Korbel’s Gary Heck to be honored at Sonoma wine auction; Bricoleur Vineyards names culinary advisers

Gary B. Heck, president, chairman and owner of historic Korbel Champagne Cellars in Sonoma County, will be Vintner Honoree for this year’s Sonoma County Wine Auction on Sept. 18, the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation announced.

Organizers said the annual event supports Sonoma County nonprofit organizations and has raised more than $37 million has been raised since its inception.

“Our family has been a part of the Sonoma County wine community for over 65 years and I am always happy to do my part in helping promote and support every aspect of our community,” Heck said.

The weekend of activities kicks off on Sept.16 and culminates with the live auction on Sept. 18. To learn more about all of this year’s live auction lots and to register to attend, visit SonomaCountyWineAuction.com.

Charlie Palmer and Nate Appleman are joining the Bricoleur Vineyards team as culinary advisers to the winery in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley.

“A close friend brought me to the estate for a tasting earlier this year and I was impressed with their tasting menus and the way their wines pair so beautifully with dishes made from their estate-grown fruits and vegetables,” Palmer said. “I cannot wait to collaborate further on wine and food experiences and events in the future.”

Bricoleur Vineyards’ co-founder Mark Hanson said, "Our family has long admired Chef Palmer and Chef Appleman’s talent.”

Dr. Maher Al Rwahnih,  director, Foundation Plant Services (FPS) at the University of California Davis.

Maher Al Rwahnih is the new director for the Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis.

Maher received his Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Protection from the University of Jordan, Amman, in 1994. He then earned a master’s degree in plant virology from the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic studies in Bari, Italy, in 2000, followed by a Ph.D. in Plant Virology from the University of Bari, Italy, in 2004.

After receiving his doctorate, Maher joined FPS where he served as a postdoctoral research fellow before becoming an Academic Administrator. In 2016, Maher was promoted to director of FPS Diagnostics and Research Laboratory.

The university stated Rwahnih has contributed over 100 peer-reviewed journal publications and seven book chapters and has numerous presentations at scientific meetings to his credit. Maher also serves as an instructor in the UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology.

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