John Popper and Ben Wilson of Blues Traveler to perform at the Winemaker Gala on August 15th!

Just announced! John Popper, known for his unique vocal sound and harmonica skills, and Ben Wilson, the man behind the ivories, will be making their way to the big tent at the Auction of Washington Wines for an exclusive performance on Saturday, August 15th. Blues Traveler released their 12th album, “Blow Up the Moon,” this past April. Tickets to the Winemaker Gala are $500 per person and seating is limited.

Portland El Gaucho Dinner

El Gaucho Hosts DeLille Legacy Winemaker Dinner

Six of Washington State’s Acclaimed Vintners Honor DeLille Cellars’ Chris Upchurch

PORTLAND, OR – June 11, 2015 – On June 10th, El Gaucho Portland was the site for an evening of celebration, reflection and fine wine and cuisine, as six of Washington State’s premier winemakers came together to honor the leadership and innovation of DeLille Cellars and its Co-Founder and Executive Winemaker, Chris Upchurch.

DeLille Cellars has been honored by the Auction of Washington Wines as the 2015 Vintner of the Year. Chris Upchurch mentored and created career-launching opportunities for numerous apprentice winemakers including Chris Peterson of Avennia, Lisa Baer of Baer Winery, Louis Skinner of Betz Winery, Jason Gorski of DeLille Cellars, and Kit Singh of Lauren Ashton Cellars.

“I am frequently asked if I mind that some of our top people have moved on to other wineries,” said Chris Upchurch, Co-Founder and Executive Winemaker, DeLille Cellars. “On the contrary – I am thrilled that DeLille has set the bar for helping create great Washington State winemakers.”

These six vintners joined together with El Gaucho Portland Executive Chef Steve Cain to produce a one of a kind 5-course winemaker dinner event. They were joined by emcee Andy Perdue, noted columnist for the Seattle Times and Auction of Washington Wines 2015 Honorary Chair. 100 guests gathered to toast the leadership of DeLille Cellars, the contributions of Chris Upchurch and savor a special menu paired with exceptional wines.

“El Gaucho was proud to host a spectacular evening celebrating Chris’ and DeLille’s heritage, while raising a glass to the future of the Washington wine industry,” said Chad Mackay, President and COO, El Gaucho Hospitality

The catalyst for this event is the non-profit organization, Auction of Washington Wines, whose mission is to promote Washington wine, while raising money to provide financial support for uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The organization also generously invests in viticulture and enology research and education in Washington State and has raised more than $30 million since 1988.

DeLille was named the 2015 Vintner of the Year due to their leadership and the impact they have made on the Washington wine. “Each year the Auction of Washington Wines recognizes a vintner who has shown leadership in our industry, not only through their commitment to produce quality wines that represent our region, but also through their endeavor to educate others about our region,” says Sherri Swingle, Director of the Auction of Washington Wines.

Winemaker Quotes from the El Gaucho Gridiron Blog and Event Photographs Photos of the event are available here. Full text of the quotes are here

Chris Peterson, Avennia
“Chris always wanted to do the best for the wine, and was against compromising quality for any reason. He was also about ‘less is more’ in the cellar. ‘Don’t do things to the wines that you don’t need to,’ he would say. It was pretty hands-off winemaking. If anything, I’ve tried to take that a step further with Avennia, but I gained confidence in the theory there.”

Lisa Baer, Baer Winery

“Woodinville is such a collegial wine community, and Chris has generously fostered the growth of this group of wineries to the benefit of us all.”

Louis Skinner, Betz Winery
“We are kindred spirits, as we both have a background in wine retail sales and have weeded through the vast world of wine, and concentrate only on the very best. The search for the greatest bottles of wine is top priority in our lives, and this carries over into our winemaking philosophies.”

Jason Gorski, DeLille Cellars
“He always dares to be extraordinarily ambitious – he teaches that if we are going to do something, we are going to do it right in every way, and endeavor to be world-class. This spirit is completely contagious.”

Kit Singh, Lauren Ashton Cellars
“Chris taught me that you find an audience for your wine – people that like your style. I respect how Chris has shaped Washington wine and has had an influence on many other wineries that way.”

El Gaucho® is the Northwest’s steakhouse legacy focused on elegant, old-school, tableside service for people celebrating their lives. The menu highlights 28-Day Dry-Aged Certified Angus Beef® brand

Prime steaks and cutting-edge fresh seafood selections, all prepared in the wide open exhibition kitchen over flaming charcoal grills. Visit the legendary steakhouse in Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, or Portland. Enjoy fresh seafood and panoramic views of Seattle’s waterfront at the steakhouse’s sister restaurant, AQUA by El Gaucho.

For overnight accommodations, visit the Inn at El Gaucho, located directly above El Gaucho Seattle in bustling Belltown.

For more information, please visit www.elgaucho.com ###

Media Contact:

Beth Herrell Silverberg 206-352-1450 x177 bsilverberg@elgaucho.com

Calling All Florida Friends

Auction of Washington Wines is headed south to make new friends and share some great wines. If you are in the area, please join us at two upcoming private events.

Reidel Tasting to be held at Boca Woods Country Club on Tuesday, April 28th at 7:00pm hosted by Tom and Teri Ferraro. Taste Erath Pinot Noir and special wines from J. Bookwalter Winery and take home your own set of Reidels.

Wine Dinner at Shula’s in Miami Lakes on Wednesday, April 29th at 6:30pm, featuring J. Bookwalter Winery. Limited seating is available. Tickets are $100 per person and reservations can be made by emailing rboesch@ciemail.com or calling 305.820.8136.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Auction of Washington Wines Names Doug Dorton Director of Development and Partnerships

Auction of Washington Wines Names Doug Dorton Director of Development and Partnerships

Doug Dorton, Director of Development and Partnerships, Auction of Washington Wines

SEATTLE—March 27, 2015—The Auction of Washington Wines announces Doug Dorton has been named Director of Development and Partnerships. Dorton’s responsibilities include strategic planning for donor and audience development and the recruitment of business partners and consumers with a passion for wine.

Dorton will be working under the direction of interim Executive Director Sherri Swingle, and alongside Event Director Melissa Pederson to execute this year’s annual event. His role is new as the organization works to increase their fundraising goals and build increased awareness of our mission within the immediate community as well as outside the region.

“We are thrilled to add Doug Dorton to our team at Auction of Washington wines,” said Sam Baker, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Auction of Washington Wines. “He brings extensive project management experience and a passion and enthusiasm for the Washington wine industry that will help propel this organization towards our big goals.”

Dorton has more than 15 years of experience marketing global brands and supporting non-profit organizations. He was most recently on the Business Leadership team at Slalom Consulting where he worked with AT&T and Providence Health & Services. Previously, Dorton was a Senior Brand Solutions Manager with Microsoft where he partnered with top-tier companies including Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, Kraft Foods, Toyota and Delta Air Lines. He spent three years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a Network Specialists, served as a member of the Board of Directors for PAWS and has been active on the Marketing Committee for the Auction of Washington Wines.

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The Auction of Washington Wines is committed to supporting the growth and awareness of the Washington state wine industry through a series of celebrated events.

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