AUCTION OF WASHINGTON WINES SMASHES PREVIOUS RECORD, RAISING $3 MILLION IN 2016
Proceeds benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital and WSU’s Viticulture & Enology Program
Seattle, Wash. (August 23, 2016) – The Auction of Washington Wines shattered its previous fundraising record this year, raising more than $3 million for Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Program. In its 29th year, the Pacific Northwest’s premier wine charity expanded to include more events in the spring, including the iHeart Washington Wine Benefit Concert and the WSU Wine & Jazz Festival. Its annual weekend of events were held August 18-20 and included the Private Barrel Auction, Picnic & Barrel Auction, Winemaker Dinner Series, Columbia Winery Charity 10K Race and 5K Run/Walk and Kids Dash, as well as the Winemaker Gala.
“We’re delighted to see such an overwhelming response to our expanded calendar of events,” said Sherri Swingle, Auction of Washington Wines Executive Director. “The support of the state’s wine community has yet again resulted in a fundraising record, the proceeds of which benefit uncompensated care, cancer and autism research at Seattle Children’s, as well as programs to continue Washington’s legacy of excellence in the wine industry.”
Last Thursday more than 1,100 attendees gathered at the Chateau Ste. Michelle estate for the Picnic & Barrel Auction, enjoying a variety of Washington state wines and gourmet fare prepared by the talented chefs of Tulalip Resort Casino, who gleaned inspiration from local farms and fisheries around the region to develop this year’s menu. Country music trio The Cains headlined the live performance of the evening. Earlier in the day, the second-annual Private Barrel Auction raised approximately $78,000, as restauranteurs, retailers and other members of the trade bid in live auctions on one-of-a-kind, limited wine futures from notable Washington wineries.
On Friday, winemakers and guests gathered at seven private estates around the Puget Sound for intimate Winemaker Dinners, each featuring Washington state wines paired with multicourse dinners prepared by local chefs. In total, the series of dinners raised more than $330,000.
The final day of the weekend series, Saturday, began with the family-friendly Columbia Winery Charity 10K Race and 5K Run/Walk and Kids Dash in the morning, which raised $130,000, and ended with the Wine Gala, spanning the evening. The top auction item of the night was an exclusive eight-day, seven-night trip to the Italian vineyards and cellars of Antinori, accompanied by master winemaker Bob Betz and his wife Cathy, which sold for $100,000. Other top auction lots included:
· A VIP experience at the 2017 Kentucky Derby, presented by 14 Hands and sold for $35,000
· Exclusive, two-person trip to New York City, including dinner at Eleven Madison Park and Le Cirque and tickets to a taping of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” sold for $25,000
This year, Wine Advocate’s Jeb Dunnuck served as the Auction of Washington Wines Honorary Chair, while Mike Januik of Januik Winery and Todd Newhouse of Upland Vineyards served as the Honorary Grower and Honorary Vintner, respectively. In addition, 2016 marked the end of The Seattle Times’ Frank and Charlene Blethen’s tenure as co-chairs of the Auction of Washington Wines, with Yahn Bernier and Beth McCaw assuming the role for 2017. Bernier and McCaw have previously been strong supporters of the Auction of Washington Wines’ cause, but this will be their first leadership role with the organization.
About the Auction of Washington Wines
Since its inception in 1988, the Auction of Washington Wines has raised more than $37.5 million, with a majority benefitting uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. This distinguished event gives wine lovers the chance to help the Washington wine industry bridge a critical funding gap for children across the region. 2016 co-chairs are Frank and Charlene Blethen of The Seattle Times and Norm McKibben and Jean-François Pellet of Pepper Bridge winery. Major sponsors have included Chateau Ste. Michelle, Holland America Line, John L. Scott Foundation, King 5 TV, Seattle Magazine, Tulalip Resort Casino, Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card, and Wine Spectator. .
About Seattle Children’s Hospital
Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children’s has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. Together they are Seattle Children’s, known for setting new standards in superior patient care for more than 100 years. .
About Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Program
The Washington State University Viticulture and Enology Program aims to strengthen the quality and reputation of the Washington wine industry. Proceeds from the Auction of Washington Wines fund research within the program.