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Three California vintners will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from the California Exposition and State Fair for their contributions to the wine industry. Jim Concannon, Jerry Lohr and Robert Gallo will be honored at a ceremony on July 12.

UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation delivered the 2007 Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award and honored leading women vintners and chefs from Napa, Sonoma and Los Angeles at its “Taste for a Cure” Hollywood gala June 16.

The award recipient was Jay Sures, partner and board member of United Talent Agency, a leading entertainment industry talent and literary agency for his commitment to supporting cancer research at UCLA.

Featured vintners who poured their wines during the evening included Margaret Duckhorn from Duckhorn Wine Company, Beth Novak Milliken of Spottswood Estate Vineyard and Winery, Ashley Heisey from Long Meadow Ranch, Oakville Ranch and Marelle Syrah, Joy Sterling of Iron Horse Vineyards, Beth Nickel from Nickel & Nickel and Stephanie Putnam of Far Niente.

The vintners were paired with Los Angeles’ top female chefs including Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill and Cuidad, Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Bistro, Evan Kleiman of Angeli Cafe, Josie Le Balch of Josie Restaurant and Suzanne Tracht of Jar.

The evening also celebrated the Nickel family’s efforts, along with the V Foundation for Cancer Research, to raise $1 million for UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. The funds will be used to establish the V Foundation-Gil Nickel Fellowship for Melanoma Research to train a new generation of scientists to conduct melanoma research at UCLA and other institutions. The fellowship was created in memory of Gil Nickel, proprietor of Napa Valley’s Far Niente winery, who died of melanoma in October 2003.

It’s Hot Dog Weekend at Back Room Wines in Napa. They’ll be serving hot dogs three ways, and with three dog friendly wines, a Turchi Syrah, Wolfberger “Edelzwicker” vin d’Alsace and a Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz from the Limecoast in Australia. Tastings are today, 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Cost is $12 for a dog and a glass. Reservations aren’t necessary.

Next week, Back Room Wines hosts a “M” party with merlot, muscadet, muscat and marsanne wines served with manchego cheese and, of course, M&Ms.

Back Room Wines is at 974 Franklin St. Info, 226-1378.

Stave Wine Lounge features wines from Highlands Winery of Howell Mountain and Brooks Wines of Oregon’s Willamette Valley July 13, 5-8. Five wines will be poured; cost is $10. Stave is at 1149 First St. at Coombs, Napa. Info, 259-5411 or

Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyard in Sonoma presents a seminar on global warming as it pertains to the wine industry July 30. The program, open to members of the wine industry only, will be moderated by Pancho Campo, a wine educator who organized the first World Meeting on Climate Change in the Wine Industry held in February in Barcelona, Spain. Next year’s event will be held Feb. 15-16, with Al Gore as a keynote speaker. Space is limited. Info, 431-2739.

Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards will also host its Catalan Festival July 21 and 22 starting at 11 a.m. at the caves. The two-day event features Catalan-inspired food, music, dance and sparkling wine.

Several area restaurants will provide tapas and other refreshments, and local artists are expected to also participate. Cost is $40 per person. Info,

The Napa Valley Wine Library will feature cabernet sauvignon and cab-based blends at its annual tasting for its members on Aug. 12 in the Oak Grove at Silverado Resort.

About 95 wineries from all appellations within Napa Valley will pour their wines, John Raymond will provide cheese and Bouchon Bakery will offer a variety of breads.

The tasting is open only to Wine Library members, but anyone can join by going to, or writing to Napa Valley Wine Library, P.O. Box 328, St. Helena, CA 94574, or call 963-5244.

Membership is $50 per year. At the door, $60.

Submit items for Toast of the Valley to Sasha Paulsen,

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