The Santa Barbara Wine Auction benefitting Direct Relief was held at the exclusive Bacara Resort & Spa on February 22, 2014. It was an evening of fine wines, delectable foods, and an auction brimmed with lifestyle experiences and rare library wine lots.
The Santa Barbara Wine Auction was established in 2000 with the vision of ensuring that people in need across the U.S. and world have access to life-saving medical aid. The founders of the event, the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation, created this biennial wine auction to champion Direct Relief’s mission: Improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations by mobilizing and providing essential medical resources needed for their care.
Since inception, the wine auctions have raised over $2 million which has been leveraged into almost $60 million in medical aid to equip frontline health workers, free clinics, and other health centers with medical supplies and equipment to treat the world’s most vulnerable people.
The Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation and Direct Relief have raised funds which are used to pioneer innovative medical assistance initiatives, many of which never would have been possible without the money raised through the benefit auction. These include expanding access to vital treatment for children with pneumonia; equipping local Medical Reserve Corps volunteers with emergency preparedness supplies; and laying the groundwork for what is now the largest charitable medicines program for vulnerable people in the U.S.
Direct Relief USA is an important part of the organization’s efforts to strengthen America’s healthcare safety net by providing nonprofit community clinics and health centers with medicines and medical supplies for their low-income and uninsured patients.
With support from Direct Relief, aid organization Last Mile Health (known in Liberia as Tiyatien Health) trained 10 Frontline Health Workers (FHW) in the last year to identify, treat, and refer children with symptoms of pneumonia – the number one cause of death of children under five worldwide.
Direct Relief USA provides Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers with ruggedized, specially designed backpacks filled with medical supplies to help address community health needs in an emergency. The packs enable MRC members to respond when disaster strikes.
Chris Harrison began his television career by covering local sports in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Dallas, Texas native went to Oklahoma City University on a soccer scholarship, and then made the natural transition to sportscasting with a local station. During his six years there, he worked his way up the ranks from part-time sportscaster to weekend sportscaster. He also had the opportunity to cover hard news stories, including the 1995 tragedy at the Federal Building, an event which profoundly affected his perspective on life and career.
A visit to L.A. in 1999 for an audition for a horseracing network led to a permanent move. Later that year, Harrison landed the job as host of HGTV’s “Designer’s Challenge,” which was consistently one of the network’s highest rated shows. In 2001 he became host of ABC’s hit romance/reality series “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” He also has hosted ABC’s popular reality show, “Bachelor Pad,” the “all-star” reunion from previous seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” the last two years.
Harrison continues to advance in the entertainment industry through a variety of professional endeavors. He co-hosted ABC’s live coverage of “The Miss America Pageant” in September 2013, as the show returned to the pageant’s birthplace Atlantic City, New Jersey. He first hosted the iconic broadcast on ABC in 2004. Additional hosting credits include “Emmys Red Carpet Live” at the 2012 Primetime Emmys; ABC’s 2011 “American Music Awards Red Carpet”; live television coverage of the final championship rounds of The 2010 “Scripps National Spelling Bee” on ABC; ABC’s 2008 “American Music Awards Red Carpet Live!,” and “Road to the 60th Primetime Emmy® Awards,” ABC.com’s daily coverage leading up to the 2008 “Primetime Emmy Awards.” In 2008 Harrison moved to TV Guide Network to not only cover all the major awards shows, but also host the network’s one-hour weekly entertainment show, “Hollywood 411.” In 2010 he announced the creation of his own production company, Harrison Productions, and that he will continue to host and executive-produce all of TV Guide’s red carpet shows, which started with the Emmys in 2010.
The versatile Harrison has done his fair share of acting as well, with roles in the popular television series “Alias,” “The Practice,” “Six Feet Under” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” His feature film appearances include “Bounce,” “Showtime” and portraying himself in the comedy “Date Movie.”
In his spare time Harrison still plays soccer and has become addicted to golf. He has developed a great appreciation for the weather and lifestyle of Southern California, and spends as much time as possible outdoors with 11-year-old son, Joshua, and 9-year-old daughter, Taylor.
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are Los Angeles-based chef-entrepreneurs who blend innovative and seasonal cooking with ambitious dining experiences. They opened Animal restaurant in June 2008 to widespread acclaim. Since then the duo has been awarded some of the most prominent national accolades including Food & Wine Best New Chefs, three James Beard nominations, Rising Star Chefs by Star Chefs, Wine List of the Year by GQ Magazine, and one of the Most Important Restaurants in America by Bon Appetit.
Their second restaurant, Son of a Gun, opened in February 2011 and was named one of Bon Apetit’s Top 10 New Restaurants for 2012 and Details magazine’s hottest restaurant in the world. They also operate a full service catering company, and their cookbook Two Dudes One Pan was voted one of NPR’s “10 Best Cookbooks of 2008.”
They have been covered in numerous publications, including, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, The New Yorker, Travel + Leisure, Garden and Gun, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine magazine, and have appeared on The Morning Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, Iron Chef America, judges on Top Chef, The Layover with Anthony Bourdain, Best Thing I Ever Ate, and NPR’s Good Eats.
Just prior to opening Animal, the duo starred in their own reality show called Two Dudes Catering on the Food Network. They met while attending culinary school at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida, where they worked for a number if prominent chefs before making their way out west. Most recently they partnered with Ludo Lefebvre to launch his first brick and mortar restaurant Trois Mec.
Longoria Wines is an artisanal family winery established in 1982 by Rick and Diana Longoria. Rick’s decision to start his own wine label was born out of a desire to produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two varietals he was not producing as the winemaker for J. Carey Cellars, his first job as a winemaker. Rick sensed that those two varietals were poised to become the signature varietals for the new Santa Barbara County wine region, and he wanted to become a part of this new movement.
By 1982 he felt confident in his skills and in the quality of some of the County’s best vineyards to venture into the wine business for himself, and with financial help from his father he produced 500 cases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley vineyards.
Rick continued to produce very small quantities of Longoria wines after he became the winemaker for The Gainey Vineyard in 1985.
In 1997, Rick gave up steady employment to devote his full energies to his winery business. In May 1998, Rick and Diana opened the doors to their own tasting room in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Los Olivos. In December 1998, Rick moved his winery operation into a 5,400 sq. foot industrial building in what is now affectionately called the “Lompoc Wine Ghetto”. His was the first winery to be established in Lompoc.
Rick states “From the very beginning of my career I felt that the Santa Barbara wine region had the potential to produce world class wines and it’s been very gratifying to see that belief realized over the last 30 years I’ve been here. It’s also been very rewarding to have had the good fortune over the years to have some of my wines contribute to the acclaim of our wine region.”
Over the years Rick has experimented with many different vineyard sources and grape varietals and has added more wines to his portfolio. Rick’s pursuit of excellence requires the production of his wines to remain small even after nearly 30 years in business. Longoria wines are handcrafted in very small quantities ranging from 50 to 700 cases. Total annual production currently averages 3,000 cases.
One of the wine industry’s top executives and innovators, Jackson Family Wines Chairman & Proprietor Barbara R. Banke has spent the last two decades leading the company she co-founded with her late husband, wine icon Jess Jackson, while building and expanding some of the most beloved wineries in the nation.
The UCLA and Hastings Law School graduate is no stranger to juggling diverse workloads. A former land use and constitutional law attorney, Banke spent more than a decade arguing cases before the United States Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal, and raised three children with Jess (Katie, Julia and Christopher Jackson).
In addition to the flagship Kendall-Jackson and La Crema wineries, Banke and Jackson shaped nearly two dozen small, high-image wineries located across Sonoma, Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Mendocino counties, including Arrowood, Byron, Cambria, Carmel Road, Edmeades, Freemark Abbey, La Jota, Matanzas Creek and Stonestreet. The Jackson family portfolio also includes the international properties of Chateau Lassègue in Bordeaux, Tenuta di Arceno and Arcanum in Tuscany, Calina in Chile and Yangarra Estates and the Hickenbotham Vineyard at Clarendon in Australia. In 2013, the Jackson family purchased property in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, including the acclaimed Zena Crown and Gran Moraine vineyards.
Banke takes a hands-on role in the development and promotion of various Jackson Family wine estates, with a special focus on the company’s ultra-luxury wineries such as Lokoya, Cardinale, and Vérité, as well as new vineyard acquisitions, and a broad range of other business initiatives. In addition to the family’s wine holdings, Banke shares Jackson’s love of equestrian racing – their acclaimed stables, Stonestreet Farms in Kentucky, produced Horses of the Year Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, as well as Eclipse Award Winner My Miss Aurelia.
A well-known philanthropist, Banke and the Jackson Family are passionate advocates for education. She co-founded the Sonoma Paradiso Foundation and helped build the Sonoma Country Day School in Santa Rosa, and serves as a founding board member for Sonoma Academy, an independent college-prep high school recognized for academic rigor. She and Jackson also committed $3 million to found the Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building at UC-Davis (opened summer 2013), a national center of excellence designed to train the next generation of winemakers in sustainability best practices. In addition, Banke and her family contributed $500,000 to help launch the Family Justice Center Sonoma County, providing help for victims of domestic violence, and she is a global ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Mary Ellen McCammon
Mary Ann Norbom
Thank you so very much to the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation, the Santa Barbara Vintners and wineries, table and community sponsors, and all the guests and friends who turned out and donating so generously at the 2014 Santa Barbara Wine Auction on February 22, 2014.
It was an extraordinary evening, the most successful fundraising event in Direct Relief’s history, exceeded all expectations, and was truly an evening to remember! The financial support for Direct Relief’s efforts to provide life-changing medical aid to communities across the U.S. and around the world is critically important.
With your assistance, Direct Relief will make great progress toward fulfilling our commitment to maternal and child health. Each day, almost 800 women die in pregnancy or childbirth, with 99% of these women living in developing countries and almost entirely from preventable causes. Having skilled health care during pregnancy and childbirth is one of the best interventions to ensure safe births. Direct Relief supports midwife training programs and provides trained midwives in the most vulnerable communities around the world with the equipment they need to implement their life-saving skills.
Direct Relief’s partnership with the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation over the past fourteen years has resulted in thousands of people receiving critical medicines and supplies that they would not otherwise receive, and the success of this event will enable us to help even more people.
Again, please accept my deepest thanks for being part of this special occasion, making the evening such a terrific success, and making possible the important work that Direct Relief is privileged to do.
President and CEO
Guests were invited to spend their evening at the award-winning Bacara Resort & Spa. The resort is nestled on the bluff and beaches of the Gaviota coast between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains, offering relaxed luxury and breathtaking views for an unforgettable getaway in Santa Barbara.
Table sponsors enjoyed the company of two vintners as guests at their tables, and were poured special vintages and library wines from their cellars.
The Wine Auction featured carefully crafted, priceless experiences in food, wine, travel, and leisure to auction off to the highest bidder. The Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation curated silent and live auction lots with rare library wines and large-format bottles.
Click here to view the official Preview Catalog from the 2014 Santa Barbara Wine Auction’s Live, “Almost Live,” and Silent lots!
The 2014 sponsors of The Santa Barbara Wine Auction enjoyed extensive event publicity and recognition in the community and joined the movement to provide better health for people in need around the world.
Each level of table sponsorships came with many benefits, including tickets to the event, media coverage, ad placements in the official program book, and an exclusive Direct Relief field visit.
To request more information please contact Jennifer Kocian.