The 24th annual V Foundation Wine Celebration brought over 450 wine lovers to Nickel & Nickel winery in Oakville, Calif., on Aug. 6 and raised nearly $6.5 million for cancer research. The auction was one of several events in a weekend celebrating the legacy of Jim Valvano, the basketball player, coach and ESPN broadcaster known as Jimmy V, who died of cancer in 1993. Since 1999, the auction has raised more than $137 million to support the V Foundation's total of more than $290 million in research grants awarded nationwide.
"Jim Valvano's legacy impels us to ‘never give up,’ and courage was definitely the theme this year," said Wine Celebration founder Julie Maples, in a statement.
All of this year's 25 live-auction lots included wine, and many of the top lots featured large-format bottles. The top lot was a methuselah, or 6-liter bottle, of Screaming Eagle 1992. The bottle, which sold for $270,000, was donated by Screaming Eagle founder Jean Phillips in memory of Ron Kuhn, the founder of Pillar Rock and a longtime supporter of the Wine Celebration. Only two such bottles were produced from the 1992 vintage.
Other auction highlights included "The Royal Treatment at Wimbledon," which featured magnums of Nickel & Nickel Branding Iron and CC Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon in addition to Wimbledon tickets, luxury Oxfordshire lodging and lunch with Sarah, Duchess of York. Another lot included a melchior, or 18-liter bottle, of Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.
In addition to the auction, the weekend included a gala dinner, the Answer for Cancer Symposium and the Rock the V party at The Estate Yountville. The weekend was hosted by former Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and former NFL defensive end Devon Still. Of note this year was the Title IX luncheon, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights law and featured four elite female athletes—including Kikkan Randall, an Olympic champion in cross-country skiing—who are also cancer survivors.
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