 45 cult wines in California including BOND, Bryant Family Vineyard, Colgin Cellars, Dalla Valle Vineyards, Harlan Estate, Eisele Vineyard, Futo Wines, Lokoya Winery, Maybach Wines, Rudd Estate, Screaming Eagle and Sloan Estate.

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Julian Van Winkle of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery with Kerrin Laz and Antonio Galloni

Julian Van Winkle of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery with Kerrin Laz and Antonio Galloni.

Saturday evening’s highlights included a seated dinner, live auction, paddle raise, and musical entertainment from Wonder Bread 5 hosted in the historic Barrel Room at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

The event concluded on Sunday, May 6 with a VIP brunch at Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc’s Addendum.

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