Edit Module

Jul 8, 201512:37 PMPress Releases

Très Bonne Année Unveils Plans for 15th Anniversary 'Best in Class' Season

Jul 8, 2015 - 12:37 PM
Très Bonne Année Unveils Plans for 15th Anniversary 'Best in Class' Season

Photography by Amy Spangler

Très Bonne Année, French for “a very good year,” will be better than ever if organizers have their way.


Très Bonne Année is a series of wine and food events held annually in the Harrisburg area for the exclusive benefit of the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. Last year, Très Bonne Année raised $430,000, bringing its 14-year total to nearly $4.3 million.

In selecting “Best in Class” as its 15th-anniversary-year theme, organizers are making clear their ambitions for the coming season, as well as their admiration for this year’s honored guest, Jackson Family Wines.


“We are always striving to make our events more enjoyable, our auction items more enticing and our support of the Whitaker Center more impactful,” said Bill Kohl, president of Très Bonne Année, during a Friday press conference outside the Hilton Harrisburg. “With this ‘Best in Class’ theme, we are not only acknowledging the global appeal of Jackson Family Wines and our own desire to be the benefactor the Whitaker Center needs and deserves, we are underlining our intent to be the area’s premier event for charity.”


Also on the Second Street stage were Terry Lehman, chairman of the board of directors, Très Bonne Année; Dr. Michael Hanes, president and CEO, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts; Gary St. Hilaire, chairman of the board of directors, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts; and special guest Matthew Mitchell, division vice president, Jackson Family Wines.

As this year’s Honored Guest, Jackson Family Wines, continues the event’s proud tradition of partnering with what Kohl referred to as “huge names in the wine industry.”


Jackson Family Wines is a family-owned company that crafts award-winning wines of distinct character and quality. With a focus on sustainable viticulture practices, responsible vineyard and natural resource management and unparalleled winemaking, the family’s portfolio comprises more than 40 renowned wineries. In addition to their acclaimed California producers, Jackson Family Wines includes fine wines from France, Chile, Italy and Australia.


“Being family-owned means we take the long view – and being a good community partner is very important to us,” said Mitchell. “Giving back in the local areas where we do business is part of our culture, something that dates back to when our company was founded. We’re honored to be a part of Très Bonne Année, and to support the Whitaker Center.”

As part of its support, Jackson Family Wines is donating a number of lots for the Gala Wine Auction and Dinner, a black tie event to be heldOctober 10 at the Hilton Harrisburg. More than 600 guests, including wine enthusiasts from around the country, will bid on premier wines and trips to exotic and romantic destinations around the globe; superb dinners served at the homes of local patrons and Central Pennsylvania’s finest restaurants; and elaborate and grand format bottlings of the world’s greatest wines.  This event, open to the public, costs $250 per guest.


Among the items to be donated by Jackson Family Wines are the following:


Hartford Family Winery Escape

Escape to the storied Russian River Valley, one of Sonoma’s finest growing regions for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Old Vine Zinfandel. Hartford Winery specializes in high risk, high reward winemaking, carefully selecting vineyard sites that produce exceptional grapes. The winery is nestled in the hillsides of this verdant area, and you’ll stay onsite for two nights. Discover the impact of terroir as you taste through single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, and tour the winery with the owner Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart. To get a better sense of the natural beauty of the area, you’ll also spend an afternoon exploring the giant redwood forests.


Harvest Symposium 2016

Ever want to be a winemaker? Prepare for an unforgettable experience working alongside Jackson Family Wines’ winemakers and vineyard teams as you fully immerse yourself in Harvest 2016. This is a chance to get your hands dirty, working on every step of the winemaking process from vineyard through the barrel room. It’s an educational trip where you’ll learn about how grapes are harvested, the path through the crush pad, the impact of yeast and barrel treatment and much more. You’ll have a direct impact on the wines produced that vintage – and bragging rights!


Girls Getaway to Wine Country

What better way to celebrate great girlfriends than with a wine country getaway? The Ladies of the Vine Girls Getaway accommodates three to six of your closest gal pals and is sure to create an abundance of cherished memories. Master Sommelier Emily Papach, one of only 23 women in the world to hold that title, will be your guide on during this luxurious weekend of wine and culinary exploration. The rustic Arrowood Winery guesthouse in Sonoma Valley will be your home for the 3 nights. You’ll enjoy personalized wine education with Emily, and guided tastings with some of Jackson Family Wines’ esteemed female winemakers. Be indulged with a private dining experience at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Garden, and learn the art of cheese pairings during a class.  Behind-the-scenes winery and garden tours and yoga in the lavender gardens at Matanzas Creek winery round out the experience.


Très Bonne Année events target individuals who enjoy wine, food, and the arts. One does not have to be a wine connoisseur to attend the events.  In fact, there is an event designed for every level of knowledge and interest.

Other events on Très Bonne Année’s 2015 calendar are:


September 12, 2015

Patron's Party

This private party is held for all corporate and individual sponsors at a local estate home. An elegant hors d’oeuvres reception will be followed by a four-course dinner with fine wines and a live auction featuring some of our most special and sought-after lots.  This year, the event will be held at the home of Jane and Mike Rice, owners of "Utz Quality Snacks."


October 8, 2015
Vintner's Dinner

This event is an exclusive party for corporate and individual sponsors that features a multi-course dinner on the Whitaker Center stage and catered by the award winning culinary team at the Hilton Harrisburg.


October 9, 2015

Vintner's Tasting
The perfect educational event for novice enthusiasts,this tutorial for tasting features marquee wine selections of our Honored Guests. It is open to the public at $75 per guest.



Patron's Appreciation Party

A private party held for all corporate and individual sponsors to celebrate the success of the prior year's events. A check for the amount raised the previous year is formally presented to Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts.


All proceeds benefit Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, the mid-state’s premier center for arts, education, entertainment and cultural enrichment.  Whitaker Center is composed of three main venues — Sunoco Performance Theater, Select Medical Digital Cinema, and Harsco Science Center. Its mission is “To serve as the center for scientific, artistic, cultural and educational activities to enhance the region’s quality of life and economic vitality.