Bob Shallit

El Dorado County winery launches campaign to help raise breast cancer awareness

A reserve barbera is one of two “Cure” varietals that being sold by the Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards.
A reserve barbera is one of two “Cure” varietals that being sold by the Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards. Insight Public relations

The Sacramento surgeon who put a breast-cancer awareness message on a U.S. postage stamp is turning to a small local winery to help continue his education and fundraising efforts.

Ernie Bodai is teaming up with El Dorado County’s Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards to produce what’s being called the “Cure Series” – limited release wines with special labels.

The program is starting out small. Charles Mitchell, head of the winery, is producing 120 cases of zinfandel and barbera wines, all bearing a label designed by local PR executive Tim Harris. With 30 percent of profits going to Bodai’s charity, Cure Breast Cancer Inc., sales will generate about $8,000 for cancer research.

But Mitchell, who is 74, said he’s hoping eventually to produce as many as 10,000 cases, with multiple varietals, and generate $1 million for the cause.

“The bottom line, it’s an opportunity to help out,” said Mitchell, whose winery in the town of Somerset often holds crowd-drawing events, including weekly pizza and lobster dinners.

The Cure Series wines – $19 a bottle for the zin and $30 for the barbera – have a label resembling the stamp that’s raised about $81 million for breast cancer research since it was issued in 1998.

The proceeds from wine sales – to be made at the winery and online – won’t come close to that. But that’s OK with Bodai, a Kaiser Permanente surgeon.

As he put it, “every little bit helps.”

Music ‘incubator’ advances

Work could begin as early as next month to convert a former Del Paso Boulevard roller rink into a music “incubator.”

That’s the word from Greg Kennedy, a Davis real estate investor, who acquired the one-time Senator Rollerdrome last year for $575,000.

Kennedy said this week he plans to spend “double that amount” to convert the 90-year-old building into a multiuse facility, called The Rink, with a focus on music performance, practice and recording.

That work could begin in February, Kennedy said, if city officials agree with him that his plans meet current zoning requirements. If not, he said he’ll have to get a conditional use permit – a process that would delay the start of construction by several months.

Over the past few months, Kennedy – head of a Davis firm called Kevlyn Investments – has been using the building at 1031 Del Paso Blvd. for music jams involving his own band and others.

How are the acoustics? “Abysmal,” Kennedy said. “It’s just a big warehouse with a lot of reverberation.”

But that will improve, he said, once be begins creating smaller spaces within the 11,000-square-foot building, which has maple flooring and a 30-foot-high barrel roof.

Besides planning musical uses, Kennedy said he is in negotiations with an event planning firm interested in holding receptions and corporate events at the facility.

New year, new deal

Here’s what may well be the first commercial real estate deal of the new year. At least for downtown Sacramento.

Closing on Monday – the first business day of the year – was the sale of a two-story office building at 720 14th St., near H Street.

It’s the site of Corp 2000, a public records research firm, said broker Dave Herrera, who represented the buyer, Bay Area businessman Lee Scott.

Scott owns a competing company in Sacramento and plans to relocate that business to the new location, Herrera said.

Scott’s firm will move in within 90 days, said Herrera, who is with Colliers International.

The sales price was $485,000, exactly what the sellers were seeking, said broker Brian Jacks, who represented the sellers.