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A toast to kids: Wine & Food Fiesta benefits arts education

VGS Chateau Potelle owner Jean-Noel Fourmeaux is donating his wine for Vintage Albuquerque Wine & Food Fiesta events as well as a stay at his chateau in the Napa Valley. (Courtesy of Vintage Albuquerque)

The focus of Vintage Albuquerque Wine & Food Fiesta might be the wines, but the heart of it is helping support arts, music, dance, theater and other artistic education programs in our community.

This year’s beneficiaries are Explora Science Center & Children’s Museum, Keshet Dance & Center for the Arts, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation, the Albuquerque Museum Foundation, Baila! Baila! dance group and Opera Southwest. Proceeds from each of the Vintage Albuquerque events will be divided among the nonprofits to benefit their programs.

Vintage Albuquerque holds its Opening Nite Gala Dinner on Wednesday, June 19.

On Thursday, June 20, a VGS Chateau Potelle winery seminar is slated for noon at Hotel Andaluz. And four-course wine-pairing dinners at the Artichoke Cafe, Más Tapas y Vino, Piatanzi, Ranchers Club, Savoy Bar & Grill and Seasons Grill Old Town will begin at 7 p.m.. Representatives of the featured wineries will be present to guide guests through each wine and food pairing. The Grand Tasting on June 21 will feature more than 100 wines and bites from local restaurants.

“One of the great things is that we really have a great winery this year, VGS Chateau Potelle,” said Linda Wedeen, Vintage Albuquerque executive director. “The person who is the owner of the winery, his name is Jean-Noel Fourmeaux. He’s just went out of his way to not only bring us great wine but he’s donating great stays at his chateau in Napa. He’s donating wines for not only our dinners but for our auction.”

The Big Event Auction Dinner will be held on June 22. It will feature a silent and live auction that guests can bid on, including some extraordinary excursions. Trip destinations to be auctioned off include California’s Napa Valley; Oregon; Rome; Burgundy, France; and the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

“One (of the trips) is the Metropolitan Opera,” Wedeen said. “They go to New York and have dinner and go behind the scenes of the Metropolitan Opera, and that will be really kind of nice. It’s a big deal for that one.”

This year’s Sunday brunch will be slightly different from those of years past.

“This time, we’re doing it at Vara Winery,” Wedeen said. “… It’s going to be a family style Spanish dinner. So I think it’s a little different. I think it will be very nice.”

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