Don Groundwater, Amanda Brewer and Robby Wooten fill their plates from the Gaia’s beautifully displayed buffet at the Wine and Dine for the Park benefit.

By Judy La Russa

The Palo Cedro Community Park’s “Celebration of North State Wines” on March 31, 2012 at the Gaia Event Center in Anderson exceeded all expectations with 361 people attending and raising an estimation of $20,000.

Performing as Master of Ceremonies, Results Radio operations manager Rick Healy did a great job by keeping the event flowing, while guests enjoyed the jazz music provided by The Pat Karch Trio.

The north state wineries participating included: Moseley Family Cellars, Lassen Peak Winery, Alpen Cellars, Burnsini Vineyards, Intermountain Vineyards and Winery, Matson Vineyards, Indian Peak Winery, Dakaro Cellars, R. Merlo Family Winery, Bertagna Son-Kissed Vineyards and Cedar Crest Winery. Shasta View Winery was invited but had to pull out at the last minute because of a family emergency.

Several of the winery’s owners made positive comments and were pleased with the large attendance. “This is by-far the best wine tasting event I have attended,” said Jim Livingston owner of Cedar Crest Vineyards. Marty Moseley, of Moseley Family Cellars, said, “What a fun evening! It was fun meeting so many great people and folks were so complimentary of our wines.”  Moseley wanted to thank the Palo Cedro Community Park for inviting him.

Gaia’s Woodside Grill Chef Gregory McChristian utilized his culinary skills to pair creative hors d’oeuvres with the local premium wines. “I tasted the wines from the twelve wineries and created appetizers to compliment them,” said Chef Greg.  Some of the pairings incorporated were— Clams with Shitake Mushrooms paired with a 2010 Chardonnay from Manton’s Cedar Crest Vineyards;  Smoked Salmon Lox with Feta Cheese on a Crostini paired with Cottonwood’s Burnsini Vineyard’s 2010 Sangiovese; Cheese Ravioli in a Gorgonzola Sauce paired with Chico’s Bertagna Son Kissed Vineyards’ 2007 Petite Syrah; Duck Sausage stuffed Mushroom with Brie Cheese paired with Redding’s Intermountain Vineyard’s Sweet Blackberry Wine; Baby Back Pork Ribs paired with Redding’s Matson Vineyards’ 2009 Zinfandel; or Ginger and Citrus Glazed Char-broiled Sea Scallops paired with Whitmore’s Dakaro 2010 California Viognier.

Guests were also provided with two buffet tables that included—an anti-pasta display; a crusted baked brie (with the park logo sculpted on the top), smoked trout, spanikopita, buffalo meatballs, gourmet cheese display (cheese spelled out Palo Cedro Community Park), chicken skewers and fruit display.

As guests mingled among the food fare they also placed bids on silent auction items donated by local businesses, many of which carried a wine theme. For a complete list of donors click here.

After the silent auction ended, party-goers went back to the main dining room  to devour desserts of chocolate truffles, petite fours and a variety of mini cheesecakes (the raspberry cheese cake was amazing) as announcements were made.

Then came the grand finale: the Live Auction with auctioneer Mark Lascelles. On the block were: a set of four tires donated by Tread Tech Tire Factory—bid $850 by Kenny Doelker;  24 tons of limestone rock donated by Mountain Gate Quarry—bid $1100 by Paul Lukaszewicz; a wine fountain partially donation by Jose Antonio—bid $550 by William Leonard; a South Lake Tahoe trip—bid $700 by Ben Mattox of Alpine Outfitters; a wine cooler—bid $600 by Steve Carlton; Hook’em Hecky’s guided Sacramento River fly fishing trip donated by Andy and Nancy Main—$500 by Susan Klopfer; a spa cover donated by Shasta Spa and BBQs—$350 by T. Zaharis; a tooth implant donated by Dr. Craig Schlie—$1100 by MD Sanders; Riverview Golf package donated by Riverview—bid $300; Lost Whale Inn-Trinidad trip—bid $700 by Kim Burns; Silverthorn Resort houseboat vacation donated by Silverthorn—bid $5500 by Dr. Craig Schlie. At the end Lascelles urged the crowd to support the park by bidding on “nothing at all,” saying this saves them the time and energy of having to pick up their prizes.

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