Florida Winefest Delivers

Sarasota is one of those places that once you’ve visited, you then patiently wait for your next opportunity to return.

It’s been six year of yearning for me. Now, I should be satisfied, because I’ve just returned. But, no, I’m back on the yearning bus. Sarasota is paradise, and it’s deeply in my soul.

The Florida Winefest and Auction was held at the Ritz Carlton on the mainland, in a gorgeous setting. Just right of center in this image are Jim and Helen Concannon of Concannon Vineyard, talking with guests who have just arrived. This event only allows for winery principals to be those representing the wine companies, so it’s a potpourri of wine stars.

The above photo: Pamela Revels and David Yarletts of Sarasota.

This area is a cultural, gastronomic environment. In the spring, it’s bursting with flowers and festivities that include concerts, opera, theater, museums, galleries, and lots of outdoor activities, like dining sidewalk-style al frecso.

In the above photo are Lisa and Jason (Jay) Masters. Jose and I had a delightful time chatting with them prior to dinner. It all began with that classic moment we’ve all been in. You’ve got a camera, you look around to find the person you trust the most to take a good image, and say, “Would you mind taking a picture of us?” Jose was the candidate. This happened while I was off photographing Pamela and David above. As soon as that was done, I knew that I had another couple that would be perfect for this blog, so I moved right in…. Just shy of swooping down on them. I don’t enjoy invading someone’s private space, but they were already in the photo mode.

That led to this image above. This one had been a long time coming for that day, because earlier I asked this photographer if we could take pictures of each other – taking pictures of each other. I don’t know what made me do that, because I’m never on that side of a camera if I can help it. It just seemed like a fun thing to do at the time. Because this photographer takes his job so seriously, he said, “Let’s do it later.” I thought, “Well, the Florida Winefest people can be pretty happy that they’ve got him, because he’s staying right on cure with what he needs to do, and doesn’t have time for frivolity.”

Later that evening, when he was coming close to us – remember, we were around all these visually beautiful people – I snagged him. I said, “You said later, and now it’s time.” This time he allowed me to take this image.

Pictured left to right: Victor Trentadue of Trentadue Winery, Winefest’s volunteer photographer Hal Crocker from Atlanta, Jay, Miro Tcholakov – winemaker for Trentadue Winery, Lisa, and Jose Diaz… my partner in life.

In its eighteenth year, the Winefest has become one of the premier charity events in the country, dedicated to raising money for disadvantaged children. This year they’ve raised $500,000, which will be distributed to 26 different children’s charities.

I took copious images, and these are just the beginning of my sharing from this beautiful location and worthwhile event.

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