St. Francis ‘Knight’ auction to draw wine enthusiastsWritten by Autumn Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The first “A Knight of the Vine” event, a dinner and rare wine auction designed to suit the tastes of wine enthusiasts and featuring other items up for bids, may raise up to an estimated $100,000 for the St. Francis de Sales High School Endowment Fund.
The event will begin with a four-course dinner at 6 p.m. Mar. 27 at the Real Seafood Company at The Docks to be followed by a fast-paced auction at the Navy Bistro banquet facility.
President and Owner of Mainstreet Ventures, Inc. Michael Gibbons, who helped create the event, said planning the event took seven to eight months. After being approached by President of St. Francis de Sales High School the Rev. Ronald Olszewski, Gibbons said he wanted to do something unique to raise funds that would stand on its own.
Eric Arsenault, a sommelier and director of wines and spirits with Mainstreet Ventures, said, “You can’t really walk into a wine shop and buy any of these [wines up for auction].”
The selection of rare wines came from individuals and winemakers who made donations from either their private collections or vineyards, along with corporate sponsors who donated funds for Mainstreet to purchase additional unique wines for the auction.
Arsenault, who hand-selected the wines for the auction, said all of them “are of exceptional rarity” and speculated the majority of wine lots could potentially sell for $1,000 or more.
Two lots within the auction Arsenault said he felt would draw some special attention includes a six-liter Imperial of 1975 Chateau L’Angelus, Saint-Emilion and another lot that contains eight verticals (1995-1998) of Opus One.
In addition to a rare selection of wines, several getaway vacations will be available, including a six-night and seven-day stay at former Ambassador to Slovakia Ronald Weiser’s Paris apartment on l’avenue des Champs-Élysées, winery trips, golf packages and sporting event tickets.
Paul Berlacher, who donated some wine for the auction, said with his love for St. Francis de Sales High School and passion for wine, the Knight of the Vine has been “a nice event to get involved with.”
His wife, Chris, a committee member for the event, said, “I think it’s definitely going to be the area’s best wine event with its level of quality and unusual bottles of premier wine.”
Olszewski said the school is grateful to be beneficiary of the event.
With about 66 percent of St. Francis students receiving financial assistance or scholarships, Olszewski said this exclusive auction would do much to financially help the St. Francis students.
St. Francis senior Nick Dunn, a 2007 scholarship recipient, said his scholarship has helped him pay his tuition and other costs, and gave him the opportunity to continue his education at St. Francis, which he feels will help him get into college.
Tickets for this event will be limited to 200 attendees and cost $75. Reservations can be made by contacting the Real Seafood Company’s reservation line at (888) 456-DINE.