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Sonoma Valley Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean

  • Greg Windisch, left, and Rick Miron of Trilogy Glass and Packaging celebrate after winning the Magnum Force lot during the 19th annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Cline Cellars on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, Sonoma. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

If you want some good karma, go to the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction this Sunday and raise your paddle OFTEN.

The theme of this Sunday's Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, now in its 20th year, is "Bollywood Spectacle Meets Sonoma Wine Country Splendor."

Organizers plan to immerse guests in the intrigue of India with a bustling bazaar at the event's new location, Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood. There will even be a silk-swathed spice lounge to linger in before the auction begins at 1 p.m.

Vintners will no doubt give their Bollywood-best performances at what has come to be known as the zaniest of auctions. It is customary to start with a skit.

This is the fifth year the auction has been part of the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, which also features the Taste of Sonoma at Healdsburg's MacMurray Ranch this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a new Sonoma Starlight Supper Club dinner Friday at Francis Ford Coppola winery in Geyserville.

"By uniting the efforts of the Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance, we have been able to elevate the entire experience and broaden the view of all of Sonoma County's regions. But most importantly we have together been able to raise more than $11 million that has been distributed to many critical Sonoma County charities and non-profits," said Honore Comfort, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend co-director.

While coordinating efforts has been a logistical challenge, organizers said packaging the events into one weekend has been a smart move.

"By teaming up to showcase the entire county, the event has grown in scope and gained increased attention throughout the country," said Maureen Cottingham, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend co-director.

For the past several years the auction was at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, but organizers picked Chateau St. Jean this year to offer guests a wider lens of Sonoma County.

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