First Press Wine Auction Celebrates Seven Years of Wine and the Culinary Arts

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The First Press Wine Auction celebrates seven years of wine and the culinary arts. This two-night wine and culinary arts celebration is recognized as the premier wine event in the southwest and is being held on November 7 and 8 in both Scottsdale and Phoenix. Both evenings feature rare and fine wines, gourmet food, exceptional vintner experiences and celebrity chefs. The silent and live auctions feature lifestyle experiences, top chef experiences, art, jewelry, and rare wines.

First Press Weekend of Wine

I have attended First Press for the past several years and am flattered to have been asked to serve as the honorary chair for 2008. PlumpJack is looking forward to being a dynamic part of this fun and exciting benefit auction which supports public radio in Phoenix.

The 2008 First Press Weekend of Wine scheduled for November 7 and 8 in Scottsdale and Phoenix features new venues, outstanding wine makers, and acclaimed chefs. This year the First Press Grand Tasting has moved to Scottsdale's hip and modern Hotel Valley Ho, and the First Press Fine Wine Auction will be at the famed Frank Lloyd Wright influenced Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa.

The wine bottles are uncorked on Friday, November 7 at the First Press Grand Tasting event where guests will have the opportunity to taste more than 100 wines from around the globe. Held at the Hotel Valley Ho, one of the trendiest spots in Scottsdale, the event will feature visiting winemakers from Justin Vineyards & Winery, Rudd Vineyards and ZD Wines, along with celebrity chefs Chuck Wiley of the Hotel Valley Ho and Aaron May of Sol y Sombra. Hosted wine tastings and tantalizing gourmet hors d'oeuvres and dessert stations will be featured. Sommelier and charity auctioneer Tom DiNardo encourages event guests to show their support for the event beneficiary, Friends of Public Radio, by bidding often and generously at this event's featured charity wine auction. Tickets start at $95. A special First Press Grand Tasting room rate of $199 is available by calling 866-882-4484.

Saturday's First Press Wine Auction & Gala, presented by Molina Fine Jewelers, has distinguished itself as one of the premier celebrations of fine and rare wines in the nation. Now in its seventh year, this lively evening boasts vintner hosted tables, gourmet dining with wine pairings, a wine themed silent auction, and a 30 lot live auction featuring rare and fine wines, winemaker tour and exotic travel packages, top chef experiences, art and jewelry. Charity auctioneer Tom DiNardo will preside over this evening's charity auction. Hosted vintner tables are $7,500. Individual tickets are available for $500. The First Press room rate of $249 is available by calling 800-950-2575.

John Conover, partner and general manager of PlumpJack Winery, is the 2008 First Press Honorary Chair. Upon accepting the invitation to chair the event, he said, "I have attended First Press for the past several years and am flattered to have been asked to serve as the honorary chair for 2008. PlumpJack is looking forward to being a dynamic part of this fun and exciting benefit auction which supports public radio in Phoenix."

Tom DiNardo is the founder of DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers, and the only charity auctioneer in the nation to become a sommelier diplomate. Tom holds five world records for the price of wine sold at auction, and he is also a certified master wine appraiser, wine educator and wine writer. "It is an honor to be this year's First Press benefit auctioneer. This prestigious food and wine event has established a fine tradition of philanthropy in its generous support of public radio," says DiNardo.

First Press Board Chairman Edward L. Plotkin, V.P. of MidFirst Private Bank, has worked diligently to attract this year's exceptional vintners and wine makers. "With the growing popularity of wine, it is exciting to bring a number of these artisan producers to Phoenix and feature them along side several of the larger, premium wineries who have supported us over the years," said Plotkin. He continued, "Attracting winemakers such as Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne Winery and Brian Loring of Loring Wine Company speaks volumes to what we are bringing to the local wine community. These are people who have developed a rock star following and I am pleased they have chosen to support First Press."

Additional wineries that have confirmed their participation include: Beckman Vineyards, Benovia Winery, Far Niente Winery, Gemtree Vineyards, Heitz Wine Cellars, Hunt Cellars, Iron Horse Vineyards, Justin Vineyards & Winery, Kosta Browne Winery, Loring Wine Company, Michael-David Winery, Oakville Ranch Vineyards, Rudd Vineyards & Winery, Rusack Vineyards, Spring Mountain Vineyards, Trefethen Family Vineyards, Turley Wine Cellars, Willamette Valley Vineyards, and ZD Wines.

Proceeds from the First Press wine events benefit Phoenix' NPR, PRI and American Public Radio affiliate stations: KJZZ and KBAQ.

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