“Many of us on the WOPN Board of Directors knew Michael personally and are proud to be a part of his Foundation’s role in providing financial assistance to the next generation of grape growers and winemakers,” says Molly Bohlman, the World of Pinot Noir Board President.

The endowment was created in the memory of Michael Bonaccorsi, considered among California’s most gifted and passionate young winemakers. The endowment was developed in response to the overwhelming reaction of friends and wine professionals interested in creating a lasting memorial to the man who generously shared his knowledge and talents throughout his brilliant, yet tragically short career.

The WOPN Silent Auction takes place at the Friday Focus Tasting and Saturday Grand Tasting between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the main tent on The Cliffs Resort Property. The Silent Auction is only open to guests attending the World of Pinot Noir Tastings. In addition to individual large format bottles the auction will also feature 6-bottle lots from these select Pinot Noir regions: Oregon, Santa Lucia Highlands, Sta. Rita Hills, Russian River Valley, Chile, and Carneros.

Michael Bonaccorsi was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1960. By the age of twenty-one, he knew he wanted to be a winemaker. He moved out to San Francisco to be closer to the California wine country, his first job as a stock boy at a wine shop. After a short time selling wine for a distributor, he enrolled in a three-year course of study and exams in order to become the twentieth American to be awarded the Master Sommelier Diploma. Michael worked as a sommelier and director of wine at a number of prestigious restaurants in San Francisco and Los Angeles including Masa’s Restaurant, Cypress Club, Zola’s and Spago Restaurant. He and his wife Jenne Lee founded the Bonaccorsi Wine Company in 1999.

Scholarships are a key component of the Allan Hancock College’s Department of Viticulture and Enology’s teaching programs, providing a vital stepping stone for students pursuing careers in the California wine industry.

World of Pinot Noir features a stellar lineup of seminars, panelists, winemaker dinners, and tasting sessions showcasing Pinot Noir. More than 1,700 guests attend the event that is held annually during the first weekend in March at The Cliffs Resort and Dolphin Bay Resort in Shell Beach, CA.

Tickets are available at www.wopn.com or by calling # 805-489-1758.


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