Los Olivos, Santa Barbara County, California—The public is invited to attend the fifth annual St. Mark’s Cellar Classic: An Auction of Rare & Fine Wines in the garden courtyard at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in downtown Los Olivos on Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. The Cellar Classic begins with a silent auction featuring wines and wine country-themed lifestyle items from 4:00-5:00 p.m. followed by a live auction of rare and fine wines such as Chateau Lafite Rothschild; Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, and California cult wines conducted by professional auctioneer John Glines. Throughout the Cellar Classic, guests enjoy Santa Barbara County wines and bountiful gourmet hors d’oeuvres and delectable desserts—all accompanied by live entertainment including festive selections from St. Mark’s own popular choir.
The Cellar Classic is coordinated by a dedicated all-volunteer committee led by Steve Pepe (co-owner of Clos Pepe Vineyards) and Brooks Firestone (founder of Firestone Wines and Curtis Winery) who are proud to announce that legendary wine author and consultant Steven Spurrier has been named the 2014 Honorary Chair. The British-born Spurrier was educated at the London School of Economics and joined the wine trade in 1964 as a trainee with Christopher and Co., London’s oldest wine merchant. In 1970, he moved to Paris and opened Les Caves de la Madeleine, a highly regarded specialist wine shop and in 1973, founded L’Academie du Vin, France’s first private wine school.
Spurrier staged the famous “Judgment of Paris” Tasting of 1976 when a Chateau Mont Helena Chardonnay and a Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon from California scored more highly than some of the Grand Cru wines of Burgundy and First Growths of Bordeaux. The 2008 movie Bottle Shock is based upon Spurrier’s event that positively changed how the world perceived California wines.
Spurrier sold his wine interests in France and returned to the UK in 1988, and is now director of The Christie’s Wine Course and consultant editor to Decanter magazine. He has received several international awards for wine writing and is a regular judge on the international wine tasting circuit.
Brooks Firestone remarked, “We are thrilled that Steven Spurrier will be visiting Los Olivos in June supporting St. Mark’s Cellar Classic and has agreed to serve as our Honorary Chair.” Steve Pepe added, “There will be a special pre-Cellar Classic reception welcoming Mr. Spurrier here on Friday, June 27, 2014 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. There will be a limited number of reservations available for this unique opportunity to meet and greet a legend in the world of wine.”
St. Mark’s Cellar Classic is always a sell-out since limited seating is available. The 2014 Auction admission is $125 per person including local wines for tasting, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment. Admission to the Friday evening reception with Steven Spurrier and Saturday’s Cellar Classic auction is $200 per person. Admission is only by advance reservation donation securely online at www.SMITV.org or by sending a check noted 2014 Cellar Classic donation to PO Box 39, Los Olivos, CA 93441. For questions, email info@SMITV.org To donate wine for the 2014 auction, contact Steve Pepe directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 805-735-7867.
All proceeds from St. Mark’s Cellar Classic support local community programs and organizations including the Lompoc Hospital Foundation, Marian Regional Medical Center Foundation, Marine Corps Scholarship Fund, St. Vincent de Paul’s Circle V Ranch Camp and the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation as well as more than 60 area organizations that utilize St. Mark’s meeting and event spaces at no charge—such as the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish congregation, recovery groups, Food Bank, Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale and Solvang Festival Theatre. According to St. Mark’s Rector Rev. Dr. Randall Day, “We also actively support the arts with free concerts, exhibitions of painting, photography and sculpture. Our Pre-school provides top-flight early childhood education. St. Mark’s embraces a spacious Christianity where there is room for absolutely everyone. All are invited to attend the Cellar Classic, a truly an exceptional community benefit event.”