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Enjoy Spectacular Wine And Food At Great Parties While Doing Good

 Wine and philanthropy go hand in hand.  Charity wine auctions achieved remarkable success in 2017 and projections look great for 2018.  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.  Charity wine auctions are fabulous parties offering wonderful camaraderie but the main focus of these 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 as well as mobile bidding.  Charity wine auctions offer great opportunities to meet vintners, discover new wines, taste rare and/or difficult to find wines, acquire fantastic bottles of wine while benefiting worthy causes, meet new friends, bid on unique lots and travel fantasies, make a vacation out of it.  There are numerous multi-day food and wine festivals throughout the country, supported by vintners all over the world, that combine a great location with a spectacular assortment of food, wine and fun.

Charity wine auctions enable 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.


Following is a chronological listing of a number of America’s top charity wine auctions, including some of our favorite events, with their 2018 schedules.  Following this are detailed descriptions of their 2017 auction events as well as plans for their 2018  festivities.

 Naples Winter Wine Festival, 18th Annual – January 26-28, Naples, Florida

Southwest Wine & Food Festival,  10th Annual — March 2-3, Naples, Florida

Classic Wines Auction, 34th Annual – Saturday, March 3, Portland, Oregon

Destin Charity Wine Auction, 13th Annual – April 27-29, Destin, Florida

 A Culinary Evening With The California Winemasters, 29th Annual – Saturday, May 19, Burbank, California

Silicon Valley Wine Auction, 4th Annual, May 19-20, Saratoga, California

Auction Napa Valley, 38th Annual – June 1-3, Napa Valley, California

Sun Valley Wine Auction, 37th Annual, July 19-21, Sun Valley, Idaho

L’Ete du Vin, 39th Annual – July 19-21, Nashville, Tennessee

V Wine Celebration, 20th Annual – August 2-5, Napa, California

Auction of Washington Wines, 31st Annual – August 16-18, Woodinville, Washington

Sonoma County Wine Auction, 26th Annual – September 15, Sonoma Valley, California

Vintage Affaire, 36th Annual – Saturday, September, Atherton, California

Detroit International Wine Auction, 37th Annual – Saturday, October 20, Detroit, Michigan

Rusty Staub Wine Auction, 27th Annual – October 17, New York, New York

Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic, 28th Annual – November 9-12, Virginia Beach, Virginia


Charity Auction For Napa And Sonoma

In the wake of the disastrous wildfires that ravaged Napa and Sonoma communities last fall, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux is showing their support.  The UGCB has brought 75 lots directly from the Chateaux — large formats, highly-sought-after vintages, and lots from the honorary First Classified Growth members — to the Sotheby’s online auction.  Each lot starts at $50, with no reserve and no buyer’s premium.  One hundred percent of proceeds are donated to charity.  The Sotheby’s Online Auction, begun January 16, extends to January 30.


The 28th Annual Culinary Evening With The California Winemasters Raised Nearly $1.7 Million In 2017 For The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation hosted “A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters” on May 20 on the historic “Midwest Street” backlot at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.  Fourteen hundred wine and food lovers from all across the country attended the event, raising their glasses simultaneously at the start of the live program to toast a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.  The event raised close to $1.7 Million, bringing the total dollars raised for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s vital research and care centers since the event’s inception to $30 Million.

Guests enjoyed fabulous wining and dining under the stars in the setting of a quintessential Any Town USA, always a sold-out extravaganza.  Throughout the exciting, magical evening, attendees delighted in a dazzling sampling of gourmet cuisine from over 50 internationally renowned, celebrity chefs, paired with wines from over 75 of California’s most talented winemakers, while participating in silent and live auctions.  Extraordinary items offered for bidding included over 800 rare collector wines, lifestyle experiences and travel fantasies.  From 5 pm to 8 pm, guests strolled along the charming, tree-lined streets of Warner Bros. largest backlot, sipping wine, tasting gourmet food and bidding on over 600 items in the silent auction. The L.A. Allstars Band performed high energy sets on the main stage.  The rousing live auction, led by Auctioneer Dawnmarie Kotsonis, began at 8 pm.  Fritz Coleman, NBC’s Weathercaster, was the Celebrity Co-Auctioneer and Paul Frank, Founder of Gemstone Vineyard was the Honorary Guest Auctioneer.

The 2017 event was another extravagant auction.  The live auction included an “Mao Rak (Drunk on Love) in Thailand” that sold for $26,000 and included luxury private villa  accommodations for two couples in Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Lanta, Krabi.  A 2-week wine tasting holiday to Argentina with visits to major wineries and a side trip to Patagonia sold for $25,000 and “Simply Inspirational – Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana” was purchased for $24,000.  The bidding for an 8-day all luxury trip to Turkey including a cruise and visit to Turkey’s growing wine region had a winning bid of $22,000; and a 7-night stay in a 4-bedroom Ocean Villa at the stunning Grand Luxxe Resort in Puerto Vallarta sold for $30,000.  Diane De Filipi’s “Let’s Go Cooking in Napa Valley” class and overnight for eight sold for $8,200.

Live auction wine lots included “Diamonds Are Forever” — one case of older Diamond Creek Cabernets  which sold for $15,000; 3 liters of 1995, 1996 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon with a sale price of $11,000; and a 24-bottle horizontal collection of 1997 California Cabernet Sauvignons that was snatched up for $17,000.   A case of the finest Bordeaux from 1985 sold for $17,000.

Two area groups of chefs in particular wowed the crowd with their dishes:  Greater Palm Springs and Santa Barbara chefs were notable standouts.  New wineries joining this year’s event included Two Shepherds, Skylark Wine Company and J. McClelland Cellars. Individual Premier Tickets (offering valet parking and early entrance)for the event are $500 and Individual Tickets are $400.

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.”  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.

The 29th Annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters is set for Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.  Honorary Culinary Chairman from Hitching Post II is Frank Ostini and Honorary Wine Chairmen are the Families of Patz & Hall.  Please contact Barbara Balik for further information and registration: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, telephone 323-939-0758 or Barbara Balik, telephone 707-258-1661, email bbalik@cff.org [1].  For additional information on wineries, chefs and restaurants, tickets and special patron packages, please see the California Winemasters website: www.californiawinemasters.org [2].

The 17th Annual Naples Winter Wine Festival Held In January 2017 Raised More than $15 Million for Children in Need

Since its inception in 2001, the always exquisite Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised over $161 Million for underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County.  The 17th Annual Wine Festival, the nation’s largest charity wine auction, a 4-day gala that took place January 27-29 at The Ritz Carlton Golf Resort in picturesque Naples, Florida, raised more than $15 Million, above 2016’s $11 Million.  The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the Naples Winter Wine Festival’s founding organization, has delivered grants to more than 40 non-profit organizations in its 16-year history, benefiting more than 2,000,000 local children.

The live auction’s top single bid of $480,000 went for a 2017 McLaren 570GT sports car.  Other high selling lots of the 62 luxury experiences were a football focused lot – a weekend in Napa with San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo and several Hall of Famers including Joe Montana and Steve Young among others; several cocktail parties with Hollywood celebrities, and a trip to Italy’s Amalfi coast.  Auctioneers were Humphrey Butler, Ann Colgin and Ursula Hermacinski.  Wolfgang Puck was the Chef de Cuisine.

Ticket packages for the 18th Annual Naples Winter Wine Festival in 2018, go for $10,000 per couple.  For information, telephone Barrett Farmer 239-514-2239, 888-837-4919, email barrett@napleswinefestival.com or visit www.napleswinefestival [3].


The 9th Annual Southwest Wine & Food Fest Held in 2017 Raised Over $3.2 Million to Benefit Pediatric Health Care

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest has raised more than 3.2  Million, with 100 percent of the proceeds directly benefiting pediatric health care in Southwest Florida.  The 2-day event, February 24-25, 2016, took place at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club in the South Fort Myers area.  Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, the signature fundraiser for SWFL Children’s Charities, has raised over $18.8 Million for local beneficiaries.

The top lots, each garnering $60,000 were a trip to the 2017 Masters in Augusta, Georgia,  a 6-night cruise along the East Coast for 6 people on a 127-foot yacht and  a 3-night getaway to Napa with a hot air balloon ride.  A number of generous donors doubled their donations, which included a 5-night trip to Havana, a trip to Tuscany and a stay at the Jewel of Zermatt, a luxury ski chalet.

2018 exclusive Vintner Dinners scheduled for Friday at luxury venues throughout southwest Florida include Jackson Family Wines, Thompson Wines, St. Helena and Hunnicutt Wineries, Gamble Family Wines, Husic Vineyards, V Madrone Cellars, Relic Wine Cellars and Williams Selyem Winery.  The Grand Tasting and Live Auction take place on Saturday at the prestigious Quail West Golf and Country Club in Naples.  Additional lots included  international vacations, wine country getaways, special wines and dinners,  and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

For information about SWFL Children’s Charities Inc. or its annual signature fundraiser, the 10th Annual Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest scheduled for March 2-3 this year, visit www.swflwinefest.org [4].

The 33rd Annual Classic Wines Auction In Portland, Oregon Raised $3.5 Million In 2017 To Benefit Oregon Families In Need

The Classic Wines Auction (CWA) has raised more than $40 Million for Portland-area charities supporting children and families since 1982.  The 2017 auction and other related events raised  $3.5 Million for its five benefiting charities.

The gala signature event, held in the Oregon Convention Center’s Portland Ballroom, on March 4, began with a wine tasting reception, followed by a 5-course culinary feast 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.

The top-selling lot, which went for $108,000, was a weekend trip to Rombauer Vineyards in Napa for three couples, including a barrel tasting, cave tour and dinner at Wine Spectator Grand Award winner the French Laundry.  The night’s highest-earning wine lot, at $16,000, was a 14-bottle Bordeaux package that included bottles of Petrus and Chateau Haut-Brion.

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 information on the 34th Annual Classic Wines Auction to be held Saturday, March 3, 2018, telephone 503-972-0194, email info@classicwinesauction.com [5] or visit their website:  www.classicwinesauction.com [6].


The 12th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction in 2017 Raised More Than $2.7 Million For Children In Need In Northwest Florida

Now in its 12th year, Destin Charity has raised over $10 Million for local children’s charities in Northwest Florida, helping on issues ranging from mental health and autism to emergency aid and developmental growth.  Taking place at Miramar Beach, the auction is the flagship for three days of wine and fun filled events  featuring wine tastings and private dinners, culminating with a live and silent auction.  The auction, attended by over 600 people,  raised a record-breaking $2.7 Million, featuring  over 200 lots of rare wines and wine-oriented trips.  The white sand beaches of Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast offer a picture perfect setting.  The highest selling lot of the night was $85,000 for a 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport.

The 2017 Honorary Domestic Vintner featured Stacy and Greg Lill of DeLille Cellars and Marchesi Antinori as Honorary International Vintner. The weekend kicked off with 14 intimate Patron dinners.  Saturday was the Reserve Tasting and Auction at Sandestin Town Center’s North Lawn in Miramar Beach.  Sunday the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival  is also at Sandestin Town Center.  Not only does this Festival in its fifth 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.

The 13th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction is scheduled for April 27-29, For more information about the 6th Annual South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival, and to obtain tickets, visit: www.sowalwine.com [7].  For more information about the 13th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction, telephone 850-650-3732, email info@dcwaf.org [8] or visit: www.dcwaf.org [9].


The 3rd Annual Silicon Valley Wine Auction in 2017 Raised  $1 Million For Education

The 3rd Annual Silicon Valley Wine Auction held  May 20-21 at Runnymede Sculpture Farm in Woodside, raised over $1 Million for education programs of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.  More than 1000 guests enjoyed premium local wines poured by 40 vintners and fabulous silent auction lots at the Grand Wine Tasting at Runnymede Sculpture Farm.  The evening VIP reception, Wine Pairing Dinner and Live Auction also at the Farm hosted 300 guests, who enjoyed a 5-course dinner paired with Santa Cruz Mountain wines.

In just three years, the Silicon Valley Wine Auction has raised over $2.5  Million to benefit students in the local communities.  The Silicon Valley Wine Auction brings together over 100 of Santa Cruz Mountains top winemakers and growers, along with Silicon Valley leaders, all committed to children, community and the future.

Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Education Foundation (SCMWEF) was launched last year, a charitable umbrella under which SCMWA conducts its philanthropic work.  The Foundation works with community-based organizations to provide resources and support to benefit educational and research programs for children in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, the premier fundraising event of which is the Silicon Valley Wine Auction.

The 4th Annual Silicon Valley Wine Auction will be held Saturday May 19 at Eden Estate in Saratoga, the private home of Apple’s John Couch.  The Grand Wine Tasting will be held at Saratoga’s Montalvo Arts Center.  For more information about the  2018 Silicon Valley Wine Auction, telephone Keikilani McKey 831-685-8463, email keiki@scmwa.com [10], or visit www.siliconvalleywineauction.org [11].


The 37th Annual Auction Napa Valley Raised $15.7 Million in 2017 For Community Health and Children’s Education

 More than 900 guests filled the grounds at Meadowood in Napa Valley where lively and generous bidding raised more than $15.7  Million for the non-profit charities that provide community health and children’s education to Napa Valley 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 $170 Million in Napa County non-profit organizations, benefiting over 100,000 clients since the event’s inception in 1981.

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 live auction gaveled by renowned auctioneer and vintner, Fritz Hatton, contributed to Auction Napa Valley’s remaining among  America’s top charity wine auctions, second only to the Naples Winter Wine Festival.  This year’s Honorary Auction Chair was the Francis Ford Coppola family, who brought Hollywood glitz and glamour to the auction weekend, with Francis starring as the event’s celebrity chef .  The Napa Valley Barrel Auction held at Inglenook Winery was attended by nearly 2000 people.

The 38th Annual Auction Napa Valley will offer three glitzy days of wine, food and festivities from June 1-3.   For information regarding Auction Napa Valley, call 707-963-3388; email reception2@napavintners.com [12] or visit www.napavintners.com [13].

The 35th Annual Vintage Affaire Took Place On Saturday, July 15, 2017 In Atherton, California

Vintage Affaire, one of the premier wine auctions in California, an elegant party with fine wines, gourmet cuisine, live music and one-of-a-kind auction items took place on Saturday, July 15, 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 30 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 was Amanda George.

The auction included wine lots from hard-to-find California vintages, First Growth French Bordeaux, Burgundy, Vintage Ports, Champagne, and emerging vineyards from Down Under.  In addition, novelty lots offered 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.  International trips included Tuscany, the Dominican Republic, Belize and Mexico.  Domestic travel included Aspen, Northstar, Sea Ranch and Silverado Resort. Winery visits included Spottswoode, Rosati Ranch, Turnbull Wines, Amici Cellars, Testarossa, Chateau Potelle and Arietta.

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.

Vintage Affaire this year  was a spectacular event at Mike Murphy’s beautiful estate in Atherton, which was the site of both the 2015 and 2016  event also.  Renowned auctioneer and vintner, Fritz Hatton, was the auctioneer for the 29th time.

Vintage Affaire 2018, scheduled to take place in September  in Atherton, will include the unique luxury items and wonderful fine wines offered each year.  The event 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.

For more information and registration for the 36th Annual Vintage Affaire, please contact Vista Center at 650-858-0202 or visit the website, www.vintageaffaire.org [14] for additional information, including a list of vintners, chefs, unique auction items and tickets.

The 23rd Annual Jackson Hole Wine Auction and Gala Occurred June 22-24, 2017 at Jackson, Wyoming

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 3-day fundraiser kicks off seven weeks of classical music from the Grand Teton Music Festival.  The fabulous event featured 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 have raised millions since its inception for the continued enrichment of the cultural fabric of Jackson through the Grand Teton Music Festival.

The centerpiece of the weekend’s festivities took place on a Wyoming Ranch in the shadow of the Grand Tetons.  The festivities began with the Grand Wine Tasting.  The VIP Wine Tasting, was held at one of Jackson Hole’s restaurants,  followed by the Taste of Jackson Hole, which took place at the top of Rendezvous Mountain in Teton Village.  Guests arrived by gondola to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s stunning Couloir Restaurant.  Various Signature Private Dinners were held in local homes.  The signature event, the Wine Auction and Gala Dinner began with a silent auction, accompanied by fabulous wines and hors d’oeuvres.  Renowned auctioneer and vintner, Fritz Hatton led the spirited live auction during an elegant, 5-course dinner.  The evening concluded with music and dancing by moonlight.   Given the spectacular pristine mountain setting with the backdrop of the majestic Grand Tetons, this has been a “Don’t Miss” wine event every year.

The Jackson Hole Wine Auction, after its 2017 event, has retired.  The Grand Teton Music Festival is focusing its fundraising later in the summer for 2018 and on music.  Jackson Hole Food and Wine has grown out of the Jackson Hole Wine Auction.  Taste of Jackson Hole is the only event carried over from the Wine Auction to the new non profit.

The 36th Annual Sun Valley Wine Auction Held July 20-22, 2017, in Sun Valley, Idaho, Raised $1.7 Million

 Enjoy Summer in the mountains experiencing breathtaking beauty of the surroundings while tasting spectacular wines paired with food from world-class chefs, exclusive Vintner Dinners, Auction Gala and Wine Tasting and Vine and Dine.  Over 1400 attendees delighted in three days of wine, food and friendship.  The Wine Auction, which raised $1.7 Million, sustains Sun Valley Center’s year-round arts and educational programs for adults, youth and families to enrich the community.

The Wine Auction Gala took place in Dollar Mountain Lodge Tent, featuring wines, food and live entertainment.  Vine and Dine is a lawn party with wines, tapas, live music and dancing at the Dollar Mountain Lodge.  Vintner dinners are hosted in exquisite private homes.

For information regarding the 37th Annual Sun Valley Wine Auction to be held July 19-21  and ticket purchase, telephone 208-726-9491, email Wine Auction Director Callan Miranda, cmiranda@sunvalleycenter.org [15], or visit the website: www.sunvalleycenter.org/wineauction [16].

The 38th Annual L’Ete du Vin Held July 27-29, 2017 In Nashville, Tennessee, Is The Nation’s Longest Running Charity Wine Auction

L’Ete du Vin (A Summer of Wine), which takes place annually in Nashville, included tasting events of fine wine accompanied by intimate gourmet dinners and luxury items up for bid at silent and live auctions, with proceeds benefiting various organizations dedicated to fighting  cancer.   L’Ete du Vin brings together Nashville’s finest collectors and wine enthusiasts while raising funds for the fight against cancer.

The event  took place over three days with special tastings and dinners.  Additional events of the Nashville Wine Auction were held  throughout the year.

The signature event, the Grand Auction, was held at Loew’s Vanderbilt Hotel.  Noted vintner and auctioneer Fritz Hatton gaveled the bidding.  Established in 1980, the Nashville Wine Auction has raised over $23 Million for organizations whose purpose is directly related to the treatment, patient care, and eradication of cancer in Middle Tennessee.

The 38th Annual L’Ete du Vin honored six California wineries, Schramsberg Vineyards, Davies Vineyards, Hirsch Vineyards, PlumpJack Estate Winery, CADE Estate Winery and Odette Estate Winery. The Nashville Wine Auction also hosted the Ultimate Food & Wine Weekend in February, the Grand Cru Evening in May, Vintners’ Tasting and Patrons’ Dinner in July, as well as the Grand Auction at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, and two events in October, Champagne and Chardonnay for the Ladies and a Dinner for the Men.

The39th Annual L’Ete du Vin, Women In Wine, to be chaired by Tom Black,  is slated for August 2-4.  Pairings, the Ultimate Food & Wine Weekend kicks off the events for 2018  in February 22-24.  The Grand Cru Evening takes place June 28.  The auction weekend begins with the Vintners’ Tasting on August 2, followed by the Patrons’ Dinner August 3 and the Grand Auction at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel on August 4.  In October, there will be two events: Champagne and Chardonnay, A Sparkling Evening for Ladies and The  Men’s Event Honoring the Life and Spirit of Billy Ray Hearn, both on October 4.

Please contact L’Ete du Vin for further information and registration for the 39th Annual event, email: info@nashvillewineauction.com; Telephone: 615-329-1760; Fax: 615-329-1704; L’Ete du Vin website: www.nashvillewineauction.com [17].

The 19th Annual V Wine Celebration Took Place August 3-6 In Napa Valley Raising $8.8 Million

The V Wine Celebration is a world-class wine event and auction benefiting The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  Set in Napa Valley, the heart of California Wine Country, this annual event brings together 500 prominent members of the sports, entertainment, technology, investment, medical and winemaking worlds to raise money to fund vital research in the fight against all types of cancer.  To date, the V Wine Celebration, raising over $90 Million since its first event in 1999, has helped fund more than 600 research programs at medical and research facilities across the country.

Experience three days with the best culinary adventures, the most sought-after wines, exclusive winery dinners, exciting musical performances, thought-provoking panels, highly coveted auction experiences,  parties, dancing, and the chance to meet amazing people who are joining the same fight: to find cures for cancer.  The 2017 event was hosted by Duke University Head Men’s Basketball coach and dear friend of late  Jim Valvano, Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski. A special musical performance was by Michael Franti & Spearhead.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research’s annual fundraiser, the V Wine Celebration, garnered nearly $9  Million for cancer research in 2017.  The gala dinner and live auction were held at Nickel & Nickel Winery.  The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jimmy Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator.  Since then, the foundation has funded more than $170 Million in cancer research grants nationwide.  One hundred percent of the net proceeds from this event directly support the work of The V Foundation.

Julie Allegro, co-founder and chair of the V Foundation Wine Celebration, said we will remain shoulder to shoulder in the fight against cancer and “we won’t stop until there are cures.”

For information about the 2018 20th Annual V Wine Celebration August 2-5, call 707-963-0611 or visit www.winecelebration.org [18].

The 32nd Annual Central Coast Wine Classic Occurred August 25-27 In The Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley Wine Country

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.

Last year, in addition to celebrating fine food and fine wine  in the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley wine countries, the 32nd Annual Central Coast Wine Classic celebrated the 75th birthday of Founder and Chairman, Archie McLaren.

The Wine Classic kicked off on Friday with special winery dinners.  A Farm to Table Dinner at Talley Vineyards & Winery in the Arroyo Grande Valley, featured San Luis Obispo wineries.  Lido Restaurant at Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in Pismo Beach was the site of a dinner showcasing wines from Napa Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Maria Valley and Paso Robles.

The flagship event of the Wine Classic is the Auction on Saturday.  In the morning, there was a Live Auction Preview and Super Silent Auction, with Sparkling Wine, Entertainment  & Exotic Automobile Display. A  multi-course luncheon, prepared by the Wine Classic’s family of chefs including Rick Manson of Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods, Frank Ostini of Buellton Hitching Post, and Michael Hutchings of Michael’s Catering in Santa Barbara.  Auction Day was hosted by Archie McLaren and the Wine Classic’s Board of Directors, featuring Auctioneer DawnMarie Kotsonis.

Saturday night was a celebration of Archie McLaren’s 75th birthday at Olde Port Inn on Port San Luis Pier at the End of Avila Road.  Special wine for the dinner was provided  by Archie.

On Sunday, the Wine Classic’s finale was a VIP Departure Brunch at Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, Pismo Beach. accompanied by Champagne and Black River Caviar.

The 30th Annual Auction of Washington Wines Took Place August 17-19, 2017 in Woodinville, Washington, Raising $4.19 Million For Children And Viticulture And Enology Programs

 During the action-packed weekend of August 17-19 in Woodinville, the 30th Annual Auction of Washington Wines raised a record-breaking $4.19 Million.  Created in 1988 by Allen Shoup, a former CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the auction benefits the Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Viticulture and Enology program at Washington State University.  The event has raised over $41 Million since its inception.

The Picnic & Barrel Auction kicked things off at Chateau Ste. Michelle on Thursday afternoon.  Friday a Private Barrel Auction was held at Chateau Ste. Michelle.  That evening  winemaker dinners took place at private estates around Puget Sound.  On Saturday Columbia Winery staged a Charity Run & Walk in Woodinville.  The Winemaker Gala Auction event was held Saturday night at Chateau Ste. Michelle.

The Washington Wine Auction also included an earlier event held in June, a Wine & Music Festival at Washington State University.  In November, the event launched an online wine auction.

For information about the 31st  Annual Auction of Washington Wines, scheduled for August 16-18, telephone 206-326-5770 or visit the website:  www.washingtonwine.org [19].


The 25th Annual Sonoma County Wine Auction Took Place September 15-16 In Sonoma Valley, Raising A Record-Breaking $5.2 Million

The Sonoma County Wine Auction (formerly Sonoma Wine Country Weekend and Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction), sponsored by Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers took place September 15-16.  The 25th Annual Auction shattered records, raising $5.2  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 Sonoma County  Wine Auction began with a Preview Party on Friday, September 15 at Kendall-Jackson Estate Wines and Gardens.  Vintner hosted dinners also took place that evening.  Taste of Sonoma  was held  earlier, September 1 and 3, at Donald and Maureen Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.  Jackson Family Wines Chairman and Proprietor Barbara Banke and the entire Jackson family were Honorary Chairs. The 2017 Sonoma County Wine Auction took  place  September 16 at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard in the heart of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley.

Over $24 Million has been raised to date for over 95 local charities that benefit students, children, farm workers and people in need in Sonoma County communities.

For information on the 26th Annual Sonoma County Wine Auction, telephone 855-939-7666 or  visit: www.sonomacountywineauction.com. [19]


The 36th Annual Detroit International Wine Auction Took Place Saturday, October 21, Detroit, Michigan, Raising A Record-breaking $3.4 Million

The 36th Annual Detroit International Wine Auction featured a theme of Old Hollywood Glam at the Downtown Boxing Gym.  Danialle Karmanos and her husband, Peter Karmanos Jr., were event chairs.  Featured vintner was Bodegas Torres, Spain.  Nearly 500 guests arrived at the venue via an elegant red awning extending from the front door to the street.  Young boxers did workouts and routines with punching bags on the exterior of the building.  Brilliant bursts of colored lights flushed throughout the rooms, the pink dining room was inspired by the pink dining room at Perino’s Restaurant in Los Angeles, which was frequented by Hollywood’s elite during the Golden Age.

The gala, luxurious evening of world-class wines, gourmet cuisine, fashion and art included a vintner’s private reception, silent auction, seated dinner, an over-the-top-live auction and an after-party sponsored by Metro Detroit Cadillac.  Celebrity  tap-dancing twins Sean and John Scott from Las Vegas gave a special performance.

“The Art of Wine” raised $2.4 Million plus an additional $1 Million, gifted from the Karmanoses MADDOG Technology  for CCS’s Fashion Accessories Design Program to benefit Detroit’s College for Creative Studies.   The Wine Auction funds student scholarships at CCS and provides free art classes for Detroit’s at-risk youth.

CCS provides free art programs to more than 4,000 children in Detroit each year, and supports 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.

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. College for Creative Studies 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.

Featured vintner for 2017 was Bodegas Torres, a family winery and the largest winery in Spain.  Marta Delfa, Torres Export Manager and USA Brand Ambassador, represented Torres.  In addition to the fabulous wine lots, the Auction offered some amazing experience lots: a private tour of the White House,  a week stay in Crete, an escape to Napa, a Spanish wine experience hosted by Torres, a special wine, tour and tasting experience in Russian River Valley, Bondurant Racing School in Phoenix, and a week in Paris.

Renowned vintner and auctioneer Fritz Hatton  again led  the bidding for the live auction.

Please contact the College for Creative Studies for further information and registration for the 37th Annual Detroit International Wine Auction, October 20, 2018; email: diwa@collegeforcreativestudies.edu; Telephone: 313-664-7464; CCS website:  www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu/news-and-events/diwa [20].


The 26th Annual Rusty Staub Wine Auction Was Held Wednesday, October 18 in New York City, Raising Over $1.8 Million

Baseball great Rusty Staub and his namesake auction is a perennial top performer and the 26th Annual Rusty Staub Foundation Emergency Food Program in 2017 generated over $1.8 Million for food pantries in the five boroughs of New York City.  The annual Program consists of two events each year, the Celebrity Chefs and Friends Golf Tournament that took  place in May and the Wine Auction and Dinner in October.  The Golf Tournament, featuring famed chef Jose Andres as 2017 honoree, also included dinner and an auction at Alpine Country Club in New Jersey.  The October auction and dinner took place at Maloney & Porcelli Restaurant, Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence-winning restaurant in Manhattan.

While Rusty Staub focuses on wine lots, especially Burgundy, his favorite, for his auction, 2017 lots included cult, rare and highly collectible wines from the Rhone and California.  In addition to special lunches and dinners, there were visits to Napa, an Ireland golf trip, a tour of Burgundy with Rusty, a dinner for 10 cooked by Rusty in your home, a visit to New Orleans with Rusty.

Ursula Hermacinski, one of foremost wine auctioneers, works personally with Rusty, presiding each year over his foundation’s wine auction.

The Rusty Staub Foundation, established in 1985, raised nearly $22 Million in collaboration with Catholic Charities, supporting emergency pantries that serve more than 800,000 meals each year.  Rusty Staub’s motto is “Benefiting Youth.  Fighting Hunger.”

The 27th Annual Rusty Staub Wine Auction featuring Great Wines of the World to benefit the charities of the Rusty Staub Foundation will take place Wednesday, October 17 at Maloney & Porcelli Restaurant in New York City.  The 14th Annual Celebrity Chefs and Friends Golf Tournament will be held June 25 at Alpine Country Club in New Jersey.

For more information on Rusty Staub’s charity events, the Golf Tournament and the 27th Annual Wine Auction, telephone 646-794-2483, email rsfoundation@archny.org [21]. or visit his website:  www.rustystaubfoundation.com [22].


The 27th Annual Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Occurred November 10-13 in Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation presented its 27th annual schedule of events to raise money to help people in Hampton Roads.  The main fundraising event was their annual Grand Auction, the largest, most successful wine auction in Virginia, attracting hundreds of wine lovers from Hampton Roads and all over the East Coast.  The Wine Classic focuses primarily on helping to educate youth and to fund breast cancer research.  The Foundation is dedicated to the belief that the future strength and prosperity of the region and the nation are dependent on the education of our youth.  Born in 1991 by Bob and Eleanor Stanton, the event has distributed over $7 Million for charity.

The Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic  raised $1.2 Million in 2016  to provide support for local children’s educational charities.  2017’sVintner of the Year was Amanda Harlan of The Mascot Wine.  Magnums and Mulligans Golf Tournament took place in June at the Bayville Golf Club, offering great golf and a dinner of gourmet food paired with magnums of special wines.  The Classic also included the 15th Annual Wine, Women and Fishing tournament.  This colorful event, taking place in August, has raised over $500,000 for breast cancer research at East Virginia Medical School. The fishing tournament ended with a dock  party, music and dinner.

The grand auction was held at the private home of Bob and Eleanor Stanton overlooking Lynnhaven River along the picturesque Bayville Golf Course on Chesapeake Bay.  Other events, wine tastings and dinners were held at Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach.  Renowned auctioneer, Ursula Hermacinski gaveled the live auction.

For information about the 2018 events including the 28th Annual Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic November 9-12, telephone Jennie Capps at 757-200-9463, email wineclassic@cox.net [23] or visit the web site:  www.cbwc.org [24].