SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has named Barbara Banke, chairman and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines, as the Honored Signature Vintner of its annual signature fundraising event, the 2018 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. Representing Jackson Family Wines at this year’s Signature Vintner Dinner on Nov. 28, 2017, is Erik Ackerman, vice president of The Spire Collection, which is comprised of the most esteemed wineries from the Jackson Family portfolio. Barbara Banke will attend the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest in March as the event celebrates its 10th year.

“The Jackson family is well-known for their passion for philanthropy and education, and has been a longtime supporter of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. and champion for pediatric health care through their involvement in the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest,” said Bill Toler, trustee and vintner committee co-chair for SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “We are honored to have Barbara Banke join this year’s event as Honored Signature Vintner, and look forward to celebrating this special vintner’s unique offerings as we sip, savor and cheers to 10 years of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest.”

Founded in 1982 by wine pioneer Jess Jackson, today Jackson Family Wines is led by Jess’ wife and one of the wine industry’s top executives and innovators, Barbara Banke, and the Jackson Family. Based in Santa Rosa, California, Jackson Family Wines features more than 30 renowned vineyards and wineries in prestigious wine growing regions in California, Oregon, France, Italy, Australia, South Africa and Chile. With celebrated labels including Lokoya, Cardinale, Capensis, Hickinbotham, Galerie, La Jota, and Zena Crown, the wines of The Spire Collection express the unparalleled terroir from some of the finest vineyards within the Jackson Family’s portfolio, reflecting the family’s resounding commitment to quality and excellence.

The two-day 2018 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest includes Chef Vintner Dinners at private homes on Friday, March 2, followed by The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, March 3 at Quail West Golf and Country Club in Naples. For more information on this year’s Honored Signature Vintner, visit www.jacksonfamilywines.com. To learn more about the 2018 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised $18.7 million over the past nine years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The trustees and sponsors underwrite the event and the nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the auction proceeds to three primary local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the most significant beneficiary of the event, which provides health services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. grants funds to Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College to provide scholarships and equipment to educate the community’s next generation of pediatric health care professionals, and is considering grants to other children’s causes in Southwest Florida from 2018 proceeds. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.