The Rattan Wine Walk is an enjoyable way of supporting the local St. Croix community with the added benefit of being an elegant night out. The largest annual fundraiser for the Rattan Montessori School, the Rattan Wine Walk offers guests the opportunity to explore the beautiful ruins and fully restored sugarmill of the historic Estate Belvedere whilst enjoying some of the best food, wine and entertainment the island has to offer.
What can you expect to experience at this event? When you arrive at the designated offsite parking area, a shuttle will take you up to Estate Belvedere. Upon arrival you will be given a program with event details and a wine glass, and then the fun begins. You will meander throughout the picturesque Estate Belvedere property, ruins, and sugarmill while sampling luscious wines paired with heavy hors doeuvres. While you sip, nosh, and mingle your way around, you will be serenaded by the beautiful sounds of live music and entertained by firedancers.
The event is efficiently organized to utilize the entirety of the Estate Belvedere house and grounds. Pairing stations are set up in the ruins, inside and atop the sugarmill, and on several sprawling decks, allowing attendees to move about the estate and enjoy the pairings without feeling too crowded. The entire outdoor area is lit with delicate white lights that allow you to see enough to get around, while not detracting from the beauty of the venue or the blanket of stars overhead. I recommend getting to the event when it begins so that you can take in the colors of the sunset over the North Shore offered from the breathtaking vista upon which Estate Belvedere sits.
As you make your way into the sugarmill and through the main house, you will find a table featuring Bellows International selling wholesale wines, as well as an array of dozens of items up for for sale in the silent auction. In addition to cases and collections of wines, the silent auction offers items like excursions from local tour operators, gift certificates for some of St. Croix’s best restaurants, locally made jewelry and art, and much, much more. For example, when I attended the Rattan Wine Walk I bid on a beautiful set of artisan silver jewelry, a sunset dinner sail aboard Bon Bagay, and a certificate for two to attend a Slow Down Dinner at Ridge to Reef Farm. The local St. Croix distributors, business owners, restaurateurs, and artists are kind enough to donate their time, services and wares to raise money for Rattan Montessori School as a contribution to their community. You can show your support of our local businesses and support this great cause by bidding on one or more of the donated items, or by purchasing some of the wonderful wholesale wines available from Bellows International.
If you are not familiar with the beneficiary, the Rattan Montessori School has encouraged St. Croix’s children to reach full potential for more than 25 years. The work process at Rattan Montessori facilitates attaining skills, refining tastes, developing sensitivities, expanding concentration, solving problems and achieving new insights. In general, a Montessori education helps to create a solid foundation for a child’s academic strength and success by:
- Providing a specially prepared environment that contains the raw materials which, used over time, encourage the desire to learn, the ability to analyze and the confidence to pursue intellectual challenges;
- Offering a child-oriented setting in which the older children act as role models for younger children, which helps develop self-confidence and self-esteem for all; and,
- Providing an environment which offers a universal approach that breaks through barriers of language and culture and provides children with an enhanced preparedness for citizenship in an increasingly international and multi-cultural millennium.
I highly recommend attending this event. It is a great opportunity to support our community’s children, and to meet and mingle with some of your local community members and friends. Tickets are limited in order to make sure there is plenty of delicious food and wine for everyone, so please purchase your tickets in advance.For more details about this year’s Rattan Wine Walk event, including a link to purchase your tickets, please visit our Calendar of Events. Salute!
– Jennie Ogden, Editor