Renowned vintners and Southwest Florida chefs have come together to support the mission of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. through their involvement in The Grand Tasting at the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, taking place Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club. Vintners and chefs participating in The Grand Tasting will offer delectable wines and special bite-sized dishes for guests to enjoy as they mingle prior to the Live Auction. Tickets to the Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and to The Grand Tasting & Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 are still available and can be purchased by calling 239-433-4260 or visit www.swflwinefest.org.
During The Grand Tasting & Live Auction, guests will sip and savor luxurious wines poured by vintners hailing from Northern California’s wine country. Participating vintners include Williams Selyem Winery as the Honored Signature Vintner, Benovia Winery, Dakota Shy, Gamble Family Vineyards, Carter Cellars, Checkerboard Vineyards, Husic Vineyards, Saint Helena Winery, Revana, V Madrone Cellars and BRAND Napa Valley.
Guests will also indulge in extraordinary culinary creations from Southwest Florida’s premier chefs. Chefs participating in 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest include Nico Bogert, Monkey Bar Steak & Seafood; Ryan Cook, The Veranda; Cristof Danzi, Cristof’s on McGregor; Tim Duque, The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village; John Feagans, SS Hookers; Jason Grasty, Roy’s; Andrew Hunter, The Bayhouse; Andy Hyde, Chef Hyde Gourmet; Julian Lancrerot, Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club; Billy Mak, Blu Sushi; Keith Meyer, Trabue; Keith Nickerson, South Seas Island Resort; Brian Roland, Crave Culinaire; Thomas Sisson, South Seas Island Resort; Melissa Talmage, Sweet Melissa’s Café; and Anna Toole, Saboram.
“The 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest will feature phenomenal wine and culinary masterpieces that will create a fabulous afternoon for guests to enjoy, all thanks to the many generous vintners and chefs that are donating their time, talents and resources to making this year’s event a success,” said Art Cherry, trustee and wine committee chair for SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “We are very excited to offer such a unique selection of wines from the heart of wine country, while showcasing the best of our hometown’s flair for gastronomy, and we look forward to making a difference in the lives of the many young ones within our community.”
Following the Grand Tasting, guests will participate in the Live Auction, competing for the winning bid on a selection of 40 auction lots including exclusive getaways, delectable wine and culinary offerings and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, with all proceeds to benefit SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s beneficiaries, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University.
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. The nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the event 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, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. supports pediatric health care programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.