St. Petersburg, Fla.–Some of the world’s top wines will flow and will be auctioned during Wine Weekend St. Pete 2014, benefiting The Margaret Acheson Stuart Society of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. Four stellar events will highlight the weekend of February 7-9. A special evening, “The Grape Escape,” on Saturday, February 1, will set the tone for the following weekend. Dimity Carlson is the chair, and Margaret Amley is President of The Stuart Society.
“The Grape Escape” is new this year. Partygoers will gather for drinks and hors d’oeuvres on February 1 at a stunning Snell Isle home. Guests will then be escorted to waiting limousines, which will whisk them away to incredible wine and culinary adventures. Each limousine will go to a different location. “The Grape Escape” is limited to 40 people. Tickets are $350 each.
“Let the Party Begin,” an elegant sponsor and VIP black-tie dinner at the MFA, launches Wine Weekend St. Pete on Friday, February 7. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with champagne in the Membership Garden, followed by an exquisite dinner and select wines in the newly renovated Marly Room. All the Wine Weekend vintners will be guests of honor. The featured vintners that night will be Squire Fridell of GlenLyon Vineyard and Winery and Ron Lachini of Lachini Vineyards. Tyson Grant, Executive Chef at Parkshore Grill, will prepare the dinner. This event always holds many surprises.
Tickets are $600 each for the Friday dinner or you can purchase a “party package,” which includes both the VIP event and the Saturday Gala Dinner and Wine Auction, for $800 per person. Please visit wineweekendstpete.org to order tickets or to learn more about becoming a sponsor or VIP. You can download the reservation form from the site.
The Gala Dinner and Wine Auction, resembling the Wine Academy Awards, begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, in the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club. The finest wines will be served with a gourmet dinner, prepared by Executive Chef Mark Heimann, in the Grand Ballroom. There will be both a silent and live auction. Nick Allen of Carte Blanche Wine, the wife-and-husband team of Helen Keplinger and DJ Warner of Keplinger Wines, and Mike Hirby of Relic Wine Cellars will be the featured vintners. Tickets are $285 each.
Rare vintages from around the globe will be available for bidding. Among those donated by Nick Allen are Château Léoville Las Cases from one of the oldest Médoc estates and deep, rich Guigal Côte-Rôtie from the northern Rhone, all earning top scores from Robert Parker and the Wine Spectator. From previous guest of honor Fred Schrader are a Schrader “Old Sparky” Cabernet Sauvignon and six bottles of Aston Estate Pinot Noir, both receiving the highest ratings from wine connoisseurs. Many more top wines will highlight the evening.
Once-in-a-lifetime trips will also be up for auction. They include a two-week stay in a luxurious home, Casa Michara, for up to six people on the Amalfi Coast; a vacation in Paris and the French wine country; excursions to Vail and Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and tours of the Domaine Serene Vineyard in Oregon. The trips do not include airfare.
Nick Allen has designed an amazing wine weekend for up to six people at the Longboat Key Club. Among the amenities are some of the finest Carte Blanche wines and a seven-course dinner prepared by two of the area’s most talented chefs. Each couple will receive a pair of signed magnums to take home.
The Micato Safari in the heart of Kenya and Tanzania could be on the bucket list of the most adventurous spirits. It is full of activities and memories for two people for 12 days. Travel+Leisure has named Micato “the world’s best safari outfitter” nine times.
Wine Weekend St. Pete concludes with a Jazz Brunch at the MFA on Sunday, February 9, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be wine and champagne tastings, international culinary delights, and live music. Tickets are $100 and the attire is resort casual.
The duPont Registry Concours d’Elegance premieres this year, also on Sunday, from 10 a.m.-
3 p.m. on the Museum grounds. The duPont Registry specializes in luxury, and these classic cars, which are works of art in their own right, will not disappoint. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased at the gate. Children under 12 are admitted free. Admission is included in tickets to the Jazz Brunch.
Wine Weekend St. Pete 2014 is a great event for a great cause. The area’s leading wine extravaganza continues to expand its reach and audience, thanks to The Stuart Society’s creativity and commitment.
MAJOR SPONSORS AND UNDERWRITERS
Platinum: Raymond James, duPont Registry
Gold: Bert Smith Porsche
Silver: Brown & Brown Insurance, Mustard Seed Advisors of Raymond James, Marianne and Mark Mahaffey
Underwriters: Alvah H. and Wyline P. Chapman Foundation, Beth Rutberg and John Edward Alley, Executive Chef Tyson Grant, Eric Lang Peterson
In-Kind Sponsors: Tampa Bay Times, Total Wine & More
ON VIEW @THE MFA
New Mexico and the Arts of Enchantment featuring The Raymond James Financial Collection, Saturday, January 18-Saturday, May 11
Recent Acquisitions: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, through Sunday, March 2
Collection Conversations: The Nude in Art
Aaron Siskind’s Harlem Document, opening Saturday, March 8
Art in Bloom, Saturday, March 8-Tuesday, March 11
ABOUT THE MARGARET ACHESON STUART SOCIETY
Founded three years before the Museum opened to the public in 1965, The Stuart Society is named in honor of Museum founder Margaret Acheson Stuart (1896-1980). Over the years, this dedicated auxiliary has raised substantial funds for art acquisitions, major exhibitions, educational programs, building renovations, operations, and publications.
The Stuart Society has been the Premier Sponsor of numerous exhibitions and educational programs and a Lead Sponsor for the construction of the Hazel Hough Wing, which opened to the public in March 2008. The Society initiated the Wine Auction and now the expanded Wine Weekend, as well as the spring celebration Art in Bloom. The organization’s importance to the MFA is recognized by a gallery named in its honor. For more information, please go to www.thestuartsociety.org.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
The MFA at 255 Beach Drive N.E. has a distinguished collection of art from around the globe and across the centuries. On view are striking works by Monet, Gauguin, Renoir, Morisot, Cézanne, Rodin, Hassam, Bellows, O’Keeffe, and many others. Also displayed are ancient Greek and Roman, Egyptian, Asian, African, pre-Columbian, and Native American art. The photography collection is one of the largest and most significant in the Southeast. The galleries, The Junior League Great Hall, and the Marly Room in the original building have been recently renovated, completely transforming the experience of the art on view.
The Museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and noon-
5 p.m. Sunday. On Thursdays, the MFA is open until 8 p.m., with admission reduced to $5 after 5. Regular admission is $17 for adults, $15 for those 65 and older, and $10 for students seven and older, including college students with current I.D. Children under seven and Museum members are admitted free. Groups of 10 or more adults pay only $12 per person and children $4 each with prior reservations.
The MFA Café is open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. The Museum Store has been named the area’s best by the duPont Registry. For more information, please call 727.896.2667 or visit the website at www.fine-arts.org. For café reservations, please call 727.822.1032.