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4/2/2012 8:07:00 AM
Painted Wine Barrels auction for a good cause

The wine barrels-turned-canvases that have been on display throughout Cottonwood, Sedona, and the Verde Valley are now up for auction.

The Painted Barrels auction, benefiting the Yavapai College Viticulture Program, will take place Saturday, April 28, 3-5 p.m. at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel in Camp Verde.  

The wine barrels are a unique part of the landscape, painted by local artists, and are on public view in the wineries, tasting rooms and nearly 40 businesses in the Verde Valley.

The Painted Barrels will be auctioned off with a majority of the proceeds benefiting the Yavapai College Viticulture Program, the first viticulture program in Arizona.

The bidding will start at $100 and the barrels will be sold to the highest bidder.  

The viticulture program, modeled after well-established programs in California, is providing the education that is needed to obtain a job in the rapidly growing Arizona wine industry, creating many employment opportunities.  

This past summer Yavapai College planted their very first acre of grapes to assist in the education of their students and there are 15 more acres reserved for planting of new vineyards.  

The auction includes an interactive wine tasting event with the Painted Barrels artists before the auction at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel.

The event will be accompanied by hors d'oeuvres and a chocolate fountain.

Lana Tolleson, Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce CEO, explains, "The wine tasting and auction is a great way to enjoy all that the Verde Valley has to offer, from our local artistic talents to sipping on really good wine. It is also an opportunity to meet the artists and hear about their inspiration for the amazing designs they have created."

If you cannot attend the live Painted Barrel auction, do not worry. A few of the painted barrels are featured on eBay, and are available to bid on and purchase online.

For online auction details, please visit www.vvwinetrail.com/onlinepaintedbarrelsauction.  

The auction and wine tasting are part of the first Verde Valley Wine Symposium, an all day event which features wine experts, an elegant dinner with a keynote speaker, and a silent auction to benefit the Verde Valley Wine Consortium.  Registration is required for this event. Tickets for the auction and wine tasting are $20.

To register, please visit www.yc.edu/WineSymposium2012. Information on the Verde Valley Wine Trail, the Painted Barrels, and the Yavapai College Viticulture Program is available from the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce at (928) 634-7593.

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