Hospice of Sonoma: Pinot Noir, Brice Jones and the way things work
You see a lot of events in Wine Country that seem utterly the same. The reason they seem that way is because they probably are.
But, before we get our panties in a bunch about sameness, it’s important to realize that some formats for celebrations and events just work. And they work well. The Charitable Wine Auction is a perfect example. It works like this:
1. There is an organization that needs to raise funds to operate
2. One or two committed individuals take it upon themselves to organize an auction event to help
3. A theme for the event is chosen
4. Sponsors who are willing to pony up goods, services and cash are brought on board
5. Wineries are brought in to donate auction lots
6. Community members that support the cause join in the effort
7. Supporters of the cause, their friends and the community buy tickets to the event
8. A good auctioneer helps develop the catalog and the format of the auction
9. The event is pulled off and the organization is supported.
Here in Sonoma County Brice Jones is the person who often shows up around point #2.
Brice was the former owner of Sonoma Cutrer Winery. He left that very successful winery and started Goldridge, a Pinot winery in Western Sonoma County. While with Sonoma-Cutrer Jones was the driving force behind the World Croquet Championship & Auction that raised millions of dollars over 17 years for numerous organizations. He left the World Croquet Championship behind when he left behind Sonoma Cutrer. However, he did not leave behind his commitment to helping.
In 2003 Jones founded the Hospices of Sonoma Barrel Auction to raise funds for WCC, an organization that provides housing to families with infants and children in neo-natal and pediatric care units of Sonoma County hospitals. Over $200,000 was raised that first year and the event made headlines in Sonoma.
The 2006 Hospice of Sonoma Barrel Auction features Sonoma County Pinot Noir producers and their most recent vintage of Pinot Noir. The event is based on the famed Hospices du Beaune auction in Beaune, France that plays a key role in setting prices for Burgundy wines.
The 2006 Hospices of Sonoma Barrel Auction takes place over three days, May 19 to 21
May 19, Friday:
-An Opening Night meal featuring current and past vintages from numerous Sonoma County Pinot producers with the winemakers rotating around the tables with each course.
May 20, Saturday
Barrel Tasting and Barrel Auction of unique Pinot Noir lots.
May 21, Sunday
La Paulee Garden Luncheon. The Tancer and Sterling Families of Iron Horse Vineyards, along with numerous Pinot producers, host this lunch on the grounds of Iron Horse Vineyards in Green Valley.
Among the wineries set to participate this years are"
Patz & Hall
I’ve had the chance to meet Brice Jones a couple times. The man is force of nature when he decides to do something. The Hospice of Sonoma Barrel Auction will grow into something very successful if he wants it to. And he’ll raise a ton of money for WCC.
However, clearly the funds will be raised for WCC via the auction. Tickets to all three days of the event, including two meals as well as the barrel tasting and auction, are only $400. That is a steal.
If you live anywhere in the vicinity of Sonoma County, this is an event your really should attend.