Pacific Symphony logo

Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

A night to remember! Ninth Pacific Coast Wine Festival—benefiting Pacific Symphony—promises enchanting evening of coveted wines, decadent dining and rare auction items

Orange County, Calif. — February 09, 2016

Guests of the ninth Pacific Coast Wine Festival (PCWF) find themselves transported to wine country—as they swirl, sniff and savor flavors from California and around the world. This sensational evening of first-class wine tasting includes a delicious wine-paired feast and both a silent and live auction of rare bottles and exceptional experiences—with a little music to complete the perfect night. With wines ranging from cult and storied artisanal to those that need no introduction, PCWF has swiftly become one of the most revered wine auctions in California, as well as a major fund-raising event for Pacific Symphony. This year’s PCWF—generously sponsored by Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin Newport Beach and chaired by Symphony supporter Greg Bates—takes place Saturday, Feb. 27, beginning at 5 p.m., in the elegant surroundings of the five-diamond Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

“I’ve tasted wine in many wine regions throughout the country and the world,” says the event’s chair, Bates. “French wines are superb but I’ve enjoyed wine from Uruguay and South Africa as well. There is nothing more enjoyable than a wonderful wine, paired with great food, while sitting at a table with good friends and listening to music.”

Bates, who was a natural choice to oversee this event (besides knowing and loving wine, he’s had experience with another charity wine-tasting event that featured 45 wineries and attracted 600 guests) says, “Pacific Coast Wine Festival is a more selective wine tasting—and I’m looking forward to helping it grow. My role has been to bring together a great committee whose members love wine and symphonic music. We’ve been busy soliciting wineries and wine collectors so that we can provide a fabulous wine and food experience to a sold-out room!”

Seating for this increasingly popular event is limited and starts at $375 per person. Tables are available at the Jeroboam level, featuring a wine expert to pour and discuss outstanding wines throughout dinner ($10,000); Magnum level ($7,500) and Bottle level ($5,000), both with upgraded paired wine. For information, please contact the Symphony’s special events department at (714) 876-2364 or For more information, visit or to learn more about the Symphony, visit

“We have included the addition of our special $10,000 tables,” says Bates, “featuring an upgraded experience with paired wines from a single winery, a winery representative to explain the wine pairings, an enhanced dinner menu, specialty glasses and décor.”

The evening’s festivities get underway at 5 p.m. as guests are invited to saunter through multiple rooms, sampling from a plethora of fine wines, enjoying appetizers and music from a jazz quartet of past Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles students, and bidding on three sets of auction lots. The bountiful wine tasting opportunities feature wines from more than 25 wineries, including Vega Sicilia, Hirsch, Riverain and Patland, some of which are not available to the average wine collector.

At 7:15 p.m., guests are ushered into the grand ballroom with décor reminiscent of the glorious grape-orchard regions of France, to enjoy a five-course feast perfectly paired with wines and crafted by the Island’s Executive Chef David Mann. The evening finishes with the thrilling live auction featuring some of the finest and rarest of wines, among them Mouton Rothschild, Margaux, Screaming Eagle, d’Yquem, Haute-Brion and Kistler, as well as one-of-a-kind experiences that include luxury trips to Oregon’s Williamette Valley and Napa Valley, with private air transportation, winery guest house accommodations and specialty tastings. At the evening’s conclusion, guests are treated to a select port and decadent chocolate tasting, before heading home.

“The Pacific Coast Wine Festival is fun! So many guests tell us it’s their favorite event of the year,” says Mike Kerr, who is the Symphony’s board chairman, PCWF’s founder and a wine connoisseur. “The wines are fabulous and the vibe is classy but relaxed. The festival is comfortable for the casual wine drinker, but inviting to serious collectors and connoisseurs. Everyone should come!

“Our first year was a learning experience. Everything was smaller—venue, attendance, wineries. How we’ve grown! We’ll host more than 300 guests this year and offer some of the world’s greatest wines in our tasting rooms and during our auctions. We have many more wineries wanting to come than we have room for. Nice challenge for us!” says Kerr.

This intimate and exceptional evening ensures that beautiful music continues to be heard throughout Orange County. Cumulatively raising more than $1 million for the Symphony’s artistic and education programs over the last eight years, PCWF supports the Symphony’s education and community engagement programs, including Heartstrings and Class Act. Heartstrings is a major community-wide program providing free access to concerts, hands-on enrichment activities and transportation for a range of underserved local residents in partnership with Orange County agencies. Class Act connects Pacific Symphony to more than 30 Orange County elementary schools each year, enhancing existing school music programs by providing additional musical experiences through the Symphony.

Pacific Symphony, located in Orange County, Calif. and celebrating its 38th anniversary this season, is led by Music Director Carl St.Clair. The largest orchestra formed in the United States in the last 50 years, it is widely recognized as an outstanding ensemble making strides on both the national and international scene, as well as in its own burgeoning cultural community. The Symphony has played a central role in the phenomenal growth of the performing arts in Orange County. Presenting more than 100 concerts a year and a rich array of education and community programs, the Symphony touches more than 275,000 Orange County residents—from school children to senior citizens.