"The American Center shares the same strong commitment to advancing education and wine-and-food appreciation as we do," said Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator, and chairman of New York-based M. Shanken Communications, Inc. "I am personally excited about this new facility because it promises to be a new focal point for culinary appreciation."
The donation is in the form of a grant from the scholarship foundation, which supports programs benefiting the viticultural and culinary communities. Similar donations have been made in the past to organizations such as the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif.
"This contribution will help us explore the different flavors found in every region of the United States," said Peggy Loar, executive director of the American Center. "We want to help spread the word that, in addition to California, wine is produced in 47 other states, and we plan to introduce these wines to everyone."
"This [donation] is a wonderful gesture by a great friend who understands and shares this vision for the future," said noted California vintner Robert Mondavi, who first proposed the idea for a U.S. wine-and-food museum in 1988 and is now on the center's board of trustees. In recognition of the gift, the American Center's wine bar will be called The Wine Spectator Tasting Bar.
The center, which is scheduled to open in Napa in fall 2001, will feature interactive exhibits, concerts, wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, lectures and other programs related to wine and food throughout the United States. The 80,000-square-foot building, on 12 acres along the Napa River, will encompass more than 13,000 square feet of exhibition space, 3.5 acres of gardens, a 500-seat outdoor performance area and a restaurant.
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