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NorCal Wine Blog

Drink to Africa's Health

On Sunday, May 6, the Charles Krug-Peter Mondavi Sr. Family Winery will host a benefit wine auction and concert. Proceeds will go to the Foundation for African Medicine & Education (FAME). The organization provides medication to African communities in need. Last year, their Napa Valley branch funded 75% of all the organization's medicines.

This event sounds like a lot of fun and the cause is extremely worthy. I am going to make an effort to attend. I hope that you can as well.

About FAME

frank_artressAmerican physician Frank Artress and his wife, educational counselor Susan Gustafson, founded the Foundation for African Medicine & Education after Frank’s near-death experience on Mt. Kilimanjaro.  After moving to Tanzania, the couple has overcome logistical, financial, governmental and cultural obstacles to build a 12-bed hospital, a thriving medical clinic, a state of the art clinical lab, and a mobile clinic outreach program delivering health care and education to remote areas of the country.

FAME Napa Valley was created in 2010 to support the Foundation for African Medicine & Education (FAME) by Peter and Katie Mondavi, Chris and Christina Madrigal of Madrigal Estate Winery, and Rudy and Rita von Strasser of von Strasser Winery. Katie Mondavi, who served on the clinical faculty of Stanford University Hospital and as an assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCSF, returned to Tanzania this year for the second time to volunteer in FAME’s bush clinics.

Katie explained, “Only by being there could I appreciate the enormity of what Frank and Susan have accomplished.  They are making a vital difference in the day-to-day lives of the Tanzanian people who, despite all their health challenges, exude friendliness and live their lives at a rhythmic, gentle pace.  At the end of my stay, I realized that the experience might have helped me more than it helped them.”

Please take a few moments to watch this inspiring video.

Details of the Event

The May 6 event will take place from 2 - 5pm on the Great Lawn at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena. Festivities will include ballads and folk songs performed by Nigeria’s renowned Baba Ken Okulolo and The Nigerian Brothers, whose harmonious voices, guitar and percussion accompaniment bring their love of Africa to life.  Diamano Coura West African Dance Company will also perform.

In honor of the benefit’s theme, attendees will enjoy an African-style barbecueBistro Don Giovanni, JoLe and other fine Napa Valley restaurants will also serve samples of their creations.

Proprietors and winemakers from Fleury Winery, Karl Lawrence Cellars, Madrigal Vineyards, Sequoia Grove, Switchback Ridge, von Strasser Winery and Charles Krug will pour their wines at this intimate walk-around food and wine party.  Sparkling wine will also be served.

Artress and Gustafson will be honored guests at the May 6 event, a live auction conducted by auctioneer David Reynolds will complement last year’s popular silent auction of sought-after wines.

Tickets for FAME Napa Valley’s Wine Auction and Concert on the Lawn are $50 in advance (, or $75 at the door.


Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

Portions of this article are original to Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. Photos and video courtesy of FAME. All rights reserved.