Wine society ends three decades of education with a November 8 fundraiser dinner for the Clore Center.
During its run of more than 35 years, the non-profit group that became known as the Seattle Wine Society helped found the Auction of Northwest Wines and organized an annual wine judging competition for Northwest wines. A dinner on November 8 will mark its 2012 closure and raise funds for the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center.
The event will be held at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, Washington. Speakers include Ted Baseler, CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Brian Carter, winemaker of Brian Carter Cellars, Myron Redford, president of Amity Vineyards, and Allen Shoup, founder of Long Shadows, a collection of wineries. The Society will donate proceeds from the dinner to the historical exhibit at the Clore Center in Prosser, Washington.
The volunteer Enological Society of the Pacific Northwest was started in 1975 to educate wine and food enthusiasts. In the mid-1980s, the society, together with other chapters in Washington State, boasted membership of nearly 3,000. Chapters held monthly meetings, providing educational programs balanced with social pleasure.
In 1976, it inaugurated an annual judging of Northwest wines that continued for 30 years called the Northwest Wine Festival and became an important wine competition for Northwest wineries.
The Society also served as a founding sponsor of the first Auction of Northwest Wines in 1988 and helped raise $20,000 to benefit the uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The auction has grown into the region’s largest charity wine event and celebrated 25 years in August. The 2012 auction raised a record $2.1 million for the hospital and Washington State University’s viticulture and enology program.
In giving the reason for its closure, the Society’s website states, “The Society has had a long and fruitful 37 year history, creating a myriad of events that featured wines of the world, and in particular, those of the Pacific Northwest. With the rapid growth and maturation of the wine industry, opportunities for consumers to participate in wine experiences now abound. As part of that evolution, what the Society did for wine consumers in the past has now been overtaken by the marketing prowess of the wine, food, and hospitality industries.”
For information about the November 8 dinner, visit the Society’s web site.