The Southwest Florida Wine and Food Fest is a weekend of fine wine and great food shared among friends, benefitting The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and providing scholarships for students pursuing pediatric medical careers at Florida Gulf Coast University  and Edison State College. The gala is considered by many to be Lee County’s premier fundraising event.

Chef-Vintner Dinners are hosted in some of the area’s most exclusive homes. The intimate setting offers a unique dining experience, pairing top chefs with world-renowned vintners. Themed dinners allow guests to spend an evening enjoying flavors from locales such as Tuscany or the Moulin Rouge. Dinners take place February 22, followed by the Grand Tasting and Auction at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club the next day.

The Grand Tasting allows guests to sample fare from all featured vintners and chefs.  Husic Vineyards has been named the Signature Vintner for this year’s Wine & Food Fest. Silent and live auctions  will feature exclusive items such as luxury trips to international destinations and signature  art by child artist Ella Sterling,  who spent her first two months of  life in The Children’s Hospital’s NICU but is now a healthy, active kindergartner.

Last year’s painting created by 7-year-old oncology patient Olivia Ramsey  generated  $125,000 in donations. In total, the 2012

Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest netted a record-breaking $2 million for children’s health charities.

(This article was taken from the February 2013 issue of Estero Lifestyle Magazine.)