Willows Lodge has announced the results from the second annual Iron Vintner Challenge which took place throughout the month of June.
The event raised $30,000 for Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center to support its mission to improve the bodies, minds and spirits of children and adults with disabilities through equine-assisted therapy. This is more than double the amount raised since the event started last year.
"This event had an incredible energy and it was amazing to see the generous contributions made by our Woodinville winemakers, partners and attendees," said Shaun Tucker, Willows Lodge general manager.
The month-long culinary competition was emceed and led by Barking Frog’s Executive Chef Bobby Moore, who presented the winemakers with a different secret ingredient each week and 60 minutes in which to prepare an appetizer and entrée for a panel of celebrity judges.
Chris Gorman of Gorman Winery ultimately won the competition, beating out his fellow winemakers John Bigelow of JM Cellars, Chris Sparkman of Sparkman Cellars and Chris Upchurch of DeLille Cellars for the title of 2011 Iron Vintner.
Each competition featured a live auction led by auctioneer David Silverman to benefit Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center.
Auction items included signed magnums from participating winemakers, one-of-a-kind culinary experiences and even the food being cooked at the competition.
The Iron Vintner Challenge concluded on June 29 with a special Championship Winemaker Dinner at Barking Frog.
"Willows Lodge’s Iron Vintner Challenge is an amazing event that benefits Little Bit in so many ways. Not only does it provide an excellent opportunity for us to expand our community of volunteers, corporate partners and build new donor relationships, it also raises awareness about the life-changing opportunities for people with disabilities that Little Bit provides each week," said Kathy Alm, executive director, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. "We are so thankful to Willows Lodge and Chef Moore for this community partnership and their on-going support."