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Pamela Wood, president and founder of the Park City Wine Club, prepares to pour wine during an event in Hawaii last June. Wood, a certified sommelier, is excited about the rising popularity of the club in Park City. (Photo courtesy of Pamela Wood)
In August, 2012, Pamela Wood founded the Park City Wine Club.

The goal was simple: celebrate, educate and give back to the community.

To do this, Wood, a certified wine sommelier, devised a plan.

"The vision of having a wine club was to, of course, comply with state laws to establish a social organization where people could come together, socialize and learn about different wines, wine styles, culture and more, all the while holding these events at local establishments and promoting the business or organizations," Wood told The Park Record. "The second part of the wine club was to (benefit) so many wonderful non-profits in Wasatch and Summit counties."

The simple plan became complicated due to the strict Utah liquor laws.

"Building a business that focuses on wine here in Utah has its obstacles," Wood said. "I spent all this time and money and more time to do this.

"I did my research, which still continues today, to make sure the club is adhering to the laws," she said. "Luckily they're not changing as much as it was a year ago. And it was so confusing when I first started."

In spite of those challenges, the Park City Wine Club has flourished and will celebrate its one-year anniversary with two events that will be held Thursday, Aug. 1, and Friday, Aug. 2.

"I am excited to offer a 'Wine Dos & Don'ts' class with winemaker David Johndrow, of Johndrow Vineyards, on Aug. 1," Wood said. "Johndrow Vineyards is an award-winning boutique vineyard and winery in Napa Valley, Calif.


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The class, which will be held at Westgate Resort at Canyons from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., is open to the public and will be a benefit for Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, a nonprofit organization that specializes in avalanche and winter-related mountain rescue and medical evacuations using trained professionals and search-and-rescue dogs.

The cost is $30 for non-Park City Wine Club members and $25 for members.

The class will feature wines, handouts and light cheeses.

Friday's event, called a 'Winemakers Dinner,' will be held at the Edge Steakhouse at Canyons from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Johndrow selected four exquisite wines that will be matched with a culinary delight prepared by 'Best of State' Chef Nick Lees, of the Edge Steakhouse, Wood said.

The dinner is limited to 25 people and the cost is $135 per person.

Reservations will be required for both events. Email ParkCityWineClub@gmail.com for reservations.

These gatherings are a little different than the club's inaugural event that was held a year ago at the Crescent Room at the Hotel Park City. It featured wine tastings, hors d'oeuvres from the Ruth's Chris Steak House menu.

"We had reservations for 50 people and 60 showed up," Wood said. "In addition, we had 12 more waiting in the foyer."

The Park City Wine Club now has more than 280 members.

"The growth was tremendous and the business plan had to be rewritten," Wood said. "I was delighted but also a little concerned on how to handle it."

Wood had to reexamine how she could hold events that not only benefited the venues, but everyone who attended.

"I found that I had to hold many events at least twice to accommodate all the people who were interested," she said. "I am lucky to have some close friends that believe in what I do and they have volunteered their time to help make the events happen flawlessly."

Wood said it's amazing to see how far the club has come.

"It's such an exciting thing to think about when I wanted to give this thing a shot and then see that it has taken off in the community," she said. "I had a hard time passing along the concept to restaurants that I wanted to showcase some of the items on their menus and their wine lists to a group of people.

"I thought the idea was great, but many owners saw the club as another special group and wanted to charge us just too much to promote their business," Wood said. "Now, I have establishments coming to me and asking to host our club. I think restaurants especially, see the value that the club brings to them."

That's why Wood feels it's important for the club to donate some of its proceeds to nonprofit organizations.

"There is no rhyme or reason in how I choose which nonprofit organization we benefit," she said. "That way there are no politics involved in why I chose a certain organization and not another one.

"People give me suggestions, and since we hold events every month, sooner or later, I will hit every one of them," Wood said.

The Park City Wine Club will celebrate its one-year anniversary with events on Thursday, Aug. 1, with a Wine Dos & Don'ts class with winemaker David Johndrow at Westgate Resort at Canyons from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., and a Winemakers Dinner with Johndrow on Friday, Aug. 2, at the Edge Steakhouse at Canyons, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Reservations are required for both events. Contact Pamela Wood at ParkCityWineClub@gmail.com to make reservations. For more information, visit www.ParkCityWinerClub.com .