Auction of Washington Wines Raises $3 Million

A packed weekend of events pushes the local wine charity auction to new heights
Auction of Washington Wines Raises $3 Million
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates CEO Ted Baseler calls for bids for the Antinori Trip to Italy lot at the Auction of Washington Wines. (Cayenne Chonette)
Aug 25, 2016

The 29th annual Auction of Washington Wines raised more than $3 million last weekend, including $1.9 million in live bids, during three days in Woodinville. At least 50 percent of all proceeds will benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Viticulture and Enology program at Washington State University. The event has raised more than $37.5 million since Allen Shoup, onetime CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, helped create it in 1988.

Sherri Swingle, the auction’s executive director, credits the weekend’s success to bolstered event planning, a greater selection of live lots and a heavier focus on bidder development. “And of course,” she added, “our wine region is one of the best in the world.”

On Thursday, Château Ste. Michelle kicked things off as host of the Picnic & Barrel Auction, and later that evening five winemaker dinners at private homes in Puget Sound celebrated local vintners. Luminary chefs such as Garrett Melkonian of Circadia (expected to hit the Seattle restaurant scene later this year) and Ben Godwin of RN74 Seattle, a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner, partnered with Washington wine stars like Andrew Will, DeLille Cellars, Gramercy Cellars and Reynvaan Family Vineyards.

At the Saturday night Winemakers Gala, the highest-earning lots were all experience-based. “This year we had more holiday and lifestyle lots,” said Swingle, “but our wine-only lots did better than in prior years.” Those lifestyle lots included the top lot, the "Antinori Trip to Italy," a weeklong trip with winemaker Bob Betz that went for $100,000; a two-person ticket for a VIP Kentucky Derby experience, sponsored by 14 Hands Winery, fetched $35,000.

Collecting Auctions Charity Events United States Washington News

You Might Also Like

Landmark Restaurant Commander’s Palace Makes History with New Chef

Landmark Restaurant Commander’s Palace Makes History with New Chef

The New Orleans Grand Award winner appoints its first female lead in the kitchen. Plus, …

Oct 22, 2020
Opening Night During a Pandemic

Opening Night During a Pandemic

At a time when the hospitality industry is facing an unprecedented crisis, some restaurateu…

Oct 20, 2020
Italian Police Uncover Counterfeit Sassicaia Ring

Italian Police Uncover Counterfeit Sassicaia Ring

Authorities exposed an international plot to produce phony bottles of the celebrated super …

Oct 16, 2020
F.X. Pichler Drops Long-Established Wachau Classification System from Its Labels

F.X. Pichler Drops Long-Established Wachau Classification System from Its Labels

Renowned Austrian producer walks away from the Vinea Wachau Association it helped found in …

Oct 16, 2020
Passing the Tuscan Torch: A Live Chat with Piero Antinori

Passing the Tuscan Torch: A Live Chat with Piero Antinori

The Italian wine legend talks about revolutionizing Tuscan wine, ushering in the next …

Oct 15, 2020
Dolores Cakebread, One of the Original Hosts of Napa Valley, Dies at 90

Dolores Cakebread, One of the Original Hosts of Napa Valley, Dies at 90

The co-founder of Cakebread Cellars was known for her hospitality and food and wine pairings

Oct 14, 2020