2015 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest logo

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is pleased to announce the hosts of the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest’s Chef Vintner Dinners. At the Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26, the hosts will wine and dine guests with the help of distinguished vintners and local chefs. Each host will present a uniquely themed dinner for guests to enjoy, paired with select wines from participating vintners. Nine extraordinary dinners will kick off the weekend of gracious giving, and each dinner will offer guests a creative and entertaining experience.

“Magnolias Over Miromar” will be hosted by Don and Cathy Canterna in partnership with Stephen and Amy Sanford in Miromar Lakes. The wine will flow thanks to the vintner of this themed dinner, Husic Vineyards. Dinner will be presented by the talented Chef John Philips of CaterMasters, Inc. Guests of this exclusive evening are encouraged to attend in cocktail attire.

“Red Velvet Speakeasy” will be presented by hosts Bob and Shirlene Elkins with Patrick and Brook Denson at the Audubon in Naples. The vintner for the evening will be Revana Estate Vineyard, and culinary masterpieces will be provided by Chef Jeremy Houston of The Capital Grille. The evening will be 1920s – 1930s sassy flapper attire.

Hosts Scott and Mary Fischer will present “Bikers, Blues & Benovia” at their waterfront home within the Palmetto Point community in Fort Myers. Benovia Winery will be the appointed vintner for the biker-themed evening. Chef Harold Balink of Harold’s will present the dinner for guests of this exclusive Chef Vintner Dinner. Guests are encouraged to break out their dressy denim and leather and join the Fischer’s for an entertaining evening featuring a live blues band and other exciting performances.

“Red, White & Blue” will be presented by Franz and Ute Rosinus in partnership with Bjorn and Kristin Rosinus at The Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort in Naples. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a delectable wine experience, presented by the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest’s 2016 Honored Signature Vintner, Williams Selyem Winery. Chef George Fistrovich will be offering his culinary expertise for the evening. This Chef Vintner Dinner will include cocktail, jacket and tie attire.

“Coconut Grove” will be hosted by Dr. Shari Skinner and Brian Kelley at their riverfront home off Iona in South Fort Myers. The renowned Saint Helena Winery will present the wines for the evening, and dinner will be created by talented Chef Todd Johnson of Rumrunners. Guests are invited to dress in casual tropics for this island-themed dinner.

Guests in the gambling spirit are invited to join the fun with “Feelin’ Lucky with Gamble,” hosted by Jason and Kelly Stephens with Bev and Art Cherry at Royal Harbor on Naples Bay. Gamble Family Vineyards will serve as the vintner, and dinner will be presented by Bob Boye of Cru. Attuned to the evening’s theme, guest are encouraged to dress Monte Carlo glam.

“Nashville Nights” will be presented by hosts Don and Andie Vogt at their home in Palmetto Point in Fort Myers. Checkerboard Vineyards will pour the wine for guests to enjoy, and a delicious meal will be created by Chef Gloria Jordan of Gloria’s La Trattoria Café Napoli. The evening will be country cocktail attire.

Hosts Rob Wilson and Rio DeArmond will present “Miami Vice” at their home within the Coquina Sands community in Naples. With wines provided by Dakota Shy, and an exclusive menu prepared by Chef Brian Roland of Crave Culinaire, guests will enjoy a posh and sophisticated 1980s evening, with attire to match the special theme.

Tim Youngquist and Sandy Stilwell have partnered with Dave and Cheryl Copham to present an evening of “Enthusiastík Magík” in the St. Charles Harbour community in Fort Myers. Carter Cellars, Envy Wines and Ancillary Cellars have joined to bring an exclusive vintner experience to the guests and Chef Andrew Hunter of The Bay House will demonstrate his culinary expertise at this cocktail attire evening.

In addition to the private Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26, the two-day 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest includes The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

The SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised and donated $12.8 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. SWFL Children’s Charities donates 100 percent of its proceeds to three local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, the SWFL Children’s Charities supports healthcare programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.