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Christine Graham • 1/8/19        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

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 2018 and projections look great for 2019.  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 benefitting 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,  with their 2019 schedules.  Following this are detailed descriptions of their 2018 auction events as well as plans for their 2019  festivities.

Charity Wine Auctions 2019 Schedules

 Naples Winter Wine Festival, 19th Annual – January 25-27, Naples, Florida

Southwest Wine & Food Festival,  11th Annual — Sunday, February 24, Fort Myers, Florida

Classic Wines Auction, 35th Annual – Saturday, March 2, Portland, Oregon

Destin Charity Wine Auction, 14th Annual – April 26-28, Destin, Florida

 A Culinary Evening With The California Winemasters, 30th Annual – Saturday, May 18, Burbank, California

Silicon Valley Wine Auction, 5th Annual, May 18-19, Saratoga, California

Auction Napa Valley, 39th Annual – May 30 – June 2, Napa Valley, California

Sun Valley Wine Auction, 38th Annual, July 18-20, Sun Valley, Idaho

L’Ete du Vin, 40th Annual – July, Nashville, Tennessee

Arts For All Gala, 14th Annual — Sunday, July 14, St. Helena, California

V Wine Celebration, 21st Annual – August 1-4, Napa, California

Auction of Washington Wines, 32nd Annual – August 15-17, Woodinville, Washington

Sonoma County Wine Auction, 27th Annual – September,  Sonoma Valley, California

Vintage Affaire, 37th Annual – September,  Woodside, California

Detroit International Wine Auction, 38th Annual – Saturday, October 19, Detroit, Michigan

Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic, 29th Annual – November 8-11, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Auctions Ended Due To Passing of Event’s Founders *

Central Coast Wine Classic — Auction ended with the passing of founder, Archie McLaren in early 2018.  The 32nd Annual Auction, held August 2017 in Edna and Arroyo Grande Valleys, was the final event.

Rusty Staub Wine Auction — Auction ended with the passing of founder, Rusty Staub in early 2018.  The 26th Annual Auction, held October 2017 in New York, was the final event.

* Please see below for additional information on Archie McLaren and Rusty Staub and their auctions.


The 29th Annual Culinary Evening With The California Winemasters Raised Over $1.7 Million In 2018 For The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation hosted “A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters” on May 19 on the historic “Midwest Street” backlot at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.  Wine and food lovers, numbering 1,375,  from 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 over $1.7 Million, bringing the total dollars raised for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s vital research and care centers since the event’s inception to over $32 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 55 internationally acclaimed 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 780 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 2018 event was another extravagant auction.  The live auction included “Fall in Love with Portugal” that sold for $32,000 and included luxury accommodations for two couples in Lisbon and Porto, along with private visits to the most iconic Port lodges.  A two-week wine tasting holiday to Argentina with visits to major wineries and a side trip to Patagonia sold for $44,000 and “Travel with a Purpose to Southern Africa with Travel Sommelier” was sold twice for $42,000.  A stay for two couples at a vineyard hotel on an island in the Venetian Lagoon along with a stay at a private island villa in the Lagoon sold for $28,000 and a 7-night stay for four couples in a 4-bedroom Ocean Villa at the stunning Grand Luxxe Resort in Puerto Vallarta sold for $30,000.

Live auction wine lots included “Cults Come Calling,” one case of California Cabernet cult wines selling for $15,000; a 5-liter 2009 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Amber Ridge with a sale price of $11,000 and a case of the finest 1982 Bordeaux selling for $35,000.  Two 6-liters of 1991 and 1997 Dominus each sold for $10,000.

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 30th Annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters is set for Saturday, May 18, 2019, at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.  Honorary Culinary Chairman from Peninsula Beverly Hills is David Codney and Honorary Wine Chairmen is Michael Beaulac, Winemaker/General Manager of Pine Ridge Vineyards.  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.  For additional information on wineries, chefs and restaurants, tickets and special patron packages, please see the California Winemasters website: www.californiawinemasters.org.


The 18th Annual Naples Winter Wine Festival Held In January 2018 Raised $15.2 Million for Children’s Charities

Since its inaugural event  in 2001, the always exquisite Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised more than $176  million for underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County in Southwest Florida.  The 18th Annual Wine Festival, a sold-out festival including four days of wine-related events,  that took place January 26-29 in picturesque Naples, Florida, raised $15.2 million, above 2017’s $15  million.  Thursday featured a luncheon with headlining vintner Opus One.  Friday night included 17 vintner dinners at private homes around Naples, featuring noted Michelin-starred chefs.  Saturday was the main event, a live auction under the tent at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. Sunday was a celebration brunch at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.

The live auction’s top single bid of $780,000 went for a purple Rolls-Royce Phantom, the first 8th-generation model produced.  Other high selling lots of the 61 luxury packages were a 2018 McLaren 720S that went for $650,000,  a 2019 Sequin Blue Bentley Continental GT  that sold for $520,000 and a trip to South Africa that also sold for $520,000.  None  of the other lots went for less than $90,000, thanks in large part to the efforts of auctioneer Humphrey Butler.

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 18-year history, benefiting more than 275,000 local children.

A Screaming Eagle vertical of 3-liter bottles spanning vintages 1992-1999 will be auctioned at the 2019 Naples Winter Wine Festival.  This rare vertical, the only known set in existence and owned by just one collector, is set to attract the attention of the wine collecting world so phone bidding will be available worldwide on January 26.

Ticket packages for the 19th Annual Naples Winter Wine Festival in 2019, start at $10,000 per couple.  For information, telephone Barrett Farmer 239-514-2239, 888-837-4919, email barrett@napleswinefestival.com or visit www.napleswinefestival.



The 10th Annual Southwest Wine & Food Fest Held in 2018 Raised $2.9 Million to Benefit Pediatric Health Care

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s 2018 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest has raised more than $2.9  million, with 100 percent of the proceeds directly benefiting pediatric health care in Southwest Florida.  The two-day event, March 2-3,  took place at Quail West Golf & Country Club in Fort Myers.  Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, the signature fundraiser for SWFL Children’s Charities, has raised over $21 million for local beneficiaries.

Lee County’s largest annual fundraiser was a weekend of a blockbuster auction with over 300 attendees and epic vintner dinners at luxury venues throughout southwest Florida.  An even $100,000 was pledged right at the outset of the auction for a 5-coourse wine dinner for 40 at New York’s Rao’s.  Most of the rest of the 37 lots sold for more than $30,000.  Auctioneer Scott Robertson even auctioned off his silver jacket to add to the pool.  Barbara Banke, Napa legend and the festival’s honored signature vintner of Jackson Family Wines got the crowd excited about why they were there, saying “I have five grandchildren under the age of three, so I really value children’s health. An on-site after party featuring haute desserts and dancing continued into the wee hours.

Beneficiaries of the event include the Golisano Children’s Hospital, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College and in its commitment to children’s mental and behavioral health, it is bringing in nine new beneficiaries to further its reach throughout the 5-county region of Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades.

For 2019, the Festival is shaking things up, changing the format to a one-day-only extravaganza, to be held on Sunday, February 24th at a new venue, the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa.  Ticket cost has been raised to $1,500 for the event which will start at noon and will be the elegant tented affair as usual.  Auction lots will be tantalizing, including trips to the Maldives and the 2019 Masters Tournament.

For information about SWFL Children’s Charities Inc. or its annual signature fundraiser, the 1th Annual Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest scheduled for February 24th this year, visit www.swflwinefest.org.


The 34th Annual Classic Wines Auction In Portland, Oregon Raised  Nearly $3 Million In 2018 To Benefit Oregon Families In Need

The Classic Wines Auction (CWA) has raised more than $46 million for Portland-area charities supporting over one million individuals since 1982.  The 2018 auction and other related events raised close to $3 million for its five benefitting charities, supporting over 35,000 children and families in need.

The gala signature event, held in the Oregon Convention Center’s Portland Ballroom, on March 3, 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 825 wine enthusiasts then bid on over 280 exciting live and silent packages being auctioned off by Fritz Hatton while enjoying gourmet cuisine presented by top local chefs and paired with the finest wines.  Night Cap is the After Party featuring a live DJ, dancing and other entertainment.  Honorary Wine Ambassadors included Richard Moreau and Gilles de Larouziere of Maison & Domaines Henriot, Shari and Garen Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard and Mike Etzel of Beaux Freres Winery.

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 in Gebruary, Corks and Forks, a huge wine and food event in June, sponsored by local wineries and restaurants and various winemaker dinners throughout the spring and fall.  Special patron packages are available offering the various events at a discount.

For information on the 35th Annual Classic Wines Auction to be held Saturday, March 2, 2019, telephone 503-972-0194, email info@classicwinesauction.com or visit their website:  www.classicwinesauction.com.


The 13th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction in 2018 Raised $2.86 Million For Children In Need In Northwest Florida

Since its inception in 2005, Destin Charity, through hosting world class wine and culinary events, has donated over $18 million to Northwest Florida children’s charities, helping on issues ranging from mental health and autism to emergency aid and developmental growth.  Taking place at Miramar Beach, April 27-29, 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.  Attended by over 600 wine enthusiasts,  the auction raised a record-breaking $2.86 million, featuring 243 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 $82,000 for a 2008 Tesla Roadster.   A lot of 50 magnums went for $65,000 and then was auctioned off again at $60,000 for a total of $125,000.  An African safari trip sold for $46,000.  Another beneficiary was added to the 15 children’s charities in the Florida panhandle, with a lot of rare wines and dinner to help the victims of the 2017 wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties.

The weekend kicked off with 12 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 sixth 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 14th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction is scheduled for April 26-28, 2019. For more information about the 7th Annual South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival, and to obtain tickets, visit: www.sowalwine.com.  For more information about the 14th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction, telephone 850-650-3732, email info@dcwaf.org or visit: www.dcwaf.org.


The Silicon Valley Wine Auction, In 2018, Its 4th Year, Has Raised Over $2.5 Million For Public Education Programs

The 4th Annual Silicon Valley Wine Auction held  May 19-20 at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga was another successful event.  Since its debut in 2014, the event has raised over $2.5 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 and live auction lots at Eden Estates, home of Apple Vice President John Couch.  Famed auctioneer Fritz Hatton led the spirited bidding at the live auction. The Grand Wine Tasting extravaganza held at Montalvo Arts Center hosted 300 guests.

In just four 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 two years ago, 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.  Proceeds support the Silicon Valley Education Foundation’s STEM educational initiatives.  SVEF  hosted the 1st Annual Fund the Future Dinner in November at Fairmont San Jose, raising over $1.1 million for STEM programs.

The 5th Annual Silicon Valley Wine Auction will be held Saturday May 18-19, 2019 at Eden Estates nestled in the rolling foothills of Saratoga.  For more information about the  2019 Silicon Valley Wine Auction, telephone Megan Metz or Keiki McKay 831-685-8463, email keiki@svwa.org and megan@svwa.org, or visit www.siliconvalleywineauction.org.


The 38th Annual Auction Napa Valley Raised $13.6 Million In 2018 For Community Health and Children’s Education

 More than 900 guests filled the grounds at Meadowood Resort in Napa Valley where lively and generous bidding raised more than $13.6 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. To date, Auction Napa Valley has invested close to $200 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 Ursula Hermacinski, contributed to Auction Napa Valley’s remaining among  America’s top charity wine auctions.  This year’s Honorary Auction Chairs were the fourth-generation Mondavi sisters of the Peter Mondavi, Sr. family, the youngest ever to chair the event, Angelina, Alycia, Giovanna, and Riana. The Napa Valley Barrel Auction held at Charles Krug Winery  was attended by nearly 2000 people.

Several lots this year went over $1 million each.  A lot offering four imperials of Opus One and an experience for two couples to attend the Masked Ball at the Palace of Versailles raised a total of $1.4 million.  Another lot with 18 bottles of Napa Valley wine combined with an experience at the 2019 U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Pebble Beach went for $1 million.  The Napa Valley Vintners Fund-the-Future, a donations section, raised $2.35 million.  A lot from famed race car driver  Danica Patrick, owner of Howell Mountain winery, Somnium, that included a hayride with Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyard, a signed guitar from Toby Keith, and a chance to be raced around a Sonoma track by Danica, went for $300,000.

The highest lot for the barrel auction was VGS Chateau Potelle, red blend 2016, which sold for $114,300.  In the online auction, a salmanazar of Shafer Vineyards 1995 Hillside Select went for $20,200.  A lot of six Mayacamas Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 in various bottle sizes, plus a golf getaway for four, went for $20,000.  Signorello Estate, which was burned in the Napa Valley fires in 2017, donated a five-liter etched bottle of the 2008 Padrone Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and a dinner for eight cooked by their chef in your home, with wines picked by their sommelier.  This lot sold for $12,500.

After the auction, dinner on the lawn was prepared by James Beard award-winning chef, Nancy Oakes.  The after party took place at The Charter Oak in St. Helena, the restaurant of Michelin-starred chef Christopher Koster.

The 39th Annual Auction Napa Valley will offer three glitzy days of wine, food and festivities from May 31 – June 2, 2019.   For information regarding Auction Napa Valley, call 707-963-3388; email reception2@napavintners.com or visit www.napavintners.com.


The 37th Annual Sun Valley Wine Auction Held July 19-21, 2018, in Sun Valley, Idaho, Raised Over $1.5 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 1000 attendees delighted in three days of wine, food and friendship.  The Wine Auction, which raised over $1.5 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 38th Annual Sun Valley Wine Auction to be held July 18-20, 2019, and ticket purchase, telephone 208-726-9491, email Wine Auction Director Callan Miranda, cmiranda@sunvalleycenter.org, or visit the website: www.sunvalleycenter.org/wineauction.



The 39th Annual L’Ete du Vin Held July 19-21, 2018 In Nashville, Tennessee Raised Over $1 Million

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 benefitting 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 four sold out events,  special tastings and dinners, attended by over 725 guests.  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.  Established in 1980, the Nation’s longest-running charity wine auction, Nashville Wine Auction has raised over $24 million for organizations whose purpose is directly related to the treatment, patient care, and eradication of cancer in Middle Tennessee.

The Nashville Wine Auction also hosted Pairings, the  Ultimate Food & Wine Weekend in February to kick off events for 2018, the Grand Cru Evening in June, 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.  The men’s event honored the life and spirit of Billy Ray Hearn.

Noted collector, Tom Black chaired the main event, Women In Wine, headlined by seven distinguished women in wine: Zelma Long, Vitalie Taittinger, Sharen Staglin, Pam Starr, Marimar Torres, Lindy Novak and Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi.  The Grand Auction featured over 166 rare and fine wine lots, one of a kind dinners and tastings, eleven trips to wine regions all over the world and other luxury items.

Please contact L’Ete du Vin for further information and registration for the 40th Annual event in 2019, email: info@nashvillewineauction.com; Telephone: 615-329-1760; Fax: 615-329-1704; L’Ete du Vin website: www.nashvillewineauction.com.


The 13th Annual Festival Napa Valley’s Arts For All Gala held July 22, 2018, In St. Helena, Raised  $2.5 Million

Festival Napa Valley’s Arts for All Gala, wine country’s biggest arts charity event, held Sunday, July 22, 2018 at Hall St. Helena raised $2.5 million in support of the Festival’s mission of making arts accessible to all.  Proceeds from the evening provide free and affordable access to world-class performances,  as well as supporting public school arts education programs in Napa County, scholarships for emerging musicians and the Festival’s tuition-free Blackburn Music Academy.

Tony and Emmy award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth headlined the annual charity event that featured an unequaled collection of once-in-a-lifetime auction lots.  Since its inception, the event has raised over $8 million in support of the Festival and its diverse music education programs.   The Festival’s summer season experienced record-setting performances, presentation of 70 concerts, events and programs, including 22 admission-free events.

According to Festival Napa Valley President and CEO, Rick Walker, the performing arts organization has transformed California’s wine country into a cultural destination.  The 14th season of Festival Napa Valley is scheduled for July 12-21, 2019.  The Annual Arts for All Gala will be held Sunday, July 14.  For information, telephone 888-337-6272 and check out the website: www.festivalnapavalley.org.



The 20th Annual V Wine Celebration Took Place August 2-5 In Napa Valley Raising A Recordbreaking Total Of Over $18 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 $108 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 2018 event, in celebration of 20 years, featured five previous hosts: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University men’s basketball head coach; Robin Roberts, co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America; two-time cancer survivor, winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Scott Hamilton, figure skating world champion; Joe Theismann, Super Bowl champion; and Lou Holtz, legendary football coach.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research’s annual fundraiser, the V Wine Celebration, raised nearly $2 million for breast cancer research and over $16 million in fund a need donations to support V Foundation’s endowment fund.  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 $100 million in cancer research grants nationwide.  One hundred percent of the net proceeds from this event directly support the work of The V Foundation.

The 2018 Vintner Grant honorees, recognized for their continued support of the V Foundation, with a grant awarded in their collective names supporting breast cancer research, all breast cancer survivors themselves, were Lauren Ackerman, Karen Aldoroty, Suzanne Pride Bryan, Gina Gallo, Robin Lail, and Beth Novak Milliken, in memory of Mary Weber Novak.

The V Foundation is partnering with leading veterinary schools and cancer centers for the Comparative Oncology Research Consortium as canine tumors can share multiple characteristics with human cancer, including responses to specific therapies.  The foundation is funding research to explore similarities and differences between human and canine cancers and is leading the way as a premiere grant-maker in this field.

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 21st Annual V Wine Celebration August 1-4, 2019, call 707-963-0611 or visit www.winecelebration.org.


The 31st Annual Auction of Washington Wines Took Place August 16-18, 2018 in Woodinville, Washington, Raising $4.1 Million For Children And Viticulture And Enology Programs

 During the action-packed weekend of August 16-18 in Woodinville, the 31st 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 $45 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 live auction was gaveled by renowned auctioneer, Ursula Hermacinski.  A trip to Bordeaux went for $160,000 and a restored 1935 antique Ford Roadster sold for $115,000.

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 32nd  Annual Auction of Washington Wines, scheduled for August 15-17, 2019, telephone 206-326-5770 or visit the website:  www.washingtonwine.org.


The 26th Annual Sonoma County Wine Auction Took Place September 22, Raising A Record-Breaking $5.7 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 22.  The 26th Annual Auction shattered records, raising $5.7 million to help in rebuilding efforts following 2017’s devastating wine-country wildfires.  The theme for the event was revival, with a focus on recovery efforts and building affordable housing for the thousands of local residents who lost their homes during the fires.

The auction, held this year at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, in Windsor, organized by Sonoma County Vintners.  George Hamel Jr., the auction’s honorary chair and founder of Sonoma’s Hamel Family Wines, said that while the fires damaged only a few wineries and vineyards in Sonoma County they destroyed more than 5,300 homes, including his.

The Sonoma County  Wine Auction festivities began with a party Thursday night at Paradise Ridge in the Russian River Valley.  Vintner hosted dinners took place on Friday. On Saturday 350 wine enthusiasts gathered inside the auction tent to celebrate.  Auctioneer John Curley kept the energy high and paddles waving.  The top lot as a five-course dinner at the Charles M. Schultz museum, with a private concert by Grammy Award winner George Winston, sponsored by the Hamel Family wines.  Forty-six couples paid $10,000 each for a grand total of $460,000.  A trip for four to 2019 men’s Wimbledon final went for $190,000.  A dinner for eight with chef Nancy Oakes of Boulevard in San Francisco, a honoree at the event, to be prepared by chefs Gary Danko, Michael Tusk and Tylor Florence sold for $95,00.  Oakes doubled the lot for a total of $190,000.  The highest wine-only lot went for $80,000 for a 21-bottle library selection of Pinot Noirs.

Nearly $35 million has been raised to date for over 70 local charities supporting education, literacy, health and environmental services and the arts.  For information on the 27th Annual Sonoma County Wine Auction, telephone 855-939-7666 or  visit: www.sonomacountywineauction.com.

The 36th Annual Vintage Affaire Took Place On Sunday, September 23, 2018, In Woodside, 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 Sunday,  September 23 at the gorgeous Filoli Estate in Woodside.  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 36 years, Vintage Affaire has raised nearly $9 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.   Vista Center, thanks to the efforts of Vintage Affaire, has benefited  9,000 local blind and visually impaired individuals.  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.


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 and Pittormie Castle in Scotland.  Domestic travel included Northstar, Sea Ranch, Silverado Resort, Healdsburg, Half Moon Bay. Winery visits included Amici Cellars, ZD Wines, Blackbird Vineyards, Far Niente, Clos LaChance, Ernest Vineyards, Phifer Pavitt, Vineyard{511}, Roar Winery 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  Filoli, a 100-year-old country estate, belonging to the National Trust for Historic Preservation since 1976, which has 654 acres with 16 acres of formal gardens surrounding the early 20th century historic home.

Renowned auctioneer and vintner, Fritz Hatton, was the auctioneer for the 30th time.

Vintage Affaire 2019 is scheduled to take place again in September at Filoli Estate in Woodside.  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 37th Annual Vintage Affaire, please contact Vista Center at 650-858-0202 or visit the website, www.vintageaffaire.org for additional information, including a list of vintners, chefs, unique auction items and tickets.




The 37th Annual Detroit International Wine Auction Took Place Saturday, October 20, In Detroit, Michigan, Raising $2 Million

The 37th Annual Detroit International Wine Auction took place at Beacon Park, affording over 400 attendees an opportunity to experience the revitalization of Detroit by celebrating in another of the city’s beautiful parks.  Dave Meador, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer of DTE Energy, and his wife Peggy were event chairs.  Featured vintner was Hall Wines in Napa Valley, owned by Kathryn and Craig Hall.  DTE Energy’s new and exciting 1.2 acre Beacon Park, opening in mid 2017, offers a spectacular venue with its stunning light installations.  The Park has an expansive green space, interactive light installations and a restaurant featuring rooftop seating with panoramic views of the park and the city skyline.

The black-tie gala, a 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.

“The Art of Wine” was a smashing success, raising $2 million. The Wine Auction funds student scholarships at CCS and provides free art classes for Detroit’s at-risk youth.  To date, the auction has raised over $35 million for CCS.


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 since its beginning in 1982.  It was then when Joe Beyer, proprietor of Detroit bistro Pontchartrain Wine Cellars and Michael Fielding, senior partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers realized their dream of creating a world-class charitable wine auction.  Fielding died last year.  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 2018 was  Hall Wines, represented by owners, Craig and Kathryn Hall.  Hall Wines Grand Lot included a wine experience for four guests for four days at Festival Napa Valley in July of this year.  Events include a barrel auction, lunch with a vintner, concerts, wine tastings and a dinner with the Halls, staying at their SENZA Hotel in Napa.  In addition to the fabulous wine lots, the Auction offered some amazing experience lots, including two escapes to Napa, each with visits to five wineries, five days in Umbria, Italy and a week in Paris.

Renowned vintner and auctioneer Fritz Hatton,  for the 17th time,  again led the bidding for the live auction.  Hatton, Proprietor of Arietta,  designed a package of Library Magnums of Arietta 2007 Red wine Variation One as a special “Tribute to Rick Rogers – 25 Years at CCS” for his service as President of the College for Creative Studies.  President Richard L. Rogers is retiring in June of this year.

Please contact the College for Creative Studies for further information and registration for the 38th Annual Detroit International Wine Auction, Saturday October 19, 2019; email: diwa@collegeforcreativestudies.edu; Telephone: 313-664-7464; CCS website:  www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu/news-and-events/diwa.


The 28th Annual Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Occurred November 9-12, 2018, In Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation presented its 28th 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 $10 million for charity.

The Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic  raised $1.2 Million in 2018  to provide support for local children’s educational charities.  2018’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 16th 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 2019 events including the 29th Annual Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic November 8-11, telephone Jennie Capps at 757-200-9463, email wineclassic@cox.net or visit the web site:  www.cbwc.org.



The Central Coast Wine Classic held every year except 2015, ended after 32 years in 2017.  Founder, chairman and philanthropist, Archie McLaren passed away February 20, 2018, in Avila Beach, California, at the age of 75.  Besides being known as the pivotal figure in bringing wine in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties to the forefront, he was a wine collector, an athlete when young, a lover of fine food, music, fast cars and pretty women.  Archie was an iconic figure in his berets, vibrant clothes and reading glasses on his nose.

The Central Coast Wine Classic created in 2004 conferred over $2.5 million to 125 Central Coast non-profits with missions in healing, studio or performing arts.  The initial Wine Classic, called the KCBX Wine Classic Auction and Tasting, was founded in 1985 to promote wineries in California and internationally.  It had grown into a week’s worth of events, supporting KCBX for years but eventually parting ways with it, raising several million dollars for 130 local charities and putting Central Coast wines on the same level as those in Napa and Sonoma. The 32nd Annual Central Coast Wine Classic celebrated Archie’s 75th birthday in 2017.

In addition to starting and running the Central Coast Wine Classic, Archie was also responsible for the World of Pinot Noir, the International Festival of Methode Champenoise, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival.  Archie was also instrumental in the ten-year fight against Unocal which had polluted Avila Beach.


The Rusty Staub Wine Auction held every year in New York in October, ended after 26 years in 2017.  Montreal’s Major League Baseball hero and New York Mets All-Star, Rusty Staub passed away March 29, 2018, in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 73.  Known as Le Grand Orange for his carrot top, Rusty was a star in food and philanthropy as well as a skilled cook, a hunter,  golfer, and wine collector.  With the Rusty Staub Foundation, he was able to blend them all with his yearly wine auction dinner benefitting the charities of his Foundation.  Staub auctioned off bottles from his own wine collection to combat child hunger and he established the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.

Staub’s last auction in 2017 raised over $1.8 million for food pantries in the five boroughs of New York City.  The Rusty Staub Foundation Emergency Food Program consisted 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.  Ursula Hermacinski, one of America’s foremost wine auctioneers, worked 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 served more than 800,000 meals each year.  Rusty Staub’s motto was “Benefiting Youth.  Fighting Hunger.”












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