Naples, FL Top One-Day Charity Event Set to Start This Week

Naples Winter Wine Festival 2006: World Famous Chefs, Vintners, Travel, and Cars

NAPLES, FL — (MARKET WIRE) — 01/24/2006 — The vision is simple; to make a profound and sustaining difference in the quality of life of children in Southwest Florida. The mission is imperative; to support charitable and educational programs that improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged or at risk children. The event is astonishing; the most successful charity wine auction in the world!

Established in 2000, The Naples Children and Education Foundation set forth with a vision and mission that soon created a world recognized event to help local children, The Naples Winter Wine Festival. The Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised more than $26.6 million, in just five years, to support the advancement of local charities to better serve the children of Collier County.

Like so many other charitable events, the Naples Winter Wine Festival began as a mere conversation among friends, in this case, who wanted to make difference in the lives of the kids in the community and have fun doing it! As the sixth annual event approaches on January 27-29, 2006, Naples has drawn national attention and everyone is asking how it is being done. The answer is basic; amazing things happen when good people get together for those in need.

In November, 2006, The Naples Children and Education Foundation announced it had been awarded with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service awarded by Kin Long, Director of Fun Time Nursery, who nominated the organization and represents one of the twenty-two local charities who receive grants each year.

Established in 2003, the PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE Award is available on an annual basis to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering.

This year’s event once again will offer rare and exclusives wines, auction lots with breath-taking travel packages, including several luxurious private yachts and private dinners with world renowned chefs. In addition this year, one lucky person may win the ultimate raffle prize — a one of a kind custom designed 2006 Rolls Royce Chardonnay Phantom exclusively commissioned for the benefit of the Naples Children and Education Foundation. A very special 9-liter bottle of 2003 Hartford Court Seascape Chardonnay engraved with a memorable rendition of this special car sweetens the deal.

“Never before has an item created as much buzz so quickly as the Chardonnay Phantom,” said Grace Evenstad, Oregon vintner and Chairman of the 2006 Festival. “This to-die-for automobile features an array of amenities sure to grab attention of wine lovers world-wide,” she said. Invited guests to the Naples Winter Wine Festival may take a chance to win the customized car for $5,000 per raffle ticket.

Over 500 Festival attendees will delight to the world-class vintners coming from all over the world including Napa Valley, Argentina, Italy and France. Some of the vintners featured this year include first time vintner participant, Ann-Caroline Biancheri & Geraldo Cartellone (Antucura) Argentina, Salvatore Ferragamo (II Borro), California, Jean Berchon (Dom Perignon), France, Grace & Ken Evenstad (Domaine Serene), Oregon, Shari & Garen Staglin (Staglin Family Vineyard), California and Ann & Dick Grace(Grace Family Vineyards), California. Marchese Ferdinando, Vice President of the Frescobaldi family holdings will be a participating vintner as well. He was the first Italian wine producer to form a joint partnership with the American wine growers, the Robert Mondavi family. The resulting collaboration yielded the critically acclaimed Luce e Lucente, becoming one of the famous Super Tuscans. Also featured will be Bill and Deborah Harlan from the Harlan Estate, Napa Valley, whose Harlan Estate 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 are the only California wines in the legendary cellars of Paris’ 3-star Le Cinq restaurant.

Other highlights for the 2006 Naples Winter Wine Festival include world famous chef and three time Emmy Award nominee, Emeril Lagasse, known the world over to millions of food-loving people who tune into his shows. He first learned to cook while watching his mother, Hilda, but soon moved on to Johnson and Wales University and then to Paris where he mastered the art of classic French cuisine. Also present this year is Charlie Palmer of Aureole in Manhattan, who was awarded “Best Chef 1997″ from the James Beard Foundation and is known for his “progressive American” style which combines the best concepts of French technique with premier regional foods. Selected by Esquire Magazine as “Chef of the Year” in 2001, Chef/Owner Shawn McClain of Spring in Chicago was also named the “Rising Star Chef of the Year” in 2002 at the Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence. His cooking style juxtaposes Eastern influence into Western foundations. Making her first appearance at the Festival will be Michelle Bernstein, regarded as one of America’s most innovative chefs. Bernstein known for her cooking show, “Melting Pot,” creates “new American” cuisine which emphasizes healthy, luxurious food, using the freshest ingredients. Her Latin background also plays an important part in the imaginative menu creations found at Bernstein’s restaurant, MB, in Cancun.

The words “fine” and “rare” are paled by some of the wine lots which are part of this year’s festival. A Chateau Petrus lot called Intelligent Design. The lot includes twelve 750 ml 1989 Chateau Petrus, one of the hardest to come by wines in the world and rated five-star from Michael Broadbent, as well as a 100-point review from both the Wine Spectator and the Wine Advocate. In addition to this extraordinary case of liquid perfection, is an equally rare opportunity to visit the Chateau and the vineyard responsible for crafting this masterpiece with a private tour and tasting of the facilities at Chateau Petrus.

Wine Lots with travel itineraries that cannot be bought also abound this year. Ann-Caroline Biancheri & Gerado Cartellone from Antucura, Argentina will host a trip to Argentina to visit Mendoza, Patagonia and Buenos Aires. An Italian wine fantasy called Of Wine and War donated by Marchesi de Frescobaldi, features a trip to Florence, Italy with trips to Abbazia de Monte, Oliveto Maggoire and private guided tours and tastings of Caselgiocondo and the Luce vineyards is also one sure to get the bidding high.

Exotic non-wine lots this year include yachting trips to the Galapagos Islands and Mediterranean, along with a sailing trip to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. One lucky bidder will win one of the top-travel lots, a trip to South Africa to the Kapama Private Game Reserve hosted by Johan Krick. A once in a lifetime adventure!

The Naples Winter Wine Festival, by raising more than $26.6 million benefiting local children’s charities, has quickly become the world’s top charity wine festival with fine wine, fine food and a fine future for the children of Collier County. Some of the charities that have been recipients include Youth Haven, Naples Equestrian Challenge, The Ricky King Fund, YMCA, and the Boys and Girls Club. This year’s event, with the impressive array of chefs, vintners, wine collectors, top auction lots and celebrities, will continue the tradition.

For additional information call toll-free at (888) 837-4919 or (239) 514-2239 or visit www.napleswinefestival.com

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