Vintner Fred Brander To Be Honored At 2018 Santa Barbara Wine Auction

Santa Barbara, Calif., May 13, 2017 – The Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation is pleased to announce that vintner Fred Brander will be an honoree at the 2018 Santa Barbara Wine Auction to be held February 17, 2018 at Bacara Resort and Spa. Fred Brander, of The Brander Vineyard, will be honored as Vintner of the Year for his vision and dedication in identifying, developing and promoting Santa Barbara County as a premier wine region at the biennial gala event benefiting local medical relief organization Direct Relief.

A pioneer vintner in the Santa Barbara County, Fred Brander was born and raised in Buenos Aires, and later emigrated with his family to the US, settling in Santa Barbara. Upon graduation from UC Davis with a master’s degree in food science with an enology emphasis, he convinced his family to plant a vineyard near the eastern end of the Santa Ynez Valley, which he identified as having a climate and soils suited to Bordeaux grape varieties. He bet on Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, a combination that has put Brander Vineyard on the map of top producers in the state.

For the past four decades, Mr. Brander has continued to promote the advantageous attributes of Santa Barbara County as a wine growing region. Most recently he led the drive to identify the distinguishing features in the section of the Santa Ynez Valley, bordered by Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA to the east and Ballard Canyon AVA to the west, which qualify the region as a separate viticulture area. His petition to the federal government was approved and in February of 2016 the Los Olivos District AVA was established.

The presentation of the honoree award will cap the evening’s festivities, which include both live and silent auctions offering dozens of unique auction lots including once-in-a-lifetime wine, dining and travel experiences. To sponsor a dinner table in support of Direct Relief, please contact Jen Jones at

As the Santa Barbara Vintners charitable “arm,” the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation has gifted more than $4 million toward Direct Relief’s efforts since 2000. Among other things, SBVF funding helped launch Direct Relief USA, now the largest charitable medicines program in the United States operating in all 50 States, and supports programs for Maternal and Child Health throughout the developing world, ensuring more trained midwives are properly equipped, expanding emergency obstetric care in high-need areas, and supporting life-restoring surgeries for women.

About Direct Relief
Direct Relief is a leading medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and in 70 countries. It works with more than 1,000 health clinics across the U.S. to assist in emergencies and an ongoing basis, providing them with free medications for people in need. Most recently, Direct Relief has committed an initial $200,000 in cash and made available $32 million in medical resources for relief and recovery efforts in Colombia and Peru, where historic flooding and mudslides have claimed hundreds of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more. This follows several emergency air shipments of medical aid totaling $7.8 million and 38 tons. Direct Relief has received top charity ratings, including four-star and “top-notch” from Charity Navigator, a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine, and Fast Company ranks Direct Relief among the world’s 10 most innovative nonprofits for its use of mapping technology in response to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

About the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation
The Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation is the charitable umbrella under which Santa Barbara Vintners conducts its philanthropic work. Through the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation, Santa Barbara Vintners contributes to the community through local charitable, art and educational and scholarship organizations with proceeds from its various events.
A sustainable vineyard. A sustainable community. A sustainable world. On a strong foundation.


Sherrill O'Neill
Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation


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