With a winning combination of 150 premium wines and an exclusive outdoor art venue, people showed up to “sip, sample and bid” in the beautiful outdoors for the 2017 Silicon Valley Wine Auction on May 20-21, despite summer-like temperatures approaching 90 degrees.Produced by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA), and held at Runnymede Sculpture Farm in Woodside, California, the third annual event featured top winemakers and wineries of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was one for the record books; drawing 1,000 total attendees and raising $1 million to benefit the Silicon Valley Education Foundation’s Elevate (Math) and STEM Leadership Institute programs.
Among the top live auction items were two winemaker’s dinners sponsored by House Family Vineyards, which fetched $27,000 each, for a total of $54,000.
As a preview to this year’s Silicon Valley Wine Auction, ESV sought out some of the participating vintners to learn about them and get a flavor for this year's auction. We sat down with winemaker Jim Cargill in Saratoga to enjoy his panoramic view and enjoy a wine tasting.
Q: House Family Vineyards has an incredible 180-degree view of the Valley. How do you describe it?
A. My father-in-law (Dave House, founder of the winery and former Silicon Valley technology executive) likes to tell his story as ‘from chips to grapes.’ I think House Family Vineyards is the ultimate juxtaposition of this Valley – of dirt and technology. Here in our steep mountainside vineyard, we overlook what is probably the epicenter of technology in the world. We use a lot of science and technology to make sure things are sound, but we are very old-world minded in our winemaking. I always say wine is really made in the vineyard. My job is to babysit it from vineyard to glass. We want to respect and express the true essence of the grapes. When you have pristine fruit you have that luxury.
Q. Do you have a philosophy about wine?
A. I believe a glass of wine should be like a great conversation. It should excite your mouth. It should have depth, complexity and layers. You should want to spend the evening with it.
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