Montesquieu Winery Updates: Hearts and Wine Overflow for the Children of St. Jude
May 24, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
Members of our Montesquieu Winery team recently returned from Las Vegas where we participated in the second annual fundraiser for the Las Vegas Chapter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Saturday May 21, 2011 at the Mandarin Oriental.
The elegant red carpet gala, “An Affair of the Heart” was a huge success, bringing in an unprecedented amount for this chapter benefitting the children of St. Jude. We saw generous support and enthusiasm all around by the well-heeled attendees, artists, and volunteers—all engaging each other while enjoying colorful artwork, our elegant wines, lovely cuisine and a wide variety of entertainment.
There were hearts all around, from whimsical spun-sugar heart centerpieces, to impressive five-foot heart sculptures and several smaller versions, each one custom created by a professional local artist. The sculptures were auctioned off during the live portion of the program.
The most noticeable heart in the room by far was the crowd, showing an outpouring of generous support with especially animated activity during the live auction. Local artist Niki Sands created a heart that brought in $20,000 for St. Jude. We were honored to be a vital part of the live auction, with our two donated lots bringing in over $12,000 for the children of St. Jude.
It’s no secret that fine wine and fine art is a perfect match. This was reflected in the very active bidding for our exclusive collections, which we put together especially for the event. Our first auction donation was the opening of the live auction—the Ultimate Heidi Barrett Napa Valley Experience. This lot included one Jeroboam of 2005 Vin Perdu, one Magnum of 2008 Au Sommet, and an exclusive VIP tasting for 4 with the “Queen of Napa” herself, Heidi Barrett at the private estate of Au Sommet high atop Atlas Peak in Napa Valley. Needless to say this was highly coveted!
Our next auction donation was the Connoisseur Collection—comprised of thirty perfectly cellared masterpieces consisting of some of the rarest and most collectible wine in the world, including First Growth Bordeaux, Grand Cru Burgundy and Cult Napa Cabernet. A grand collection, this was positioned as the last item of the evening, and it did not disappoint!
Additionally, as the exclusive wine donors of the event, we were delighted to provide wines for the reception and dinner. Our 2005 DeHours Grand Vintage Champagne was the perfect start to the evening—a single-vineyard beauty from fourth generation winemaker Jerome DeHours who is intent on very small-production and the ultimate expression of terroir. Our 2006 Renaud Vaillons Chablis was superb with the Tuna Carpaccio ‘Nicoise’, and our 2007 Montesquieu Derenoncourt Meritage was the crowning touch to the dinner with its flagship flair and luxurious texture a perfect match for the slow-braised shirt ribs with caramelized endive and port-glazed shallots.
St. Jude is known around the world for its leading research and treatment of children with cancer and other major diseases. The statistics are impressive. St. Jude has developed protocols that helped bring overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to over 80 percent today! Additionally no child is ever turned away because of the family’s inability to pay, plus the valuable findings are shared freely with doctors and scientists all over the world.
These are truly outstanding statistics, but what brings it home is hearing first-hand from a child whose life has been saved by St. Jude. A grateful Mom spoke about being turned away at 2 different hospitals, being told there was nothing that could be done to help her son. Next they turned to St. Jude and were given hope and treatment that has saved the life of her son. He then went on to sing a precious song for us, putting everything into perspective. Serious pull on the heartstrings to see a mother and son who have been helped by this great organization, and to know that somehow your efforts help in the crusade to save children’s lives.
It was extremely rewarding to be a vital part of the evening’s fundraising efforts, with the added pleasure of being surrounded by fellow wine lovers with generous hearts. Congratulations St. Jude for an evening that brought out the best in everyone, highlighted by the art of living well!