DCWAF announces 2018's honorary vintner

Special to The Log
As the new managing owners, Steve and Bridgit Greissel are thrilled to be part of the next chapter of Betz Family Winery. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation recently announced the Betz Family Winery as the 2018 honorary vintner for the 13th annual Destin Charity Wine Auction, hosted April 28–30 in Grand Boulevard.

Accepting the award will be winery owner Steve Griessel, who will also participate in a patron dinner hosted by Stephen and Joan Carter with the help of celebrity chef Cindy Hudson.

“Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation is consistently overwhelmed by the amount of support we receive from our friends in the wine industry,” said John Russell, president of the foundation. “Steve and the team at Betz Family Winery have been tremendous supporters of our organization, and we are honored to have them return to the 2018 auction. Their passion and support have played a huge part in our ability to donate more than $15 million and improve the lives of 90,000 plus youth in Northwest Florida.”

The 13th annual auction weekend kicks off on Friday, April 28, with 12 patron dinners hosted in some of the most stunning homes and restaurants along the Emerald Coast, and is followed by a reserve wine tasting and live auction on Saturday afternoon. Patrons who attend the auction weekend will also be granted access to Sunday’s South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, also hosted throughout Grand Boulevard.

Patron packages for the 13th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction are on sale now atwww.dcwaf.org.

“The impact that DCWAF has on the community is unparalleled and Destin has become a shining example for all cities in the USA,” said Steve Griessel, owner of Betz Family Winery. “Our family is humbled at this unexpected honor, and we are delighted to be part of such an incredible cause.”

Currently ranked No. 3 on the list of "Top Ten Wine Auctions in the U.S." by Wine Spectator Magazine, the Destin Charity Wine Auction connects wine enthusiasts with preeminent winemakers and chefs to help children in need in Northwest Florida.

The Betz Family Winery was founded by Bob Betz, whose career in winemaking began in the early 1970s. He and his wife, Cathy, traveled the European vineyards and countryside to teach themselves the how and why of crafting fine wines. His education and immersion paid off- Bob earned the degree of master of wine with a personal focus on the interaction of wine and barrels during the maturation process and received the Villa Maria Award for the highest scores on the viticultural exam, and the Robert Mondavi Award for the highest overall scores in all theory exams. Bob and Cathy created their first vintage of Betz Family wines with 150 cases in 1997, and opened Betz Family Winery in Washington State in 2005.

In 2011, Bob and Cathy sold the winery to Steve and Bridgit Griessel, with Bob retaining his role as the head winemaker. Steve and Bridgit, along with their three children, live at the winery and ensure that it stays true to its heritage, culture, and principles. From South Africa, the couple are avid collectors of fine wines with a strong appreciation of Washington wines. Steve began working as an intern at the Betz Family in 2010 while completing his degree in enology and viticulture, and was subsequently hired as an assistant winemaker before later purchasing the winery.

Over the last several years, the flavorful wines of Betz Family Winery have developed a large following, and their member list is currently closed with a wait list. Their wines, known for their dimensions and character, are released twice a year. The winery opens twice a year for their member release weekends.