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Santa Lucia Highlands to Celebrate with Annual Gala on May 14

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More Than Forty SLH Wineries to Pour at Mer Soleil 

Monterey County, CA – Tickets are on sale for the Santa Lucia Highlands’ annual Gala tasting, taking place from 1 to 4 pm on Saturday, May 14 at Mer Soleil Winery.

The celebration will be a strolling wine tasting through the barrel cellar of Mer Soleil, a venue not normally open to the public. Guests will have the opportunity to sample SLH – appellated, limited releases, in most cases poured by the vintners themselves. Wineries scheduled to participate include: August West, Belle Glos, Bernardus, Black Kite, Boekenoogen, Brack Mountain, Bruliam, Estancia, Hahn Family Wines, Hope & Grace, J. Lohr Highlands Bench, J. McFarland, Joyce, Kosta Browne, La Rochelle, Loring, Luli, Mansfield – Dunne, Manzoni, McIntyre, Mer Soleil, Miner, Miura, Mooney, Morgan, Odonata, Pessagno, Pisoni / Lucia, Poppy, Prim Family, Puma Road, Roar, Sarah’s Vineyard, Scheid, Siduri / Novy, Smith Family, Talbott, Tantara, Testarossa, Tondre, Tudor, Twomey, Windstream, and Wrath.

SLH Gala

The food this year will have a “localvore” Monterey Peninsula flavor with gourmet bites from several of the region’s best restaurants and chefs, including Soerke Peters from Basil, Cal Stamenov from Bernardus Lodge’s Lucia, Tim Wood from Carmel Valley Ranch, Main Street Bakery, Brad Briske from La Balena, La Plaza Bakery, Marich Chocolates, James Waller from the Monterey Plaza Hotel, Shiho Fukishima from Ocean Sushi, Todd Fisher from Tarpy’s, Schoch Dairy Farmstead, Michael Burke of Star Market, Zio Sausage, Carmel Valley Roasting Company, Katie Shea of Bar Cart Cocktail Company, and James Anderson of Poke Lab.

There will be a rare, “big bottle” silent auction benefiting Dorothy’s Kitchen, live music, and other surprises. The evening prior, a pre-Gala reception and dinner is planned for Friday, May 13 at Hahn Family Winery.

Mer Soleil Winery, the northernmost vineyard estate in the Highlands, is owned by the Wagner family, of Caymus, Belle Glos, and Conundrum fame. This will be the fifth year the SLH event has been held at this dramatic venue. Mer Soleil is located at 1290 River Road, Salinas, California.

SLH Gala General Admission tickets are $95.00 per person and can be purchased online at www.santaluciahighlands.com

The Santa Lucia Highlands is one of the crown jewels of California viticulture, growing and producing some of the state’s best cool climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. The appellation encompasses more than 6,500 acres of prime vineyards, planted on the elevated terraces of the Santa Lucia mountain range. The area’s unique character was recognized with official A.V.A. status in 1991; 2016 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the S.L.H.’s designation.

Formed in 2005, the Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans is an association of vineyards and wineries that grow grapes here or use this region’s fruit to craft their wines. The group’s online home is SantaLuciaHighlands.com

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