Reality Stars to Help Unveil Private Label in Wine Country Saturday

Reality Red and Reality Riesling, by Wilson Creek Winery, will be on sale through April. Proceeds will benefit Michelle's Place, a breast cancer resource center in Murrieta.

Reality Rally Temecula Valley is hitting the next stop on the map to its main event in April with a private label wine release in Temecula Wine Country on Saturday.

The community is invited to the family affair, when limited editions of Reality Red and a Reality Riesling will be unveiled at Wilson Creek Winery. Guests are invited to purchase the wine for $24.95 a bottle.

Rub shoulders with eight reality TV stars, who will be on hand to sign purchased bottles. Stars include: Craig Slike from “The Mole;” Cristina Coria-Lopez from “Survivor Cook Islands;” Kathy Lansford a winner of “Fear Factor;” Bridgetta Tomarchio from “Project My World: Wanted Ted or Alive;” Kendra Guffey from “Pirate Master;” Brook Roberts the runner up of the most recent season of the “Amazing Race;” Bruce Kanegai of "Survivor Exile Island;" Dennis Luciano of "Ordinary Joe;" and Reality Rally creator Gillian Larson from “Survivor Gabon.”

A portion of all wine sales will go toward Michelle’s Place as part of Wilson Creek Winery’s sponsorship of Reality Rally Temecula Valley. Larson chose Michelle’s Place as the benefactor of this inaugural event, and hopes to raise $100,000 for the center.

Michelle’s Place, a breast cancer resource center in Murrieta, was founded 10 years ago by Michelle Watson’s parents after she passed away at 26 from breast cancer. According to Kim Goodnough, executive director, operating costs for the center run about $500,000 a year. It is nonprofit, with about 50 percent of its funding coming from grants.

The center serves about 1,500 women a year. It offers wigs, bras, exercise classes and support classes for the women and their families. It also helps women obtain medical care. According to Goodnough, there are no programs in California that help women under 40 who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Michelle’s Place steps in by helping them financially to get that care, working closely with area providers.

“We are very fortunate we have relationships with local practitioners,” Goodnough said.

Watson was misdiagnosed three times in her early 20s before she learned she had breast cancer, Goodnough said. At that time, there were no local support centers in the Temecula Valley.

“Michelle found a center in Santa Barbara that she really liked. It was in an old home. So as a dying wish, she wanted a place like that here,” Goodnough said.

About 10 women a year are diagnosed through Michelle’s Place. “Those 10 women; we have changed their lives. They are not scared anymore,” she said.

“We are so grateful for their support and their dedication to serving women in their community,” Goodnough said about Wilson Creek Winery. “They always find a fun way to help. I am looking forward to the launch of Reality Red and Reality Riesling.”

The private label wine release kicks off at 10 a.m. at Wilson Creek Winery, 35960 Rancho California Road in Temecula. The wines will be available for purchase through April, and can also be purchased online.

In addition to the wine, Reality Rally Buffs® provided by Planet Buff® and custom Reality Rally wine charms from La Masters of Fine Jewelry--also a sponsor of Reality Rally--will be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds going to Michelle’s Place. Reality Rally Buffs® are also available online.

Reality Rally’s main event, an “Amazing Race” style game, will pair locals up with one of 80 reality stars, taking them through the Temecula Valley. The event is set for April 15-17, and will get started with a wine and cheese reception on April 15 at Wilson Creek Winery.

Larson dreamed up the event with the purpose of highlighting the Temecula Valley, bringing the community together with the reality world and raising money for a local charity. She said she chose Michelle’s Place partly due to her brother dying from cancer. She has also been involved as a volunteer for Susan G. Komen 3-Day For the Cure in San Diego.

Larson, 64, competed on “Survivor Gabon.” She has lived in Temecula for many years, and is originally from South Africa. Her children and grandchildren also live in Temecula.

“I am in awe to watch how my vision has been embraced by so many amazing people,” Larson said. “That vision was to have Temecula build and participate in one awesome town-wide event; it is happening. I will be forever grateful to all who have become Reality Rally. My thanks to Wilson Creek for their fun and awesome sponsorship and having this promotional event.”

For more information about Reality Rally, tickets to all events or to register, visit Realityrally.com.


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