The 6th Annual Vino de Sueños (Wine of Dreams) benefit release celebration will be held November 2nd at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton, CA from 3-6 PM. The public is invited to attend and celebrate the work of farm and vineyard workers. Proceeds benefit the non-profit, People Helping People (PHP).
Dean Palius, Executive Director of PHP, said that farm and vineyard workers are a key ingredient in the economic health of Santa Barbara County. Palius said that the S.B. Agriculture Commission’s Office reported that in 2012, agriculture production was valued at $1.3 billion with wine grapes accounting for $91 million. “Agriculture is one of the few growth industries in the County and according to the CA Employment Development Department (EDD), it is also one of the few job creators,” stated Palius. “Unfortunately, farm work is one of the lower paid industries and PHP is often called on to assist these families meet basic needs for food, shelter and health care.”
Vino de Sueños successfully debuted in November of 2008 and was organized by a small group of local premium winemakers to specifically help farm and vineyard workers. PHP was selected as the beneficiary because of the large number of farm and vineyard workers they serve. Founding wineries were Alma Rosa, Buttonwood, Clos Pepé, Feliz Noché, Foxen, Longoria, and Presidio.
Vino de Sueños (VDS) is the brand name for People Helping People’s wine series released each year at the annual event. This year 13 of the best Santa Barbara County wineries have been selected to have wines bottled under the exclusive VDS label. These wines will be available for tasting and sale at the release celebration.
Becky Barieau, VDS event chair, said that, “we are very excited to announce our 2013 wineries: Alma Rosa, Buttonwood, Foxen, Longoria, Makor, Quail Crossing, Qupé, Rideau, Riverbench, Sanford, Standing Sun, Stolpman and Vogelzang.”
There will be individual wines for every taste and pocketbook including chardonnay, sauvignon banc, pinot gris, syrah, merlot, and pinot noir. Wines are expected to sell from $12 to $40 depending upon varietal and vintage and are discounted for this fundraising event. White wine and red wine 6-pack samplers and individual cases will be available for further discounted prices.
The Vino de Sueños event and sales are a fundraiser to benefit vineyard and farm workers through the auspices of People Helping People (PHP). PHP is a unique multi-program non-profit organization which helps families and individuals of limited means in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos Valleys by providing a wide range of services “under 1 roof.”
According to Barieau another unique aspect of the Vino de Sueños wines is that every year each winery’s VDS bottle label includes a reproduction of an original art piece. “We have been extremely blessed each year to have so many artists willing to contribute to this effort. Artist Karina Puente, who originated the ‘dream’ icon that appears on each Vino de Sueños bottle is returning for the sixth consecutive year and will be joined by other well known local artists to create special works of art to represent each wine.”
Joining Puente this year will be artists Jim Farnum, Kari Crist, Michelle Griffoul, Darby Holden, Christina Locascio, Rebecca Gomez, Ann McGee, Zoë Nathan, Suzan Hamilton Todd, and Seyburn Zorthian. Their VDS artworks will be available to guests via a silent auction at the event.
Kros Andrade, owner of UVA Design Studios and PHP Board Member, has once again volunteered for the task of translating each art piece into an eye catching label. Andrade has become well known in the Santa Barbara County Wine industry for his label designs and welcomes the challenge of working with a variety of art mediums and gifted artists to create what he calls “bottle art.” Andrade said that “the artist’s creations come in many shapes and sizes and my job is to create a label that does justice to the art but helps market the wine for People Helping People.”
What has resulted from the marriage of the winemakers and artist’s talents, Barieau says, “(I)s a series of wonderful wines with extraordinary labels that just jump off the bottle. These labels and the original works they represent are truly collectors’ items.”
In addition to the wine tasting, wine sale and art auction, the November 2nd release event will feature a silent auction of upscale lifestyle items including condos in Hawaii and Costa Rica, live music, and appetizer stations catered by four of the top chefs in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Tickets for Vino de Sueños are $50 each ($45 until October 4th), which includes a 14-ounce Vino de Sueños logo glass, and are now on sale. To buy tickets or to receive more information about the Vino de Sueños release celebration, go to the Vino de Sueños website at www.vinodesuenos.com or contact People Helping People at (805) 686-0295 or www.syvphp.org/events .