Bidders added to the heat and broke records raising more than $70,800 on Saturday, June 3, 2000 at The Mendocino Wine Affair, the annual charity event of the Mendocino Winegrowers Alliance. A Grand Tasting of local food and wine, live and silent auctions, live music, dancing and a gourmet dinner rounded out the event at Fetzer's Valley Oaks Ranch in Hopland. Proceeds will benefit the Mendocino County Search and Rescue.

"The Mendocino Wine Affair is unique in that it supports the region," said John Enquist, Executive Director of Mendocino Winegrowers Alliance. "This event is right in line with the rural elegance and charm for which Mendocino County is already famous and our charity, the Mendocino County Search and Rescue, is a volunteer group important to everyone in this area."

"The combination of great wines, fun-loving people and an incredible ambiance made for an exciting auction and is a great example of what it is that makes Mendocino so special," said Auctioneer David Reynolds.

The singular top lot of the day, urged up to $5,000 by Reynolds, was a Nine-Liter First Release from Zellerbach Winery. This inaugural release of John Parducci's Signature Series Bordeaux-style blend had the 600-plus auction attendees on their feet and applauding as the price inched up.

The call to "Fund A Need" for the Mendocino County Search and Rescue resulted in 67 separate bidders who raised their paddles to purchase a new all-terrain vehicle for the organization.

This year's event also featured several renowned chefs. Bruce Aidells celebrity chef and culinary author participated along with Mendocino County chefs Marc Dym of Stevenswood Lodge and Alan Kantor of MacCallum House Restaurant.

The Mendocino Wine Affair began with a "Barrel Tasting and Salmon Dinner Kick-Off Party" at the historic Parducci Wine Cellars. For more information on The Mendocino Wine Affair... Real Farmers, Big City Flavors, scheduled for 2001 contact the Mendocino Winegrower's Alliance at 707-468-9886 or visit their Internet site at www.mendowine.com.