Paws, claws, food, wine and love |

Paws, claws, food, wine and love

by Veronica Whitney
Harvest Party1 BH 9-27/Mon Photos/Harvest Party 9-27 BH

Richard Hoyt said he came to the fourth annual Beaver Liquors Harvest Party Saturday for the wine and the animals.

“I’ve come to all four events. The wine is good, but the animals are better,” said Hoyt of Eagle-Vail as he tasted six different wines from all over the world.

The event, benefiting the Eagle Valley Humane Society, drew more than 300 people, who tasted wine and food at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion and raised about $10,000, said Char Quinn, director of the Eagle Valley Humane Society.

“It’s been a success every year,” she said. “People in the community like to support the animals.”

All the money for the animal shelter in Eagle is raised through fund-raisers, donations and grants. The proceeds of Saturday’s party will go to neutering and spading about 300 animals, Quinn said.

“We do it for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it,” she said. “And for some cats we find on the streets.”

Without the spading and neutering, Quinn said, it would be impossible to have a no kill animal shelter.

“We’re on our fifth year as a no kill shelter,” she said.

Local veterinarian, Ron Gruber said it’s very important to control overpopulation of animals.

“So our shelters don’t get filled,” he added.

Food and love

Some 60 donors, including wine companies and local restaurants, participated in the event organized by Beaver Liquors.

“We’re here for the animals,” said Nani Lindig, who came from Castle Rock. Lindig was bidding at the silent auction for a Paws and Claws large bottle of 2001 Mutt Meritage. “It’s a wonderful venue to do it and it’s a great community spirit here.”

The party was a mix of wine and food tasting. There were 25 different wines from across the world and 10 local restaurants offered samples of their menus.

The Cowboy Gourmet offered enchilada stuffed mushrooms; Ti Amo had funghi and polenta and its famous penne gorgonzola with chicken; the Wildflower offered a cream of field pea soup with duck confit; Route 6 Cafe, a buffalo meat loaf; Cucina Rustica, shrimp ravioli; the French Press, lamb roulade and Vista restaurant, elk bolognese; and fried Cajun turkey from Tom’s Turkey Farm. There also was a table with artisan cheeses. For dessert, Mountain Flour of Eagle had three options: crispy apple strudel, bittersweet flowerless chocolate cake, mini lemon tarts and a 20 pound chocolate mousse cake donated by Mountain Flour with a hard chocolate cover molded into a dog and a cat reaching for grapes on a vineyard.

“This is a good cause,” said Mart Matthews of Eagle-Vail. “The Eagle-Vail community is the best community. There’s a lot of people who are normal. We’re not a gated community.”

Stomping the grapes

As the Dave Laub Quintet played some jazz tunes, people wrote down their bids on a silent auction that included a facial from Skin Deep Spa; a Peter Max autographed poster; a stay at the Ritz Carlton, a dog or cat animal health exam with vaccines; and a wags and whiskers gift basket.

“This event is important not only for the fund-raising but to raise awareness on animal care, spading and neutering and adopting,” said Evelyn Pinney of Singletree, who used to be on the board of the Humane Society.

David Courtney, owner of Beaver Liquors in Avon and organizer of the event, was in charge of gathering the 15 wine representatives from Colorado who donated the wine and the restaurants which brought their food Saturday evening.

“When I became a partner of the store I wanted to do a wine tasting for charity and we decided this was a good idea,” Courtney said. “Everybody loves their dogs and cats.”

The fund-raiser had its historical moment, too. When everyone was invited to stomp grapes.

“In the old days men and women would strip their clothes off, they would get in a vat and stomp grapes to start fermentation. Now it’s all mechanical,” Courtney said.

“We’ll raise $10,000 tonight, it’s great when you get to have fun and raise money,” he added

Last year was veterinarian Ron Gruber’s first year coming to the party.

“I had too much fun. I couldn’t miss it this year,” Gruber said. “It’s for a good cause.”

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at

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