Charity wine auctions achieved remarkable success in 2015 and, once again, promise exhilarating, high energy events for 2016. Revenues have been strong for the last three years, with some auctions experiencing record-setting highs and this year is anticipated to be even stronger. Firstly, please see detailed descriptions of our favorite charity wine auctions, followed by information on a number of America’s top charity auctions. Charity wine auctions can be excellent resources, enabling everyday wine enthusiasts, as well as connoisseurs and collectors, to expand their cellars, obtaining highly sought after bottles. Generous wineries often donate unreleased bottles also and travel companies donate trips, tours and tastings for priceless experiences. Ticket prices and winning bids are generally in part tax-deductible. At charity auctions, you can have a lot of fun with great camaraderie and enjoy fabulous wining and dining, all while raising money for a variety of good causes.
Several of these auctions are single-day events, while others are the centerpiece of a several day festival and some include hosting of special events throughout the year. Multiple revenue streams are derived from ticket sales, corporate sponsorships and ancillary events as well as the silent and live auction items. A common thread among the auctions is a commitment to children as well as to local community charities. While it’s a shame to miss the rousing action, many of these auctions also offer online bidding.
A Culinary Evening With The California Winemasters, benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will once again take place on the famous “Midwest Street” backlot at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank on Saturday, May 14. Last year’s event, raising $1.7 Million, brought the total dollars raised for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since the event’s inception to $28 Million.
Guests will enjoy fabulous wining and dining under the stars in the setting of a quintessential Any Town USA, always a sold-out extravaganza, attracting approximately 1,400 wine and food lovers. Throughout the exciting, magical evening, attendees will delight in a dazzling sampling of gourmet cuisine from 50 internationally renowned, celebrity chefs, and wines from 75 of California’s most talented winemakers, while participating in silent and live auctions. Extraordinary items offered for bidding include over 800 rare collector wines and travel fantasies.
Honorary Chairmen this year are the Pride Family of Pride Mountain Vineyards and Chef de Cuisine Mirko Paderno, Officine Brera. Dawnmarie Kotsonis is the Auctioneer. Rick Partlow and Dreu Murin are Guest Announcers.
Special Patron Packages are available: Diamond Patron Table of 12 at $10,000; Platinum Patron Package for eight guests at $7,500; Gold Patron Package at $5,000 per couple; and Silver Patron Package at $2,500 per couple. Individual Premier Tickets (offering valet parking and early entrance) are $500 and Individual Tickets are $375.
Renowned vintners pouring their wines include Bernardus Winery, Caymus Vineyards, Domaine Carneros, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Hall Wines, Hitching Post Wines, Jonata and The Hilt, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Justin Vineyards & Winery, Merus Winery, Peter Michael Winery, Pine Ridge Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, Schweiger Vineyards, Spottswoode, Tablas Creek Vineyard, Trefethen Family Vineyards, W. H. Smith Wines, and many more.
Among the stellar lineup of restaurants are Pasadena’s Bistro 45, Hitching Post II of Buellton, Drago Centro in Los Angeles, Mistral in San Fernando Valley, Burbank’s Bourbon Steak, Michael’s on Naples in Long Beach, The Beverly Hilton, Studio at Montage Laguna Beach, Raya at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, Montage Beverly Hills, Patina Catering, FAENA Miami Beach, Black River Caviar of Colorado, and many more.
Winemasters is one of the most important CFF fundraisers in the U.S. and one of the largest single-day charity wine auctions in the world. It is perennially one of Wine Spectator magazine’s “Top Ten U.S. Charity Wine Auctions.” It boasts one of the most extravagant auctions in history with over 800 live and silent auction lots from fantasy trips and luxury items to exclusive collector wines. The top selling, non-wine live auction lot was an 11-day stay for two in Paris and Provence highlighted by three nights at Michelin star Chez Bruno and two nights as guests of Michelin star Chef Edouard Loubet, that went for $30,000. The top selling, live auction wine lot was a 24-bottle horizontal collection of 1995 California Cabernet Sauvignons that brought $15,000.
Barbara Balik, Auction organizer and Director of Special Giving, says it is thanks to new treatments that people with cystic fibrosis are now living one year longer for every year of research. Sponsors, vintners, chefs and guests understand their support is the reason for this lifesaving reprieve. According to founding sponsor and Co-Chairman, Allen Balik, the event is a unique gourmet experience, offering something for everyone, and it is a particularly worthwhile charity event in that 91 cents of every dollar raised goes directly into Cystic Fibrosis research and cure programs, making this the highest percentage of any non-profit organization in the country.
Event Co-Chairmen include: Ken Avedisian, Allen Balik, Noelle and Randy Balik, Teresa & Bill Elder, Sharon & Hal Lampert, Patty McCormick, Pat Hitchcock O’Connell, Emma Murmuridis and Steve Silverman, Marcia and Gordy Kanofsky, Mark Vengroff, and Karen & Ray Wolkoff. Wine Acquisition Chairmen are Kevin Jones of Liquid Assets Cellars and Jeff Bonafede of Uncorked The Wine Shop.
The official event hotel is the Hilton Los Angeles, Universal City.
For further information and registration, please contact Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, telephone 323-939-0758 or Barbara Balik, telephone 707-258-1661, email email@example.com. For additional information on wineries, chefs and restaurants, tickets and special patron packages, please see the California Winemasters website: www.californiawinemasters.org.
Vintage Affaire, Silicon Valley’s premier wine auction, an elegant party with fine wines, gourmet cuisine, live music and one-of-a-kind auction items is taking place on Saturday, June 18, at a gorgeous home in Atherton. Always a wonderful affair to remember, it is one of the largest wine and destination auctions in California benefitting Palo Alto’s Vista Center.
Over the past 33 years, Vintage Affaire has raised well over $8 million for Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Palo Alto. These funds enable Vista Center clients to achieve their highest potential through programs that promote independence and improve the quality of life, including the low vision clinic and rehabilitation services such as counseling, orientation and mobility training, living skills instruction and more.
The event is organized by the nonprofit Vista Center Foundation Board of Directors and is staffed entirely by community volunteers. Pam Brandin is Executive Director of Vista Center. Event Chair of this year’s Vintage Affaire is Mary Johnson.
The auction typically includes wine lots from hard-to-find California vintages, First Growth French Bordeaux, Vintage Ports, Champagne, and emerging vineyards from Down Under. In addition, there are tours and tasting events, as well as overnight stays at Napa and Sonoma vineyards, and wine country dinners in Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco and on the Peninsula, global travel, unique jewelry and art. Spectacular travel items will spark a new romance or rekindle an old one.
A select group of vintners joins Vintage Affaire each year to share their wonderful wines. Many also offer special auction items. Outstanding local chefs contribute their talents to Vintage Affaire with special food and wine pairings to be featured during the silent auction.
Last year’s Vintage Affaire, chaired by Terry Kurfess, was a spectacular event at Mike Murphy’s beautiful estate in Atherton. Renowned auctioneer and vintner, Fritz Hatton, was the auctioneer for the 27th time. Murphy’s home was also a magical backdrop for 2015’s Vintage Evening. Through the enormous generosity of long time philanthropist and supporter of Vista Center and Vintage Affaire, the late Bill Walsh, guests had the rare chance to bid on beautifully curated wines from the cellar of a renowned collector. Moreover, thanks to the Walsh family’s incredible donation, Vintage Affaire will be offering more wines this year.
Vintage Affaire offers two tiers of tickets, both of which support Vista Center. Guest Level tickets will enjoy the Silent and Live Auctions, wine tasting from Pouring Vintners, hors d’oeuvres from Guest Chefs, and a wine pairing dinner. Patron Level guests will enjoy all of the Guest Level perks, plus an exclusive invitation to the spectacular Vintage Evening on June 16.
For information and registration, including a list of vintners, chefs, unique auction items and tickets, please contact Vista Center at 650-858-0202 or visit the website: www.vintageaffaire.org.
Since the creation of the Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation in 2004, it has conferred over $2.5 Million to 125 Central Coast non-profits whose missions are in the Healing, Studio or Performing Arts. From the initial Wine Classic year, 1985, it has been promoting the wineries of California, the reputations of the terroirs from Santa Barbara County north through the entire Central Coast appellation and into Napa and Sonoma counties. The Classic’s positive relationships with wineries outside the United States has included the terroirs of Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. The future themes and activities that manifest those themes will continue to focus on areas and venues both inside and outside of California.
There was no Central Coast Wine Classic in 2015. According to event Founder and Chairman, Archie McLaren, he, their Board of Directors, Vintner Committee and Advisory Committee, decided to take a hiatus and develop new concepts regarding theme and scope for the Wine Classic in 2016.
Plans for 2016 include the Annual Dinner at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, which will be in its 26th incarnation. Symposia will cover Rhones, Pinot Noirs and Bordeaux Varietals from throughout the state. Australia with its remarkable blends of Red Rhone Varietals and Bordeaux Varietals such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon will be part of the symposia offerings. Winery Dinners, with vintners from throughout California, will take place in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties at winery properties, fine restaurants and elegant homes. The Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction will take place at a Santa Barbara Resort or Montecito Estate.
The Wine Classic will kick off on Wednesday with a Barrel Tasting and Barrel Auction at Greengate Farms in the Edna Valley. The next day, attendees will have a choice between a Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Luncheon at Tablas Creek Vineyard and Winery or a Paso Robles Bordeaux Varietal Symposium and Luncheon at Daou Vineyards and Winery. That evening, the always sold-out, magical evening under the stars at Hearst Castle, will feature a Roederer Champagne Reception.
Friday features a Vineyard Tour and Tastings in Edna and Arroyo Grande Valleys; a Santa Rita Hills Tour, Tasting and Luncheon, Symposia of Santa Barbara wines and Australian wines. That evening a very special Rare Wine Dinner hosted by Dr. Blake Brown, Don Schliff, John Tilson and Archie McLaren will take place at the Santa Barbara Club. Saturday morning offers symposia of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Champagne & Black River Caviar. The flagship event of the Wine Classic occurs that afternoon, with the Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Live Auction, Silent Auction and Luncheon, hosted by Culinary Icon Narsai David. On Sunday, the Wine Classic’s finale will be a VIP Champagne & Black River Caviar Departure Brunch at a Santa Barbara Resort.
In the past, the Auction has hit the $1 Million mark and, with these new plans and concepts, it is anticipated that it will do so again in 2016, continuing the positive momentum into the future.
For much of its 30 year history, the Central Coast Wine Classic has been among the top charity wine auctions in America, usually also among the Wine Spectator’s “Top Ten.”
Please contact Archie McLaren for further information and registration – email: firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone: 805-878-3124; fax: 805-595-2742; Wine Classic website: www.centralcoastwineclassic.org.
The 34th Annual Detroit International Wine Auction took place at the Coleman A. Young International Airport in Detroit, which was transformed into a shimmering dinner setting. Over 700 people delighted in the gala, luxurious evening of world-class wines, gourmet cuisine, fashion and art to benefit Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. “The Art of Wine,” chaired by General Motors President, Daniel Ammann and partner Pernilla Ammann, raised a record-breaking $3 Million to fund scholarships at CCS and provide free art classes for at-risk youth.
CCS will provide free art programs to more than 4,000 children in Detroit this year, and support talented but financially needy undergraduate students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. These students will go on to be the design leaders and inspired artists of tomorrow, as strengthen Detroit as a center for creativity and innovation.
Jackson Family Wines, the largest family-owned portfolio of premium wines in the U.S., served as Featured Vintner. The Detroit International Wine Auction has grown to be the largest wine auction in the region, and one of the biggest auctions in the country. CCS has been an anchor in the Detroit community since its founding in 1906 as the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. Named one of the “Top Design Schools in the World” in Business Week, CCS today is one of Detroit’s most dynamic institutions.
The evening began with the Vintner’s Private Reception, offering five live lots, including a range of releases of First Growth Bordeaux and a six-year vertical of Harlan Estate. Fifteen Collector’s Lots offered spectacular lots of classic Bordeaux and Burgundy and California cult wines. A silent auction offered 32 lots of rare wine and lifestyle packages and 37 art lots. Famed auctioneer and vintner, Fritz Hatton led the bidding on 30 live lots that included a trip to New York City for Fashion Week, a trip for two couples to Seattle for a package blending art, music and wine with Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dale Chihuly. Other lots featured six days in Italy, one week at Snowmass Mountain in Colorado, a trip to Rome with Nicola Bulgari, a Napa getaway for six couples with visits to eight wineries. Other lots included dinner for 10 at the historic Fisher mansion with Daniel and Pernilla Ammann; Harley-Davidson motorcycles for two, and a special visit to Celani Family Vineyards in Napa for three couples for four days, including airfare in Celani Family Aircraft, lodging, private barrel tasting and an 18 L of Celani Ardore wine. The Featured Vintner’s Grand Lot, a Passion for Pinot, is a four day trip to Oregon and California, with tours of Willamette Valley, Sonoma’s North Coast and Carneros Hills. Transportation for the venues included helicopter, private jet and private car.
Following the live auction, Grammy-winning artist Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed. The spectacular night concluded with an After Party sponsored by Cadillac.
Please contact the College for Creative Studies for further information and registration for the 35th Annual Detroit International Wine Auction; email: email@example.com; Telephone: 313-664-7464; CCS website: www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu/news-and-events/diwa.
Since its inception in 2001, the always exquisite Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised over $135 Million for underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. The 15th Annual Wine Festival, a four day gala at The Ritz Carlton Golf Resort in picturesque Naples, raised $12 Million.
Vintage Cellar Wine Tasting and Luncheon kicks off the weekend with a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Judgment of Paris, honoring Chateau Montelena and Stags Leap Wine Cellars. Hosts will be Stephen Spurrier and George Tabor, as well as Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena and Ted Baseler of Stags Leap. On Friday, Meet the Kids Day Tour and Luncheon offers a look at how the charitable funds are helping, and A Look in the Lot Room for a preview of auction items. Vintner Dinners take place on Friday. Saturday afternoon is the Auction, followed by Wine Down Event, the After Party that evening. Celebration Brunch on Sunday is the festival’s finale.
For more information, telephone Barrett Farmer 239-514-2239, 888-837-4919, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.napleswinefestival.
Classic Wines has raised nearly $36 Million for Portland-area charities supporting children and families since 1982. Last year, their auction and other related events raised $3.2 Million.
The gala signature event, held in the Oregon Convention Center’s Portland Ballroom, begins with a wine tasting reception, followed by a five-course culinary fest prepared by top guest chefs and paired with wines from national and international ambassadors. About 850 wine enthusiasts then bid on over 250 live and silent packages being auctioned. Night Cap is the After Party featuring a live DJ, dancing and other entertainment.
In addition to the auction, throughout the year, there are special tastings, luncheons and dinners, winemaker dinners in the Fall and Spring, a Walla Walla Wine Tasting, and Corks and Forks, a huge wine and food event in June, sponsored by local wineries and restaurants. Special patron packages are available offering the various events at a discount.
For more information, telephone 503-972-0194, email email@example.com or visit their website: www.classicwinesauction.com.
Now in its eleventh year, Destin Charity has raised over $10 Million for local children’s charities in Northwest Florida. Taking place at Miramar Beach, the auction is the flagship for four days of wine and fun filled events featuring wine tastings and private dinners, culminating with a live and silent auction. The white sand beaches of Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast are a picture perfect setting.
Destin Charity raised $2.3 Million in 2015, mostly from the auction featuring about 200 silent and live offerings of rare wines and wine-oriented trips. Honorary Vintner was Joseph Phelps Vineyards and the International Honorary Vintner was Chateau de Beaucastel.
The event begins with special dinners. Saturday is the Reserve Tasting and Auction at Sandestin Town Center’s North Lawn in Miramar Beach. Sunday the South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival at also at Sandestin Town Center . Not only does this Festival in its fourth year draw more people to the area for the auction but the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation is the recipient of the proceeds generated from the Festival. For more information about the Festival, and to obtain tickets, visit: www.sowalwine.com.
For more information, telephone 850-650-3732, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.dcwaf.org.
The 35th Annual Auction Napa Valley, held in early June, raised a phenomenal $15.8 Million for the non-profit charities that provide community health and children’s education to Napa Valley’s residents. The country’s premier and most celebrated charity wine auction, hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners Association, is one of the largest charity wine auctions in the world, rivaling the Naples, Florida wine auction and the Hospice de Beaune in Burgundy, France. To date, Auction Napa Valley has invested over $150 Million in Napa County non-profit organizations.
The Auction at Meadowood Resort was the focal point of an exciting weekend of a barrel auction, private dinners and special wine tastings held throughout the Valley. The rousing auction of 51 live lots gaveled by renowned auctioneer and vintner, Fritz Hatton, and a performance by Grammy winner John Legend contributed to Auction Napa Valley’s retention of the top spot for America’s charity wine auctions. David Pearson, CEO of Opus One, was the Honorary Auction Chair.
The 36th Annual Auction Napa Valley will offer three glitzy days of wine, food and festivities from June 2-5. Agustin Huneeus of Quintessa will be the host.
For information regarding the 36th Annual Auction Napa Valley, call 707-963-3388; email email@example.com or visit www.napavintners.com.
Jackson Hole Wine Auction is the preeminent charity wine auction and one of the premier food and wine events of the West. Each summer the annual three-day fundraiser kicks off seven weeks of classical music from the Grand Teton Music Festival. The fabulous event features great food from world-renowned chefs and wine from world-class vintners for the special tastings, festive parties, private dinners and incredible auction opportunities. Proceeds from this ultimate celebration of food, wine and philanthropy benefit the Music Festival.
The centerpiece of the weekend’s festivities takes place on the Snake River Ranch in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. The festivities begin with the Grand Wine Tasting. Following is the Taste of Jackson Hole, which takes place at the top of Rendezvous Mountain in Teton Village. Guests arrive by gondola to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s stunning Couloir Restaurant. Various Signature Private Dinners are held in local homes. The signature event, the Wine Auction and Gala Dinner begins with a silent auction, accompanied by fabulous wines and hors d’oeuvres. Renowned auctioneer and vintner, Fritz Hatton leads the spirited live auction during an elegant, five-course dinner. The evening concludes with music and dancing by moonlight. Each year, there is a special guest Wine Moderator. Noted wine writer, Matt Kramer was the Wine Moderator in 2015. The event’s Culinary Directory is famed restaurateur and founder of the Myriad Restaurant Group, Drew Nieporent.
Given the spectacular pristine mountain setting with the backdrop of the majestic Grand Tetons, this is a “Don’t Miss” wine event. Tickets are available as a full weekend package or a la carte.
The 36th Annual L’Ete du Vin (A Summer of Wine) was held in mid-July in Nashville, featuring Chris Carpenter, the 100-point winemaker from Lokoya, Cardinale, La Jota and Mt. Brave. The city’s premier wine event and America’s oldest charity wine auction united the wine community, raising $827,281 to fund the fight against cancer in Middle Tennessee. Events took place over four days with special tastings and dinners, attended by over 670 people. Additional events of the Nashville Wine Auction that included a Food & Wine Weekend in February and a wine tasting in October brought the total raised to $1.1 Million.
The Grand Cru Evening kicked off L’Ete du Vin in late June, with a cocktail party at a lovely local home. The Vintners’ Tasting took place at Hillwood Country Club on July 23. The Patrons’ Dinner was held the next night in the elegant lobby and ballroom of the historic Hermitage Hotel. The signature event, the Grand Auction, was held at Music City Center’s Davidson Ballroom. The auction was dedicated to the late Billy Ray Hearn, beloved benefactor, honoring his legacy to the wine community.
Auctioneer Fritz Hatton led the bidding for 65 lots to raise money for cancer research.
Established in 1980, the Nashville Wine Auction has raised over $20 Million for organizations whose purpose is directly related to treatment, patient care, and eradication of cancer in Middle Tennessee.
The 37th Annual L’Ete du Vin will feature Gaia Gaja, daughter of Angelo Gaja of Gaja, the revered Italian wine estate. The Nashville Wine Auction will also host the Ultimate Food & Wine Weekend in February, the Grand Cru Evening in June, Vintners’ Tasting, Patrons’ Dinner and the Grand Auction in July and two events in October, Champagne and Chardonnay for the Ladies and a Dinner for the Men, with cocktails and wines.
Please contact L’Ete du Vin for further information and registration for the 37th Annual L’Ete du Vin, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone: 615-329-1760; Fax: 615-329-1704; L’Ete du Vin website: www.nashvillewineauction.com.
Last year’s Harvest Wine Auction, held at Chateau St. Jean Winery in Kenwood shattered records, raising $4.5 Million supporting Sonoma County’s youth, children, students, farm workers and people in need, all in the effort to make this world class region a better place.
The Harvest Wine Auction is the signature event of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend held each year over Labor Day weekend, sponsored by Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers. Weekend gross for 2015 was $5.5 Million. About 650 guests enjoyed the laid back, end of summer ambiance while mingling with top winemakers, sharing their finest wines, all paired with gourmet cuisine of featured chefs from Sonoma County restaurants. Sonoma Starlight is an evening of dinner and dancing under the stars poolside at Francis Ford Coppola’s winery. Taste of Sonoma featured food from 60 local chefs and wines from 200 wineries. Other events included lunches, dinners, seminars, cooking demonstrations and barbecues occurring all weekend long.
For information on the 24th Annual Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction and Wine Country Weekend, telephone 855-939-7666 or visit: www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com.
Baseball great Rusty Staub and his namesake auction is a perennial top performer and the 24th Annual Rusty Staub Foundation Emergency Food Program in 2015 generated $1.5 Million for food pantries in the five boroughs of New York City. The Program consists of two events each year, the Celebrity Chefs and Friends Golf Tournament that takes place in June and the Wine Auction and Dinner in October. The auction and dinner takes place at Maloney & Porcelli Restaurant in Manhattan.
Rusty Staub’s motto is “Benefiting Youth. Fighting Hunger.”
For more information on Rusty Staub’s charity events, telephone 646-794-2483, email email@example.com. or visit his website: www.rustystaubfoundation.com.
The 25th Annual Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic in November raised $1.3 Million to provide support for local children’s educational charities. The main fundraising event is their annual Grand Auction. The Classic also includes a Wine, Women and Fishing tournament event to fund breast cancer research, a Vintner of the Year Dinner and special dinners and wine tastings.
Last year’s Vintners of the Year were Cherie and Philippe Melka. The live auction was held at a private home overlooking Lynnhaven River and other events were held at Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach. Renowned auctioneer and vintner, Fritz Hatton led a rousing live auction before an audience of about 700 people.
The Wine Classic focuses primarily on helping to educate youth and to fund breast cancer research.
For more information, telephone Jennie Capps at 757-200-9463, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web site: www.cbwc.org.