Beneath a starry sky, accompanied by the finest wines, delectable cuisine, and an unwavering sense of community, Silicon Valley International School's 18th Annual Soirée du Vin unfolded into a magnificent evening, graced by the presence of 102 attendees. This delightful event was a testament to the enduring enthusiasm of the community, not just for exceptional wines, but also for the betterment of education and the love of shared experiences.
The evening was an exquisite blend of wine enthusiasts, gourmets, current parents, and alumni parents, showcasing the perfect balance between generations. In addition, for the first-time, we had an INTL Alumni in attendance! As the night progressed, it was clear that the Soirée du Vin had not only aged well but was, in fact, better than ever. Watch the highlight reel below to experience the excitement!
Wine Tasting: A Prelude to Delight
The wine-tasting segment brought about an atmosphere of excitement and fun. The outdoor patio was bustling as guests gathered eagerly to sample offerings from seven renowned vintners:
- Au Bon Climat
- Clif Family Winery
- Domaine Dardagny
- Eden Rift Vineyards
- Gali Vineyards
- Thomas Fogarty Winery
- Ridge Vineyards
The weather, bathed in bright sunshine yet blessed with a comfortable temperature, provided the perfect backdrop for an enjoyable wine-tasting experience.
This year's Soirée du Vin embraced the theme "From Soil to Sip," shining a spotlight on organic wines. The journey of organic wine production was tastefully woven into the experience, with both the wine offerings and auction lots reflecting the theme.
Dinner: A Gastronomic Delight
The dinner segment featured two distinguished guest speakers, Ed Sanders and Christian Pillsbury. Ed, a current parent at INTL with two children in the French program, is also a partner at Eden Rift Vineyards, situated in the heart of Hollister, California. He provided insights into the rich history of the winery and its unique microclimate.
"Eden Rift is the oldest continuously operating winery in California, established in 1849 before California was California. In 1861, the first Pinot Noir in California was planted on the Eden Rift Vineyard," Ed shared. He highlighted the consistently cool 58-degree climate in Hollister, perfect for nurturing Pinot Noir grapes.
Christian Pillsbury, proprietor of Eden Rift, brought his extensive experience in the restaurant industry into the discussion. He shared his journey, having started in restaurants at the age of 14 and later founding Seabold Cellars in 2014. Christian, who has been with Eden Rift since 2016, expressed the winery's commitment to sustainable winemaking and a holistic approach that extends from planting to bottling.
"One of the things we ask is how do we maximize the quality and health benefits of what we produce? I think that answer lies in getting to know the farmers and understanding them on a deeper level," Christian emphasized.
After the enlightening speeches, guests savored a delectable dinner. They had the option to choose from a wine-paired menu that included Alaskan Halibut and Fall Rabbit Stew or a vegetarian alternative of Arugula Salad and Ratatouille Lasagna. Regardless of the selection, everyone enjoyed a delightful Pistachio Mascarpone Cake, which provided the perfect conclusion to the meal.
The Live Auction: A Spirited Affair
The live auction commenced with an electrifying introduction from the charismatic auctioneer, Greg Quiroga. Greg, a master on the stage, injected an enthusiastic spirit into the room. The excitement in the room was palpable, and applause and cheers accompanied the conclusion of nearly every lot.
This year's auction brought a unique twist – wine lots received more attention from high bidders compared to the experience-oriented lots. It was a testament to the passion for exceptional wines within the community.
However, the crown jewel of the auction was an extravagant home dinner experience prepared by none other than INTL's Head of School, Barbara Greiner. The bidding war for this unforgettable evening filled with delectable dishes from Barbara reached a remarkable $8,000.
The highest-selling wine lot featured two magnums of the legendary and sought-after Château d’Yquem, which sold for an impressive $3,600.
A Night of Triumph and Community Spirit
The 18th Annual Soirée du Vin was a remarkable success, raising $70,000 for INTL's Charlotte de Géry Endowment Fund and $16,000 for Fund-the-Future. These crucial funds ensure the continued excellence of INTL's education and the availability of premium wines for future Soirée du Vin events.
More than a fundraiser, this year's Soirée du Vin was a celebration of the tightly-knit community's passion for wine, education, and shared experiences. It was a memorable night for parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and wine connoisseurs alike. Guests departed with smiles, memories, and the satisfaction of a splendid evening filled with exceptional wines, exquisite food, and cherished moments.
In conclusion, the Soirée du Vin demonstrated the profound connection and dedication of the INTL community to wine and education. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who supported this event and eagerly anticipate your presence next year for another splendid evening.
To learn more about Soirée du Vin and any up-and-coming information regarding next year’s event, visit soireeduvin.org.