Four California winemakers, two from Santa Barbara County and two from Sonoma County, are adding their names, support and wine to several dinners, part of a series of "Unforgettable Events," to honor the memory of a woman who died a brutal death. The dinner to launch the second year of these events, which take place June 7 to 9 at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Hawaii, took place Feb. 27 in Santa Barbara at that city's Four Seasons Biltmore Resort.
Representing "Four Pinots at Four Seasons Resort Maui" are winemakers Gary Burk of Costa de Oro; Steve Clifton of Brewer-Clifton and Palmina; Webster Marquez of Anthill Farms; and Donald Patz of Patz & Hall.
June's three-day event will include seminars hosted by Master Sommeliers Roberto Viernes and Chuck Furuya with open-format tastings of two wines from each of the four winemakers, as well as wine-pairing dinners, each featuring one of the winemakers and the resort's three restaurants — Ferraro's, Spago Maui and DUO.
The final, gala dinner will be served at an oceanfront restaurant, and will feature Four Seasons Maui Executive Chef Roger Stettler's "farm to table" cuisine, plus 32 pinot noir and eight chardonnay vintages.
Saturday, June 9, a golf tournament at the Wailea Emerald Course will honor the Kimberly Project, wine produced from vines planted amid the Melville Estate Vineyard to honor winemaker Greg Brewer's cousin, Kimberly, who was raped and murdered in November 1995 while jogging.
Brewer and Kimberly, a resident of Chicago, were just one year apart in age and very close, according to reports.
All proceeds from the tournament and from sales of the pinot noir wine produced from Kimberly's vineyard benefit the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center of Santa Barbara County.
During the Santa Barbara event, all four winemakers joined representatives from the Four Seasons Maui, including Stettler, who prepared three courses and dessert to pair with the wines — two pinot noirs and two chardonnays. One of the pinot noirs was the 2007 Brewer Clifton Kimberly Vineyard.
Speaking in lieu of Brewer, who was out of the country, an emotional Clifton described the Kimberly Project as the "chance to turn something horrifically negative into something positive."
The Kimberly Project's first vintage was released in 2005, a decade after the young woman's death, and is sold via direct retail and to Brewer Clifton wine club members, Clifton noted. Each vintage of Kimberly pinot noir yields about two barrels.
When Burk rose to address the guests, he echoed Clifton, noting "you can't not feel something and be human," and termed the project as a "special moment of food and wine."
For more information on Santa Barbara County's Rape Crisis Center (SBCRCC) and the Kimberly Project, visit http://www.sbcountyrapecrisis.org/Kimberly.html
The June 9 golf tournament is co-hosted by the Four Seasons Resort Maui, American Wine and Spirits of Hawaii and the Wailea Emerald Golf Course Club.
The Unforgettable Events take place during the course of one year to provide guests of the Four Seasons with opportunities in sports, wellness, food and wine. Information: http://maui.enewsletters.fourseasons.com/unforgettableevents/