Wine and film pairing set for National Ability Center benefit | ParkRecord.com

Wine and film pairing set for National Ability Center benefit

Although the National Ability Center's annual wine-centric fundraiser of the year — Red, White and Snow — is still a few weeks away, the nonprofit will pop the cork early with a partnership with the Park City Film Series.

The organizations will present an exclusive private screening of Mark Tchelistcheff's "André: The Voice of Wine," not rated, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave.

A pre-screening wine tasting will start at 6 p.m.

Tickets to the tasting and screening are $35, and the price includes three glasses of wine. Tickets to just the screening, which is open to all ages, are $8 for general admission, and $7 for students and senior citizens.

The money raised will benefit the National Ability Center, said CEO Gail Barille.

"During the event, we will emphasize our mission, which is to empower individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and education," Barille said. "Last year we served 6,600 people and led 37,000 different lessons. We are busy all the time."

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NAC programs include alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, aquatics, archery, cycling and mountain biking, to name a few. The National Ability Center also offers equestrian and adaptive recreation camps.

"We have continued to grow over the past several years, and there are some great opportunities that show us where we will be in the future," Barille said. "We want to continue on the path to reach more kids, families and veterans."

The evening will also include information about Red, White and Snow and the upcoming Paralympic Games.

"We have some amazing athletes from this area who trained at the National Ability Center and who will represent many different countries," Barille said. "And we're looking forward to talking about them."

Katharine Wang, executive director of the Park City Film Series, said she is excited to present "André: The Voice of Wine," which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival last year.

"The film is not out to general release, but it does follow the films we have shown in conjunction with the National Ability Center in the past," she said. "We have screened films about wines, sommeliers and wine making in the Napa Valley. And while this film is not really about the NAC's mission, it is tied to wine, obviously."

"André: The Voice of Wine" is about the filmmaker Tchelistcheff's great uncle, André Tchelistcheff, who is known for changing the world of wine forever, according to Wang.

"He was a Russian immigrant born to an aristocrat and fled his country during the Russian Revolution and ended up in the Napa Valley just after Prohibition, when the California wine industry was at it lowest," she said.

Back then, a lot of vineyards sustained themselves by producing sacramental wine, Wang said.

"André had the expertise, working in the French vineyards of Moet & Chandon and the Pasteur Institute in Paris, to see how things could improve here in the United States and California," she said.

In 1976, Tchelistcheff flew to Paris for the Paris Blind Tasting , which ended with an unprecedented result: two American wines won the highest honors.

"André is credited for helping the wines win," Wang said. "He got the winemakers to change the temperature of where the wines were stored, and how the vineyards were cultivated."

Tchelistcheff, who passed away in 1994, influenced modern winemaking over the course of his 66-year [life], she said.

"It's not just about wine, but about an immigrant who came from Russia and had a profound impact on our culture," Wang said. "It speaks to the value of being a multicultural society."

The Park City Film Series and the National Ability Center have partnered on screenings like these and fundraisers for the past three years, Wang said.

"With the National Ability Center's Red, White and Snow coming up, we always want to create an event that tied into that, and provide a teaser of what's to come," Wang said. "We also wanted to host an event that more local people can access, because the events at Red, White and Snow are on a much larger scale. So we thought this would be a great pairing with the National Ability Center."

The Park City Film Series, in partnership with the National Ability Center, will present an exclusive private screening of Mark Tchelistcheff's "André: The Voice of Wine," not rated, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. A pre-screening wine tasting will start at 6 p.m. Tickets for the tasting and screening are $35. Tasting attendees must be 21 or older. Tickets for only the screening, which is open to all ages, are $8 for general admission and $7 for students and senior citizens. For information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.