Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation

The Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation was created in 2004 to sustain 501(c)3 foundations in San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County whose missions are in the Healing, Performing and Studio Arts. From 2004 through 2016, the Foundation has granted over $2,500,000 to 130 such non-profits. The grantee list year by year follows:

The Wine Classic Foundation was able to provide substantive grants in 2004, its initial year, to the San Luis Obispo Aids Support Network; San Luis Obispo Special Olympics; the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara; San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Public Radio KCBX and the Rhythmic Arts Project, centered in Ventura. Grants conferred in the first year of the new Foundation totaled $126,500.

In 2005, grants were conferred upon Hospice of San Luis Obispo County; the Santa Barbara County Bowl Foundation; Partnership for the Children of San Luis Obispo County; the Clark Center Association in Arroyo Grande; the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council; the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Surgical Eye Expeditions in Santa Barbara and the Fund for Vineyard & Farm Workers, founded by Brian and Johnine Talley of Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande. Grants conferred during the Foundation's second year of granting totaled $195,000.

The Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation's Board of Directors chose as the beneficiaries of the 2006 Wine Classic, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival; the San Luis Obispo Art Center; the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo; Big Brothers & Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County; Tree of Life Pregnancy Support Center of San Luis Obispo County; Hospice Partners of the Central Coast; Pacific Repertory Opera; the John E. Profant Foundation for the Arts in Santa Barbara; Community Counseling Center of San Luis Obispo, Caring Callers of San Luis Obispo County and the Wellness Community of the Central Coast, founded by Justin & Deborah Baldwin of Justin Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles. Foundation grants for 2006 totaled $203,000.

The Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation chose as beneficiaries of the 2007 Wine Classic Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Central Coast Center for Arts Education, Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Children's Health Initiative, Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo, Enhancement Health & Wellness, Opera Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo Chamber Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts/International Choral Festival, University of California at Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures, San Luis Obispo Children's Museum, San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra and Transitional Food & Shelter. The 2007 Wine Classic Fund-A-Need Auction Lot benefitted Options Family of Services. Grants totaling $315,000 were awarded.

For 2008, the Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation Board of Directors gifted the following beneficiaries grants totaling just over $225,000, including an at the time record-breaking $82,500 to the French Hospital Hearst Cancer Resource Center from the Annual Fund-A-Need Auction Lot: Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County, Atascadero Loaves & Fishes, Cal Poly Arts, El Camino Homeless Organization, PCPA Theaterfest, Project Angels Bearing Gifts, San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra, San Luis Obispo YMCA, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, and Tierra Sagrada, The Sacred Earth Foundation.

For 2009, the Board gifted grants totaling $205,025 to the following beneficiaries: Community Youth Performing Arts Center of Santa Barbara; Foodbank of Santa Barbara County; Foundation for the Performing Arts Center of San Luis Obispo; Friends of Prado Day Center in San Luis Obispo; Friendship Adult Day Care Center of Santa Barbara; Gatehelp, Inc./Gryphon Society in Atascadero; Public Radio KCBX San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Counties; Los Padres Forest Watch of Santa Barbara; Morro Bay High School Band; Paderewski Festival of Paso Robles; Santa Maria Philharmonic Society; Senior Volunteer Services of San Luis Obispo and Transitions Mental Health Association of San Luis Obispo. The total includes $67,500 from the Annual Fund-A-Need Auction Lot to fund Respite Care for the Central Coast Alzheimer's Association.

For 2010, the Board conferred grants to the following beneficiaries: Adelaida Historical Foundation, Paso Robles; Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo; Cognitive Fitness & Innovative Therapies, Santa Barbara; Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County Adult Day Services Program, San Luis Obispo; Court Appointed Special Advocates of San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo; Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles; God's Haven for Children, San Luis Obispo; Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter, San Luis Obispo; North County Dance & Performing Arts Foundation, Paso Robles; Pacific Wildlife Care, Morro Bay; San Luis Obispo County Historical Society, San Luis Obispo; Studios on the Park, Paso Robles; United Cerebral Palsy Work, Inc, Santa Barbara. The Annual Fund-A-Need Auction Lot inured to the benefit of the Senior Nutrition Program of San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo. Total grants for these worthy nonprofits totaled $245,918 for 2010.

In 2011, the Foundation Board provided grants to the following beneficiaries: Avila Beach Civic Association, The Center for Nanomedicine in Santa Barbara, Coast Caregiver Resource Center in Santa Barbara, Friends of Hapitok in San Luis Obispo, Friends of the Atascadero Martin Polin Library, Friends of the Visual Arts & Design Academy in Santa Barbara, The Link Teens at Work Program in Atascadero & San Miguel, Loaves & Fishes in Paso Robles, North County Rape Crisis & Child Protection Center in Lompoc & Santa Maria, Northern Chumash Cultural Preservation Kinship in San Luis Obispo, Poetic Justice Project in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara Master Chorale, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, The Sexual Assault Recovery & Protection Program of SLO County in San Luis Obispo, United Cerebral Palsy in San Luis Obispo and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care in Santa Barbara. Grants totaled $236,358.01, including $114,550 conferred on the Center for Nano Medicine at the University of California at Santa Barbara, at that time, the largest Fund-A-Need in the Wine Classic’s history.

In 2012, the Wine Classic Foundation Board selected the following beneficiaries: Access for All, San Luis Obispo; Amazing Surf Adventures, San Luis Obispo; Atascadero High School Band & Pageantry Boosters, Atascadero; Conflict Solutions Center Community Mediation, Santa Maria; Jodi House, Santa Barbara; One Cool Earth, San Luis Obispo; Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation, Paso Robles; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara; SLO Grown Kids, Los Osos and Storyteller Children's Center, Santa Barbara, with grant finds totaling $102,669. The Annual Fund-A-Need Auction Lot Proceeds benefitted the Children's Resource Network of the Central Coast in Pismo Beach in the amount of $100,000, giving a total of $217,669 for 2012.

For 2013, the Wine Classic Foundation Board chose the following beneficiaries: Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara; Heaven Can Wait Equine Sanctuary in San Miguel; Los Osos Middle School PTSA Music Supporters; Meathead Movers Wrestling Club from San Luis Obispo; San Luis Obispo Child Abuse Prevention Council; Sansum Clinic Cancer Center in Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara Botanical Garden; Symphony of the Vines from Atascadero; Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County in San Luis Obispo and Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo. The Annual Fund-A-Need Auction inured to the benefit of MUST! Charities in Templeton in the amount of $162,000. Grants for 2013 totaled $210,500.

The Central Coast Wine Classic Beneficiaries for 2014 included the following: North County Adaptive Sports & Recreation Program in Atascadero, whose mission is to provide year-round supervised adaptive sports programs for the developmentally disabled of Northern San Luis Obispo County; Santa Barbara Dance Institute, which provides educational dance programs that help children develop discipline, a standard of excellence and a belief in themselves that will carry over into every aspect of their lives; RISE San Luis Obispo County in Paso Robles, an organization whose goal is to assist in transforming the lives of sexual and intimate partner survivors, their families and the community through education and services that promote safety, healing and empowerment; Nebula Dance Lab in Santa Barbara, whose mission is to provide a professional forum for choreographers to produce new and exciting works and provide outreach workshops to the community to encourage persons to enter the dance profession; VTC Enterprises in Santa Maria, which assists youth and adults with disabilities or other limitations in choosing and achieving their lifetime goals; Sanctuary Psychiatric Centers of Santa Barbara, whose mission is to provide a continuation of treatment for the seriously mentally disabled adults in order to prevent further hospitalization, create opportunities for community re-integration and extend a long-term safety net to ensure long term remission, while maintaining the highest treatment and professional standards; Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers in Avila Beach, which restores maintains, preserves and manages the historic Port San Luis Light Station as a historic landmark, public park and educational facility; Central Coast Follies, based in Arroyo Grande, whose mission is to raise funding for Parkinson’s Research, including the Central Coast Parkinson’s Support Group and the Parkinson Alliance, by performing creative dance for the public; Arts for Living of San Luis Obispo, which has created an Art Program for people with developmental disabilities, engaging those people with community members through inclusion in the arts, so that success-based interactions will develop immediate and long-term individual expressive and social skills; The Annual Fund-A-Need Auction Lot, which inured to the benefit of the Rona Barrett Foundation in Santa Ynez for the purpose of sustaining Senior Citizens with physical and financial challenges, raised $86,950 in an exhilarating and emotional 10 minutes! The funds will be used to create a Senior Kitchen Project, including equipment and supplies and healthful culinary programs, for low-income and orphaned senior citizens in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Total Grants Conferred to the aforementioned 2014 recipients was $142,869.

Our 2016 Beneficiaries reaped the rewards of our trio of Fund-A-Need Auction Lots. During the Barrel Tasting & Auction at Greengate Farms, the Boys & Girls of Atascadero achieved assistance of $20,000. At the evening Dinner at Hearst Castle, Friends of Hearst Castle received $52,500 and the Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation received $39,000. At the Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction at the Nesbitt Estate in Summerland, The Leni Fe Bland Performing Arts Fund, founded by 2016 Wine Classic Honoree Sara Miller McCune of Montecito, garnered $61,191. The Grand Total for 2016 for the Healing, Studio and Performing Arts was $172, 691.

Since its founding in 2004, the Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation has now conferred grants exceeding $2,500,000 to 130 San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County 501(c)3 non-profits whose missions are in the Healing, Performing and Studio Arts.

Archie McLaren, Central Coast Wine Classic Founder & Chairman

Archie McLaren has been involved in an array of activities on the Central Coast of California since his arrival here in 1974 to represent legal publisher West Publishing Company. Originally assigned to Nevada and Central California, and later to Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii, he became the Administrator of International Marketing for The Orient for West, representing the company in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. He retired from West Publishing Company in 1990.

During that time and following, he became no stranger to the world of fine cuisine and rare wine. He is the founding Bailli of the Central Coast Chapter of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, a member of the Vintners’ Club of San Francisco, the Wine & Food Society of San Francisco, the San Francisco Chapter of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and the Marin County Chapter of the International Wine & Food Society. He is the former Cellarmaster of the Avila Bay Wine Society and the former President of the Central Coast Wine Society.

Archie has served as Chairman/Executive Director of both the San Luis Obispo Vintners & Growers Association for whom he is still a consultant and the Paso Robles Westside Grand Crew. He is one of only two Americans inducted into the Austrian Wine Brotherhood (His friend Brooks Firestone is the other), and one of the few Americans inducted into the Commanderie des Bontemps - Medoc et Graves & Sauternes et Barsac of Bordeaux in France.

Archie has long been associated with charitable wine auctions. Not only did he serve for many years as the American Institute of Wine & Food’s Rare & Fine Wine and Auction Consultant, where he became close friends with Julia Child, he also served as a Director on its National Board. He is the Founder & Chairman of the Central Coast Wine Classic, held in high esteem as a prestigious and comprehensive food and wine event, held each year in July and in its thirty-first year, which boasts Wine Spectator among its many significant sponsors. Several years ago, Archie received a San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau Annual Tourism Award for his conception and presentation of the Wine Classic.

With revenues exceeding $1,000,000, the Central Coast Wine Classic is one of America’s most successful charity wine auctions. The Wine Classic not only promotes the wine, culinary and hospitality industries, it also confers substantive beneficiary proceeds through the Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation, which was created in 2004 to sustain 501(c)3 foundations in San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County whose missions are in the Healing, Performing or Studio Arts. From 2004 through 2014, the Foundation has granted over $2,500,000 to 125 such non-profits. In the Fall of 2010, he was honored by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors for his Civic and Charitable Contributions to the citizens of San Luis Obispo County, in August of 2012, he was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the Assembly of the California Legislature for the Central Coast Wine Classic’s donation of $100,000 to the Children’s Resource Network, in July of 2014 he was again recognized by the California State Assembly for his support of Central Coast non-profits, his promotion of the Central Coast Wine Industry and his positive impact on Central Coast Tourism through the Central Coast Wine Classic, and he has just been awarded in April of 2016 an additional Assembly Certificate of Recognition for being chosen as United Cerebral Palsy’s Citizen of the Year for 2016.

Archie has assisted in launching charity auctions in Washington, D.C., Honolulu, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara. His former partner in life, Carissa Chappellet, an owner of Chappellet Winery in the Napa Valley and the winery’s Legal Director & Ambassador, and he have served as Chairs of the WYES Public Television Auction in New Orleans and are frequent donors to and supporters of charitable wine auctions throughout the United States.

In addition, with Brian Talley in 2001 he co-founded the extremely popular World of Pinot Noir, now held at Santa Barbara. In 2007, he directed and was the auctioneer for the Pinot Plus Auction, the Carneros Wine Alliance’s inaugural Carneros Appellation wine and lifestyle tasting and auction, and, although he does not consider himself to be an even remotely functional auctioneer, was auctioneer for the 2007 and 2008 Lake County California Wine Auctions.

Archie is frequently invited to attend tastings of rare and collectible wines throughout the country and has participated in comprehensive vertical tastings of Chateaux d’Yquem, Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Cos d’Estournel, Leoville Las Cases and Cheval Blanc, as well as La Tache, Hermitage La Chapelle, Penfolds Grange, Vega Sicilia Unico, and Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Private Reserve, among a number of others. A long-time Champagne aficionado who has attended many tastings of rare Champagnes (In 1972, Archie’s long-time friend, “Soul Man” songwriter David Porter turned him on to better sparkling wine than he was drinking at the time, and when Archie moved to California, he took it from there!), he was Founder and Director of the International Festival of Methode Champenoise.

On San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Public Radio KCBX, Archie hosted a fine wine program, the Wine Drinker’s Guide to Indulgence for twenty-three years (He continues to host an occasional show, including every year for the results of the California wine grape harvest), and has been a writer on fine wine for Adventures in Dining, the San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, New Times and Santa Barbara Magazine.

His recent addition of an office and living quarters in downtown Santa Barbara is designed to enhance the demographic audience of the Central Coast Wine Classic, and he has already appeared on a Santa Barbara television show, The Inn Crowd, whose subject is the relationship between fine cuisine and fine wine. A television show on fine wine that he will host is in the initial stages with the goal of airing in early 2016. He is thrilled to note that within four blocks of his Santa Barbara living quarters are restaurants representing a dozen different ethnicities, each an outstanding and accurate representation of its theme, all the way from Himalayan to Creole.

His education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University, a Juris Doctor of Law degree from the University of Memphis, and post-graduate studies in Humanities, English Literature and International Marketing at various universities. He continues to study a variety of subjects, including recently the Evolution of Language, the theories behind the Classical Western European Musical tradition, the History of the Female Influence in Fine Art, World Geology and various Cultural and Evolutionary Anthropological subjects.

Archie McLaren is involved in an array of civic activities, both in the arts and in the community in general. As previously indicated, he has received the San Luis Obispo Visitors & Convention Bureau’s Annual Tourism Award. He has twice served as the President of the Board of Directors of the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and as a member of the Board of Directors of the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council.

He served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Avila Beach Water District and the Chairman of the Avila Beach Front Street Enhancement Committee that designed the promenade and park for the rejuvenation of the community of Avila Beach after the discovery and mitigation of the Unocal Oil environmental damage, and for many years was Chairman of the committee that approves new projects for Avila Beach prior to their being approved at the county level.

In order to rebalance the energy and restore the vitality to the community of Avila Beach, a town that was physically and psychologically ripped apart by the Unocal mitigation, he presented Avila Drum Day, a rhythmic happening that was designed to heal the community’s collective psyche. World-renowned percussionists such as Airto Moreira, Walfredo Reyes and Richie Gajate Garcia, at the behest of Santa Barbara resident Eddie Tuduri, founder of The Rhythmic Arts Project, donated their time and stunning musical abilities to the event. Archie has recently begun contemplating a novel on the subject of Rhythm and Harmonics and their various manifestations.

His many accomplishments over the years he has lived in California have resulted in his inclusion in Who’s Who in Media & Communications, Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.