Carla Marsh

Boca Bacchanal Winefest & Auction
Toasting Success

Heritage Education Program Benefits from Fundraising Efforts

Boca Raton, FL – Patrons of the annual Boca Bacchanal Winefest & Auction, held March 10-11 in Boca Raton, FL, sipped, savored, strolled and set a torrid pace for bidding at two auctions, making the fourth annual edition of the popular food and wine event a rousing success. Organizers say more than $350,000 was raised through ticket sales, sponsorships and the silent and live auctions to support Heritage Education Programs of the Boca Raton Historical Society.

These innovative, diverse and rapidly growing programs are widely utilized and appreciated throughout area schools, civic and cultural organizations, and interested individuals. Heritage Education Program Partners include Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boys and Girls Club of Boca Raton, Florida Atlantic University, Junior League of Boca Raton, and the School District of Palm Beach County.

“We were honored to welcome a great roster of world-class chefs and vintners to Boca Raton. They are acclaimed for doing so much to enhance appreciation of food and wine, and to make this event so enjoyable for our community. We were equally thrilled with the support we received from our sponsors, volunteers and guests at this year’s event,” said Boca Raton Historical Society President, Peter H. Page “Their generosity will have a direct, positive effect on the lives of many people in our community, now and in the future.”

A “fund-a-need call” at the live auction will be used to modernize key educational tools, transferring them to a convenient DVD format. These disks can be utilized by history buffs, visitors, teachers and students, providing valuable primary information on the growth of Boca Raton from a small town to a cosmopolitan city.

The weekend began with eight “sold out” Vintner Dinners held in private homes in the Boca Raton area, with guests savoring the exceptional food and wine. Each venue was a magnificent setting for the talents of the chefs and the outstanding wines poured by the vintners.

These outstanding chefs include Drew Van Leuvan (Spice, Atlanta, GA); Darren McRonald (Bellavitae, NY,NY); David Aragon Diez and Juan Antonio Cortes-Campo (El Legado de Castille y Leon, Madrid, Spain): Philippe Reynauld (The Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, FL); Andrea Curto Randazzo and Frank Randazzo (Talula, Miami, FL); Chip Ulbrich (Bateaux, Beaufort, SC); Michael Touhy (Woodfire Grill, Atlanta, Ga) and Clay Conley (Azul, Miami, FL).

Presenting Vintners are Justin Baldwin, Proprietor, Justin Winery, Paso Robles, CA; W. Clarke Swanson, Jr., Proprietor, Swanson Vineyards & Winery, Oakville, CA; Javier Schoendorff, U.S Brand Ambassador, Bodegas Ramon Bilbao, Rioja, Spain; Rolando Beramendi, Global Brand Ambassador, William Grant & Sons, NY, NY; Eli Parker, Wine Maker, Fess Parker Winery, Los Olivos, Ca; Michael Weiss, Chairman of Wine Education, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY (presenting 2480-Hollywood and Vine Cellars, Napa Valley, Kathryn Hall, Napa Valley , and L’Aventure, Paso Robles, CA; John Williams, Owner/Wine Maker, Frog’s Leap Winery, Rutherford, CA and Emilia Nardi, Owner, Tenuta Silvio Nardi, Tuscany, Italy.

Boca Raton’s top chefs and restaurants gathered to cook up a rousing Grand Tasting, a “by the bite” luncheon at the Center for the Arts at Mizner Park. The event featured more than 140 different wines, live music by Jeff Kaye and members of the Boca Raton Symphonia, and wine seminars by Michael Weiss, Chairman of the Wine Education Department at the Culinary Institute of America in New Hyde Park, NY. More than 1,000 individuals took part in the festivities.

On Saturday evening, the weekend’s centerpiece event, the Auction & Dinner, was held at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. The Resort’s Chef Andrew Roenbeck presided over the grand tasting reception and multi-course dinner, created by the Vintner Dinner chefs and vintners. DawnMarie Kotsonis was the entertaining and dynamic auctioneer.

Sponsors include National Distributing Company, Boca Raton Magazine, The Boca Raton Resort & Club; The Wine News; Carla Marsh Public Relations; Legal Sea Foods; Crown Wine & Spirits; Cendyn; Publix Supermarkets Charities; JM Family Enterprises, Inc.; Classy 92.1; Master Design Group; and the R.A. Ritter Foundation.

Spearheading the event are Honorary Chairs - Mike and Cathy Arts; Chairmen -Peter and Ginny Page; Wine Chairman-Chris Kearney of National Distributing Company; Chefs Selection Chair - Carla Marsh; Vintner Dinner Chairs – Pattie Damron and Kathy Biscuiti; Grand Tasting Chairmen – Mary Glynn Toomey, Lisa Warren, Ann Rutherford; Auction Chairman – Brad Mitchell; The Bacchanal Dinner Chairmen - Jon Summersfield and Heidi Bruno; Website – Robin Deyo; Chef Liaison - Laurie Saunders; Wine Seminars – Julia Johnson and Vintner Dinner Liason – Donna Geisert.

Vintner Dinner Hosts were Denise and Lou Bachrodt; Robert B. Campbell; Peggy and Stephen Ruzika with Michelle and Rick Rochon; Robert Sheetz; Patti Carpenter, Countess Henrietta De Hoernle and Madeline Savarick; Suzanne Klein with Marta and Jim Batmasian; Sylvia and Wenford Hood; and Marcella and Dave Roberts with Nova Southeastern University.

The Boca Raton Historical Society is located at 71 North Federal Highway. The 2007 Boca Bacchanal is scheduled for March 9 and 10. For information call 561-395-6766 or visit the website at

PHOTO ID: (L-R) James Batmasian, Suzanne Klein, Chef Michael Tuohy (Woodfire Grill, Atlanta) marta Batmasian and John Williams (Founder & Winemaker, Frog's Leap Winery, Napa Valley)

PHOTO ID: (L-R) David Aragon Diez, Robert Campbell, Juan Antonio Cortez Campo and Javier Schoendorff

PHOTO ID: (L-R) Lou and Denise Bachrodt, Emilia Nardi and Chef Drew VanLeuvan

PHOTO ID: (L-R) Charles & Ann Rutherford, Wendy Larsen, Bob Long

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