Winemaker Ron Hill. left, of a-non-ah-mus wines, with friend Andrew I absolutely love this event, as while it has grown over the years, it's still a great chance to meet new winemakers — and hug some winemaking friends I haven't seen for a while.

Theron and Kimberly Smith of La Montagne Winery

And it really highlights the many superb wines crafted from grapes grown in the Sta. Rita Hills.

The crowd awaits the next item for bidding during the live auction

The live auction always raises thousands of dollars for community projects, and this year, the benefactor was the fire safety training trailer for the Lompoc Firefighters Foundation.

Auctioneer Jim Glines worked up the crowd and auctioned off 16 donated items, among them "Firefighter for a Day;" a vacation in Park City, Utah; a prime rib dinner for 10 prepared by the M&M Cooking Crew at the home of winemaker Mark Cargasacchi, in the Jalama Vineyard; and a guided backpacking tour to Big Sur.

More photos ...

Dan and Ellen Kessler-Hawk pour a selection of their wines, including their new sparkling wine. At right is Kenneth "Joey" Gummere, winemaker for Transcendence Winery.

Karen Steinwachs, winemaker for Buttonwood Farm Winery, with Al Harry tasting, right

Angela Soleno with a bottle of her label, Turiya