Ninth annual gala benefits wine programs

The ninth annual “Celebrate Washington Wine” gala dinner and auction to benefit the WSU Viticulture and Enology Program is set to occur on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010.

To date, the annual black-tie event has netted more than $1 million to help build the WSU program that provides scientific research to support the growing wine industry in Washington and educates the next generation of winemakers and grape growers.

The event is held at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, and is known for the intimate setting and the unique and diverse selection of items, adventures and experiences offered in both silent and live auctions.

Popular items in past auctions have included an acrobatic flight over Puget Sound in a classic biplane, dinner for 10 in the Boeing suite at the historic Fairmont hotel in Seattle hosted by the president of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, golf trips, international travel, and exclusive dinners and wine tasting events.

For wine lovers, the popular CEO Collection, cases comprised of Washington wine favorites donated by business and community leaders, will be back for the 2010 auction. New this year will be the Women in Wine Collection, comprised of wines donated by women in the winemaking and grape growing business as well as by women who are business and community leaders.

Also being added this year is an online auction and the ability to donate items to the auction via the Web site.

The event has sold out in past years so early registration is recommended. Tickets are $250 each, or $2,500 to sponsor 10 at a table.

Online registration and more information, including details on how to donate auction items or become an event sponsor, are available at http://www.wineauction.wsu.edu.

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