“The Wine Event” Founder Adam Carroll explained, “This event was about the passion for great wines and the passion for great schools, and when we pulled together, the group raised over $300,000!” A high point of the evening included a challenge donation from PEF supporters Carol and Jay Borzi of $100,000. Guests were encouraged to match the donation, and an additional $83,000 was raised to support important programs and teaching positions in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, for a total of $183,000.
The highlight of the Live Auction was $30,000 for a five day trip for three couples to explore the wine region of Northern Italy to tour some of the most acclaimed Barolo and Barbaresco estates including Gaja; Elio Grasso; Giacosa; La Spinetta, and Rocche Dei Manzoni with a private VIP tour of each winery. Maserati of Newport Beach displayed the new Ghibli and Quattroporte for guests to admire, and a VIP tour of the Maserati factory in Turin, Italy was also part of the Italy trip. Another popular Live package was a once in a lifetime experience of dinner for 12 at a palatial Italian Florentine Villa perched at the top of Palos Verdes Estates with guest Chef Celestino Drago which sold for $15,000.
The silent auction featured rare wines including a 1961 Gaja Barolo Riserva; a 1941 Conterno Monfortino Barolo Riserva; a 1971 Gaja Barbaresco; and a 1974 Gaja Barbaresco.
Prior to the dinner, a private tasting for 26 guests was hosted by Terranea Resort in mar’sel restaurant, featuring Gaia Gaja instructing about the Gaja Winery methods of wine making over three generations. The wines highlighted included a 1958 Gaja Barbaresco; 1961 Gaja Barbaresco; 1978 Gaja Barbaresco; 1990 Gaja Barbaresco; 1996 Gaja Sori Tilden; 1997 Gaja Sperss; and a 2007 Gaja Sperss.
“We are lucky to have such good friends of PEF who love great wines, and want to share their passion to help raise funds for our schools and our children,” said PEF’s President Deidre Manns.
Gaia Gaja is the great-great granddaughter of Giovanni Gaja, who started the Gaja Winery in Piedmont, Italy in 1859. Gaia is the premiere female winemaker in Italy and throughout Europe. In addition to her responsibilities at the winery, she travels the globe representing the Gaja family’s wine estates.
Celestino Drago opened his first restaurant, Drago, over 20 years ago to share the flavor of Italy with Los Angeles and now there are four restaurants that share his name. He continues to be one of the premier Italian chefs in the United States.
State funding for public schools in California is not sufficient to provide the quality of education that is needed for college bound students, hence the need for private funding to ensure an excellent education for our children. The PEF will donate $3 million this school year to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District for critical programs like engineering, robotics, science, PE and music; as well as key school staff, including teaching positions, instructional aides, academic and safe school counselors, and College & Career Center staff in the Palos Verdes Peninsula public schools.