SonRise Equestrian Foundation participant Roxanne Fernandes and volunteer Kathy Barlow enter the Charles Wilhelm Training Center with horse Molly, painted with the logo of Murrieta’s Well Winery, the event’s Presenting Sponsor

(Castro Valley, CA, September 17)–The SonRise Equestrian Foundation’s 3rd Annual Wine & Equine Festival raised $36,000 on Saturday, September 12th for the nonprofit organization. More than 150 people attended the event, which is the organization’s main source of revenue, accounting for nearly 50 percent of annual operating costs.

The festival featured a gourmet barbeque, estate grown, sustainably farmed wines from presenting sponsors Murrieta’s Well and Wente Vineyards, live and silent auctions, wine cellar raffle and a horse show featuring world renowned horse trainer Charles Wilhelm and the children of SonRise. The Charles Wilhelm Training Center is among the top equine educational institutions in Northern California.

“We’d like to extend our deep thanks to our guests, sponsors and volunteers,” said Melanie Buerke, Founder of SonRise Equestrian Foundation. “The funds raised at this event are crucial to our ability to provide access to horses free of charge for children with social, emotional or physical disabilities and terminal illnesses.”

About SonRise

SonRise Equestrian Foundation is a volunteer-based non-profit organization making a positive difference for children ages 8 to 18 living with social, emotional, orphysical challenges including terminal illness. Participating children develop confidence, integrity and responsibility through mentoring and peer relationships centered on the care and enjoyment of horses.

It offers three programs for free to qualified participants: In the Saddle, a one-on-one riding program, Team Rehab, a working ranch program and Traveling Tails, a hospice program involving miniature horses. All of their programs are centered around helping children develop confidence through mentoring and peer relationships through the care and enjoyment of horses. There is currently a waiting list to participate in each of these programs.

About Murrieta’s Well

Set in the heart of the Livermore Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA), as well as the greater San Francisco Bay AVA, the winery is 35 miles east of San Francisco. Surrounded by vineyards, the serene, idyllic location of Murrieta’s Well has a sense of timeless romanticism.

Today Murrieta’s Well grows eleven varietals, nine red and two white, on 92-acres of sustainably farmed vineyards. The red varietals originated in France, Spain, Croatia and Portugal, and include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Mouvedre, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Souzao, Touriga Francesca, and Touriga Nacional. White varietals are Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The winery produces 5,000 to 8,000 cases of estate wine annually, depending on vintage conditions, with quality as the ultimate determining factor.

About Wente Family Estates

Wente Family Estates encompasses three distinctive wineries, all nestled in the southern foothills of the beautiful Livermore Valley,   Wente Vineyards, Murrieta’s Well and Tamás Estates. These wineries source 100 percent of their fruit from the Wente family’s sustainably farmed estate vineyards located in the Livermore Valley and Arroyo Seco regions of California. Each winery offers its own unique portfolio of wines, from small-lot rarities to those for everyday enjoyment. Owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations, the Wente family celebrated 125 years of winemaking excellence in 2008.

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.