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Honoree Biography

Archie McLaren

Oenophile, Gourmet, Raconteur, Epicure. Add Writer, Media Personality, Wine Industry Supporter, and member of some of the most prestigious food and wine organizations in the country.

Archie McLaren is all of these and more. A constant presence in all things related to the promotion and enjoyment of fine wines and food in California, he has been a tireless advocate for California wines, vintners and the industry that markets and sells them worldwide.

He has served as Chairman/Executive Director of both the San Luis Obispo Vintners & Growers Association and the Paso Robles Westside Grand Crew. He is one of only two Americans inducted into the Austrian Wine Brotherhood, and one of the few Americans inducted into the Commanderie des Bontemps - Medoc et Graves & Sauternes et Barsac of Bordeaux in France. He has recently joined the Wine Committee of COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts.

Archie has long been associated with charitable wine auctions, serving for many years as the American Institute of Wine & Food's Rare & Fine Wine and Auction Consultant, and as a Director on its National Board. He is the Founder & Chairman of the Central Coast Wine Classic, a prestigious and comprehensive food and wine event in its twenty-third year, which boasts Wine Spectator among its many significant sponsors. The Central Coast Wine Classic is one of America's most successful charity wine auctions, and confers substantive proceeds upon a continually expanding number of healing, performing and studio arts organizations on the Central Coast of California. He has assisted in launching charity auctions in Washington, D.C., Honolulu, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara.

Archie McLaren is no stranger to the world of fine cuisine and rare wine. He is the founding Bailli of the Central Coast Chapter of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, a member of the Wine & & Food Society of San Francisco, the San Francisco Chapter of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and the Marin County Chapter of the International Wine & Food Society. He is the former Cellarmaster of the Avila Bay Wine Society, and the former President of the Central Coast Wine Society.

He is frequently invited to attend tastings of rare and collectible wines throughout the country and has participated in comprehensive vertical tastings of Chateaux d'Yquem, Latour, Cos d'Estournel, Leoville Las Cases and Cheval Blanc, as well as La Tache, Hermitage La Chapelle, Penfolds Grange, Vega Sicilia Unico, and Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Private Reserve. A long-time Champagne aficionado who has attended many tastings of rare Champagnes, Archie was Founder and Director of the International Festival of Methode Champenoise.

Archie McLaren's immense contributions to the world of food and wine, both here in California and throughout the country, his philanthropic and civic activities in support of the arts make us proud to honor him as Symphony of Wine IX's "Maestro of Food and Wine."

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