According to the winery’s events manager, Shelby Sampson, the party was the brainchild of Jeff Otis, son of Cliff and Diane Otis, owners of Matthews Estate.
“Jeff wanted to have a similar event to rapper P.Diddy’s white party in the Hamptons,” she says. “He thought it would be fun to bring this type of event to Woodinville and to the Seattle area.”
In a white party, Sampson explains, guests dress completely in the color white, from head to toe. In fact, they are denied entry if they don’t follow the fashion rule.
“People go all out,” she adds. “The looks are quite unique and there’s a lot of interesting fashion statements.”
The first year the winery held the event, there was no charge to enter and advertising was done through social media sites, the winery’s own website and via the Woodinville Wine Country.
About 400 people attended and the party was deemed a success. Last year, Matthews Estate charged $10 a person and sold out one month in advance.
“It went crazy,” says Sampson. “We cut it off at 1,000 tickets and then ended up selling 200 more at the door, where the cost went up to $25 a head. We couldn’t believe how many people came. The response was incredible.”
The majority of attendees were from the Eastside, but Seattle residents also came out in droves.
This year, Sampson expects the event to sell out in advance once again. Currently, the winery has sold 800 tickets.
“It’s going to be big,” notes Sampson, “and we’ll be having two DJs, Darin Hanson, who will be in charge of the hip hop music, and Andrew Means, who’ll be more for the older crowd with a mellower, more chill sound.”
As for food, Skillet food truck and The Box (Asian-infused cuisine) will be on site, and of course, the wine will be flowing.
For $25 a bottle or $5 a glass, partygoers will have their choice of the winery’s 2010 Columbian Valley Sauvignon Blanc or 2009 Blackboard Red Wine.
Twenty percent of the proceeds from the latter will go to the Ackerley Foundation to help fund education and resources for K-12 teachers.
“This is our charity wine,” adds Sampson. “We’ve been doing this for a while. The owners feel strongly about giving back to the community.”
In explaining why the party has become a sought after event, Sampson simply says, “It’s unique to this area and I think people like that everyone wears one color and that they can be very creative with their style. Plus, the combination of good food, good wine and good music to dance to, all in an outdoor setting, is a definite attraction.”
What: Matthews Estate’s 3rd Annual All-White Party (must be 21 or older to attend)
When: Friday, August 24th, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Matthews Estate Winery in Woodinville
Tickets: $10 online or $25 at the door (depending on availability)
For more information: www.matthewsestate.com