Project Zin to Uncork Wine, Philanthropy, and Zinfandel on


Clay and Carrie Mauritson, Charlie Palmer, and top Zinfandel producers will unite for a weekend celebration benefiting Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area

Chef Charlie Palmer and grape grower Clay Mauritson join hands with Brady Mauritson, to raise support for Down Syndrome.

(August 8, 2023; Healdsburg, CA)–On August 18-19, renowned winemakers, chefs, and Zinfandel enthusiasts will converge at Bricoleur Vineyards in Sonoma County for the 13th annual Project Zin event. This grand celebration of wine, culinary artistry, and community spirit will benefit Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area (DSCBA), and feature 21 top Zinfandel producers, live music, and an impressive live and silent auction. Tickets are available via Eventbrite here. For more information, visit www.projectzin.org.

Clay Mauritson, a sixth-generation grape grower and the founder and owner of Mauritson Wines in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, is the driving force behind Project Zin. Inspired in 2010 following the diagnosis of his oldest son, Brady, with Down Syndrome at the age of 2-1⁄2 years old, Clay and his wife Carrie joined hands with celebrated James Beard Award-winning Chef Charlie Palmer to launch Project Zin. The initiative aims to raise awareness, advocate for all people with disabilities, especially those with Down Syndrome, while generating funds to support DSCBA’s mission to empower, inspire, and support people with Down Syndrome and their families.

Now in its 13th year, Project Zin has become a beacon of community, compassion, and celebration. The 2011 inaugural event raised an inspiring $25,000 and has continued to flourish, surpassing a cumulative threshold of $2 million in total funds raised in 2022. “Project Zin began as a small spark during an emotionally challenging time for our family, and it’s since grown to touch many lives,” says Clay Mauritson. “It is humbling to see our food and wine community come together to create a legacy of compassion, understanding, and empowerment, all inspired by the incredible journey of Brady and the many lives he’s touched.”

“We’re not just raising glasses; we’re raising hope, and building a future where everyone has the opportunity to shine,” adds Chef Charlie Palmer.

The weekend’s highlight, Project Zin, will unfold at the picturesque Bricoleur Vineyards. Guests will have the exclusive opportunity to sample 21 of the most coveted Zinfandels, each paired with gourmet tastings from celebrated chefs. The number 21 is significant as it acknowledges the extra copy of chromosome 21 in most cases of Down Syndrome, which changes the body and brain’s development. The evening will include a taste-around-style event with vibrant live music, followed by a progression to the Winery Barn for desserts, a Live Auction, and paddle raise. General Admission starts at 6:30 pm ($200.00), and VIP tickets include early admission at 5:30 pm ($350.00).

Exclusive packages are also available, including two-night accommodations at Hotel Healdsburg, Harmon Guest House, and Bricoleur Vineyard Milk Barn. Those who opt for these packages will also gain access to an intimate “Behind the Scenes” afternoon event with Clay and Carrie at Mauritson Winery, which features a carnitas lunch, thoughtfully paired with a vertical tasting of rare Mauritson library Zinfandels.

The Live Auction, hosted by the Golden State Warriors’ “hype man” Franco Finn, will offer an array of luxurious lots, ranging from a 4-Night Getaway to Ojai, Montecito, and Santa Barbara, to a private concert from John Legend and Jean-Charles Boisset in Boisset and Gina Gallo’s home in Napa Valley, to a Collector’s Lot that showcases rare bottlings from each of Project Zin’s 21 participating vintners.

The Silent Auction, concluding on Sunday, August 20, will present exclusive escapes to destinations such as Paradise at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and Montage Kapalua Bay; wine lots from top vintners, including a Portalupi Wine and Regiis Ova caviar party for 10 with owner Jane Portalupi and Winemaker Tim Borges; a rare bottle of 20 Year Reserve Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve bourbon; and sports lots such as Golden State Warriors Club Level tickets or San Francisco Giants Club Level seats. 

The weekend’s participating wineries include A. Rafanelli Winery, BACA Wines, Bedrock Wine Co., Bricoleur Vineyards, Carlisle Winery & Vineyards, Comstock Wines, Flambeaux Wine, Hartford Family Wine, Kokomo Winery, Lambert Bridge Winery, Limerick Lane Cellars, Martinelli Winery, Mauritson Wines, Nalle Winery, Pedroncelli Winery, Portalupi Wine, Ridge Vineyards, Robert Biale Vineyards, Seghesio Family Vineyards, Turley Wine Cellars, and Williams Selyem.

The 2023 participating restaurants include: Augie’s French, Bricoleur Vineyards, Catelli’s, Diavola Pizzeria, Downtown Bakery and Creamery, Dry Creek Kitchen, John Ash & Co., Little Saint Healdsburg, Oakville Grocery, SingleThread Farm – Restaurant – Inn, Spoonbar, Sweet T’s Restaurant + Bar, Taylor Lane Organic Coffee, The Madrona Hotel, The Parish Cafe, The Spinster Sisters, Valette, and Volo Chocolate.


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