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Fine Design & Fine Wine

The Gualala Arts Center and Soroptimist International of Mendocino-Sonoma Coast, Inc. are teaming up for their Annual Architectural Tour, Wine Tasting and Auction,

The Gualala Arts Center and Soroptimist International of Mendocino-Sonoma Coast, Inc. are teaming up for their Annual Architectural Tour, Wine Tasting and Auction,

The Gualala Arts Center & Local Soroptomists Team Up For Annual Architectural Tour, Wine Tasting And Auction.

Breathtaking homes, wonderful food and the celebration of motherhood form the foundation for a South Mendocino Coast event which has become a staple for locals and a signature destination for visitors. The Gualala Arts Center and Soroptimist International of Mendocino-Sonoma Coast, Inc. are teaming up for their 33rd Annual Architectural Tour, Wine Tasting and Auction, taking place on Friday and Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, May 12 and 13.

Soroptimist International’s Sonoma Coast representative Linda Bradbrook notes that the tour encompasses between six and ten homes, allowing guests to view houses located along a 20-mile route, celebrating and highlighting the unique architecture and culture that defines the Mendocino and Sonoma Coast.

Those in the know are familiar with the quiet architectural revolution that has been “building” on the north coast. With a focus on sustainability, creative use of natural materials, whimsy and indoor-outdoor living, attendees have an opportunity to see houses like no other and meet some of the movers and shakers in the design industry.

“Homeowners, architects and even the builders are often present at the homes. “It’s a great way to meet the architects, and a great way to see the employment of new and old building materials, rehabbed homes and how people on the coast build, decorate and live. It’s a great peek into life on the South Coast, and those interested in architecture and design come away with amazing new ideas,” says David “Sus” Susalla, executive director of the Gualala Arts Center.

“We have a symbiotic relationship that makes our bi-county community special, notes Bradbrook. “The Sea Ranch is in Sonoma County and Gualala is in Mendocino County, and the welfare of our communities is intertwined. Gualala provides a location for medical care, groceries, restaurants and community services. Gualala relies on the Sea Ranch for their business, their wonderful volunteerism and tourism dollars. Many of our arts programs are generously supported by our Sea Ranch residents. It’s a cultural and economic engine for the South Coast community, and fundraisers like this help us continue to support our thriving arts community and excellent community services,” she continues.

The Architectural Tour supports the work of the Soroptimists, and the Wine Tasting and Auction is one of the signature fundraisers for the Gualala Arts Center—the foundation of South Coast art and culture since 1961.

The festivities begin on Friday, May 12 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm with the Champagne Preview. Hosted at the Arts Center, an architectural gem in its own right, the preview and Saturday’s Wine Tasting and Auction afford opportunities to taste and bid on the best of Mendocino and Sonoma County wines. “At the Friday night Preview, guests will enjoy free admission to take a peek at the auction lots, and get a first chance at bidding on them,” says Sus.

Over 100 wine-related auction lots will be available for silent bidding on Friday and Saturday, with the winning bids being announced at 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 13. “Many local wineries and businesses have donated premium auction lots such as bottles of award winning wines, wine-related gifts, luxurious lodging packages, golf, winery tours, and other great items. Make what you hope will be winning bids on your favorites, knowing that the proceeds will help promote public interest and participation in the arts,” says Sus. “Winners of auction lots and raffle need not be present to win, so those with wine-induced early bedtimes won’t be penalized,” he smiles.

While sipping your champagne and placing your bids, don’t miss the Arts Center’s current exhibitions, including Gretchen Butler’s exhibit, “Deep Time: Ancient Life Forms, and” as well as “Bodies of Work” by Carolyn Singer and Siegland Fels.

Attendees may also purchase tickets for the raffle prizes including an original Millard Sheets ceramic lamp, an original Sandy Ostrau oil painting, and two curated cases of wine, featuring unsurpassed delightful wines, valued at over $1,000.

Those taking Architectural Tour, which takes place from 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, generally wind up at the Arts Center for the Wine Tasting and Auction. Saturday’s event will feature over 20 local, award-winning wineries pouring a vast array of premium reds, whites, and rosés. As the Architectural Tour winds down, the wine and conversation begins to flow at the Arts Center, with pouring commencing at 3:00 pm. The auction winners are announced at 5:00 and the event comes to a close at 5:30.
Sus notes there will be many delicious non-alcoholic beverages on hand, as well as piping-hot, wood-fired pizzas and delectable restaurant and chef offerings.
“The Lions Club helps us with parking. This is a community-wide event that helps service groups and our entire community. It’s a great time to see the rhododendrons in bloom, and tour the Arts Center, including our remodeled picnic grounds, all supported by over 300 volunteers. It’s the obvious choice for the grand finale to the Architectural tour,” says Sus.

“We leave Sunday celebrate with our moms—visiting St. Orres, the beach or Sea Ranch. We’re honored to be able to continue this tradition to celebrate all the art, architecture, mothers and wine in our amazing region. I can’t think of a humbler way to express our gratitude and celebrate the concept of home. This is a great experience to share and remember,” Sus concludes.

Architectural Tour tickets, which can also include the Wine Tasting and Auction, or tickets for just the Wine Tasting and Auction may be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets at or by phoning (800) 838-3006. After May 1, tickets for the Architectural Tour are available by cash or check at the Gualala Country Inn, 47975 Center Street, Gualala.

Through Brown Paper Tickets, a wrist-band ticket, tour map, house descriptions, and parking pass will be mailed to your address between April 18 and May 5. Tickets purchased after May 5 may be picked up on the day of the tour, Saturday, May 13 at the Gualala Arts Center, or the Stewarts Point Store.

For information on the Architectural Tour, phone (707) 884-4343.

For information on the Wine Tasting and Auction and all other Gualala Arts Center activities, visit or phone (707) 884-1138.