Legendary Winemakers, Chefs Come Together in Celebration of California Wildfire Recovery

Legendary Winemakers, Chefs Come Together in Celebration of California Wildfire Recovery

Many of our dear friends and winemakers were affected by the historic California wildfires in 2017. Dan Kosta, one of the founders of the legendary Kosta Browne label and a long-time board member of the Foundation, was one of those who lost his entire home in the fires. In the weeks following, Dan moved into a 40' trailer on his property and joined Chef Guy Fieri in helping prepare meals for first responders while reaching out to his vast network of connections in the industry for various relief efforts. 

A month later, one of those connections came through by way of New Orleans, at none other than Emeril Lagasse Foundation's Carnivale du Vin – the nationally recognized wine auction and gala. Dan and Emeril spontaneously came up with a last-minute addition to the gala’s live auction that was sparked by Dan’s unique living situation — an auction package featuring a party at Dan's new trailer to raise money for fire relief efforts. 

On the night of Carnivale du Vin 2017, the $15,000 per couple “Party at Dan’s ‘House’” officially debuted as the evening’s live auction “Fund-A-Need” – an action-packed paddle raise where Emeril and Dan shared the stage to encourage the crowd to support the heartfelt cause. 

The spirited live auction marked a record-breaking year for Emeril’s foundation, and a few weeks later, $500,000 of the Fund-A-Need proceeds were distributed to Napa Valley Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sonoma County to aid in recovery efforts for the families, winery and hospitality workers affected by the wildfires. 

Just six months after the fires, the “Party at Dan’s House” came to fruition on Friday, June 8, in Sonoma. Hosted at the picturesque Arista Winery, renowned Chefs Michael Mina, Dustin Valette, Ken Frank and Mark Stark joined Emeril, Dan and 13 of the area's finest vintners for a culinary celebration of recovery and philanthropy. 

Featured winemakers included AldenAlli, Arista, Darioush, Fleury Estate, Limerick Lane, Merry Edwards, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Red Stitch, Riverain Vineyards, Shadybrook Estate, The Setting, Thompson 31Fifty and Three Sticks,