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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 8:51 pm | Fair 53º


Elverhøj Museum Celebrates Annual Solstice Fundraiser from Sunset to Firelight

Sixth annual soiree in Solvang features fine food and wines with a bonfire alongside the picturesque lake at Jonata vineyard


It’s Solstice celebration time! The Elverhøj Museum of History & Art in Solvang celebrated the year’s longest day at its sixth annual Solstice Sundowner, a fundraiser party with fun, fine food and wines, and entertainment.

Guests congregated in the early evening under a canopy of oaks alongside the picturesque lake at the Jonata vineyard in the hills outside Solvang. The setting lies off Ballard Canyon Road within the boundaries of the nearly 9,000 acres that Solvang’s founders bought in 1910 for their new Danish colony.

Superb wines flowed, including Jonata, Fess Parker, Evan’s Ranch and Andrew Murray, and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., along with a “Sundowner” specialty cocktail. A gourmet dinner of grilled New York strip loin and spiced crusted salmon, created by Savoir Faire Catering, was enjoyed by all.

Following Danish tradition and to the delight of the 170 guests, a Solstice “Sankt Hans Aften” (St. John’s Eve) bonfire was lit at lake’s edge as the sun set behind the hills.

Event co-chairman Erik Gregersen opened the program.

“The Elverhøj Museum board is very grateful to Jonata for providing this beautiful venue for the sixth year,” he said. “This is the only time Jonata is open for a public event. Tonight’s proceeds will support our mission to preserve and exhibit our Danish history and culture.”

Elverhøj Museum Solstice Sundowner
Event co-chairman Erik Gregersen, center, with Gay and Mark Infanti. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

The event was supported by the Elverhøj board of directors, including co-chairs Gregersen and Debbie Laroche, Dennis Bales, Lana Clark, Meighan Deitenhofer, Ken Harwood, Elizabeth Jensen, Carol Johnson, A. Art Kaslow, Glenda Madrid, Lisa Pedersen and Gabrielle Robbins. Also assisting was the Elverhøj staff, executive director Esther Jacobsen Bates, Debbie Jones, Reece Michaelson and Jody Williams.

The live auction offered exclusive, one-of-a-kind experiences, including a Santa Ynez Valley hot air balloon ride; a week stay in a villa in Piedmont, Italy; a week in Malaga, Spain; and a week in a South Lake Tahoe cabin.

The 2018 sponsors included Location Sponsor Jonata; Sunshine Sponsors The Copenhagen House and Montecito Bank & Trust; Moonrise Sponsors AllianceBernstein, C&D LLP, El Rancho Market and The Alisal; and Firelight Sponsors A. Art Kaslow DDS, Alvie’s Plumbing, Dennis Bales/Santa Ynez Valley Vision Source, attorney Lana Clark, Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Friends of Elverhøj, Sandy and Erik Gregersen, Susan and Paul Halme, Marty Orosz Design, Nielsen’s Market Inc., Pacific Western Bank, Gabrielle and Peter Robbins, and Santa Ynez Valley Real Estate Co.

Jonata winery focuses on a range of red, and a handful of white, wines from its estate in the Ballard Canyon appellation in the Santa Ynez Valley. With a commitment in particular to cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and syrah, winemaking is guided by winemaker Matt Dees.

The Jonata name was borrowed by the first pioneers from the local Chumash Indian and means “tall oak.”

The mission of the Elverhøj is to collect, preserve and exhibit the history and Danish culture of Solvang and to promote the arts. Click here for more information, or contact executive director Esther Jacobsen Bates at 805.686.1211 or [email protected]. Click here to become a museum member.

The Elverhøj Museum of History & Art is located at 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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