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Korbel Toasts Friendship of Five Military Friends

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Korbel Girlfriends Picmonkey Adrienne Dennis, Emilia Fernandez, Shannon Wilson, Rhonda Anderson and Kawryne "Tilly" Tillman

TASTE News Service September 17, 2014 – American soldiers recently celebrated their friendship at Korbel Champagne Cellars in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley. Korbel has been a part of life’s celebrations for more than 132 years and on this occasion they were hosting a celebration for the winners of a Girls Getaway contest.

Across the country, women submitted toasts about their friendships and explained why their group of friends should be chosen to win the getaway.

Major Shannon Wilson, from Countryside, Ill., shared a toast about the special bond she has with her fellow soldiers and how deployment of a year together built their enduring friendships. She tells how being thrown into the very hectic and different situations of deployment can bond friends so easily just like with her group of now lifelong companions.

"My girlfriends and I toast life every day – and we have much for which to be thankful. I am thankful myself just to have them,” said Wilson. “Finally, a year is up, driving up to our Armory in Chicago while the Fire Department hoses our bus down to welcome us home and we are crying, laughing and hugging. We exit the bus and find three bottles of Korbel Rouge waiting for us! With our special Rouge, we toast to friends and life!”

Wilson and four of her fellow soldiers and girlfriends – Kawryne “Tilly” Tillman, Emilia Fernandez, Rhonda Anderson and Adrienne Dennis – received four days of VIP treatment at the Korbel Winery. The trip included airfare and accommodations along with behind-the-scenes winery tours, working the crush with the winemakers, and gourmet meals prepared by the winery chefs, as well as poolside spa treatments at the winery.

“This year is special because not only did we get to toast five great friends but three American soldiers whose service and dedication to our country makes us so grateful,” commented Gary Heck, owner and president of Korbel Champagne Cellars.  “Korbel is raising a glass to the special relationships women share with one another and the celebrations they share whether large or small.”

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