"CEO Collection" Among Unique Items at Wine Auction

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Celebration of Washington Wines
A dinner and auction benefiting Washington State University’s program in Viticulture & Enology
January 21, 2006 ▪ Chateau Ste. Michelle

NEWS RELEASE – September 23, 2005
For Information Cheri Brennan (Committee Volunteer), 425-957-0654
or Marcia Garrett (Executive Director, WSU West), 206-448-1330

“CEO Collection” Returns for Third Year at Wine Auction
To Benefit WSU’s Viticulture and Enology Program

SEATTLE, Wash. (Sept. 23, 2005) –Executives across the state are being asked to donate a bottle of one of their favorite Washington wines for a one-of-a-kind “CEO Collection” for the “Celebration of Washington Wines” auction. The event, to be held Jan. 21, 2006 at Chateau Ste. Michelle, benefits Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology program.

The “CEO Collection” returns for the third year. During the first two years the assortment, which includes large format bottles that retail for several hundred dollars and selections from private cellars, netted around $6,000 for the fund-raiser. Since its inception four years ago, the auction has raised more than a half-million dollars, with the proceeds used to fund 55 scholarships and to purchase much-needed equipment.

“Donors don’t need to have a connection to WSU – just a desire to support the state’s fast-growing wine industry,” remarked Nancy Harnasch, a CPA in Bellevue who is chairing the auction for the fifth year. In fact, she noted, last year’s donation included a bottle of “University of Washington President’s Select Merlot” donated by U.W. Regent Craig Cole of Brown & Cole Stores in Bellingham and inscribed by U.W. President Mark Emmert.

CEOs who aren’t wine collectors (or don’t want to part with a bottle from their cellar) but want to participate in the “CEO Collection” may place a phone order with Pete’s Wine Shop in Bellevue (425.454-1100).

Donations of other items may be made by contacting WSU West at 206-448-1330 or visiting the “Celebration of Washington Wines” website at www.wineauction.wsu.edu.

Wine enthusiasts are welcomed at the black tie event, which includes a reception, silent auction, dinner and live auction. Tickets are $175 per person and may be reserved by calling WSU West at 206-448-1330.

Washington State University created its Viticulture and Enology Program in response to industry research that underscored a need for skilled winemakers and vineyard managers for the state’s fast-growing wine industry. Drawing on its unique capabilities in research, teaching and extension, WSU is offering the program as a specialized Option in Viticulture and Enology within its existing Bachelor of Science in Horticulture degree program. The collaborative effort includes partnerships with four community colleges as well as support of the industry and the Washington Viticulture and Enology Consortium (www.wineducation.wsu.edu/).

Washington now ranks as the second largest premium wine producer in the United States. The industry’s total economic impact on the state is estimated to be $3 billion according to the Washington Wine Commission.