The Santa Fe Wine Classic


Santa Fe Steakhouse has gained a reputation over the course of the years by providing a wide range of amazingly prepared food and exclusive wine you couldn’t find anywhere else.

Co-owners Sony and Albert Rego along with Fred Harms have continuously been recognized as their restaurant ranks the best in the Rio Grande Valley. Their commitment to excellence is evident as they strive to offer fresh steak and seafood in an atmosphere of tranquility.  

Not only is Santa Fe Steakhouse rated high among the many restaurants in the Valley, but they also care for and strive to give back to their community.

All three owners have combined the idea of hosting a festival featuring food and wine while benefiting a charity or organization.

Together with Gerry Garcia, Vice President of special projects at the chamber, it was determined that education would be the cause of the wine festival.

“What better way is there to help the chamber than with its endeavor to give scholarships to students?” Garcia said.

For seven years,  Santa Fe has partnered with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce to raise funds for the chamber’s scholarship programs. The top graduating students from each of the three McAllen high schools and the Achieve Early College high school are awarded scholarships for their academic performance.

“We’ve always looked for a way to support the community and what better way than to support higher education,” Rego said.

It was through this partnership that The Wine Classic was born, a fundraiser that would benefit the kids that not only worked hard throughout the years, but had high hopes and dreams as well.

The fundraiser is hosted once a year at the nature reserve Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen. During this night, wine vendors are invited to offer samples, local restaurants to serve their best of the best pieces, and invitees to enjoy the night while contributing to the scholarship endeavors. The fundraising nights have been a success for the past years.

“For seven years we have been helping this non-profit organization and over 200,000 have been raised,” Sony said. “When you put it all together and  after all the work that has been done, I feel very proud.”

The 2014 Wine Classic brought in a whopping 26,000 dollars, making Santa Fe the main contributor to the Chamber’s education initiatives. The top four students from McAllen high schools and the top two from Achieve Early College were awarded 1,000 dollars each.

According to Rego, the festival’s experience is something worth remembering as invitees are lavished with attention from wine and restaurant vendors. Every vendor invited to the festival is expected to offer the highest quality possible.

“Vega Sicilia is the top wine in the world and we were offering samples,” Rego said.

Only 300 tickets are sold for this night, and all of them sell out. This is promising, since it shows that not only are supporters interested in fine dining and wine tasting, but they are also willing to help the future of their community.

By the way, Vega Sicilia is not cheap, and it is some of the rarest wine you can get your hands on. The Santa Fe Wine Classic is a great chance to get to taste such fine wine, all while benefiting your community. The next Wine Classic is slated to happen October 16th, at Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen.