We could not have asked for more beautiful weather for the night of our Wine & Dine for Climate event at Alexis Bailly Vineyard, and all other aspects of the event were as lovely as our outdoor surroundings. On Saturday, August 29th, over 50 friends and supporters joined us at Alexis Bailly Vineyards, Nan Bailly’s Hastings, Minnesota winery for an end-of-summer fundraiser that made the connection between wine and climate change while raising over $3,700 to support our work.
Our partnership with Nan Bailly came about through last winter’s Dine for Climate series – we met Nan on a cold, January night at our Spoonriver Dine for Climate event, and talked about a future event together. After several more meetings and exchanges in the spring, Wine & Dine for Climate was on the calendar, with Nan generously agreeing to donate the space, the wine and several raffle prizes. In addition to Nan’s support, Kowalski’s Markets donated food for the evening, Gigi’s Cafe donated a local salad, dessert bars and gift card for the raffle, and Peace Coffee and Birchwood Cafe donated gift baskets. Further contributions to the success of the evening came from our summer intern Grant Johnson, a talented violinist, and the trio of musicians he brought with him to play throughout the event.
The evening itself was exceptional by all accounts, as guests mingled in the vineyard’s extensive outdoor space, enjoyed local food and wine, played bocce, heard about our work and won raffle prizes. Attendees included IPCC lead author and climate scientist Ben Santer, State Representative Melissa Hortman, U of M Energy Transition Lab director Ellen Anderson, and several other members of our board and advisory board. During the program, guests learned about how wine production is both being impacted by climate change and can be part of the solution when done in a sustainable fashion, and heard about upcoming Climate Minnesota convenings happening this fall. The end of the evening came up all too quickly, much like the end of summer, leaving us with a feeling of gratitude for the wonderful partnerships and community that had come together.