Auction of Washington Wines Raises More Than
$2.2 Million During First-Ever Hybrid Auction
Proceeds benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital, Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Research Program and AWW’s Industry Grant Program.
The Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) marked another historic year after hosting its first hybrid auction event presented by the John L. Scott Foundation. Through fundraising events over the past year, which included the week-long online auction from Aug. 10-14 and galas held across Woodinville, Washington on Saturday, Aug. 14, AWW raised a total of $2,220,720. Proceeds benefit Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and Uncompensated Care, Washington State University ‘s Viticulture and Enology Research Program and the AWW Industry Grant program.
Top auction lots of the Gala included “The Other Wine Country” — a deluxe three-night, wine-centric trip to Napa Valley fetching $50,000; “Buyer’s Choice – Country or Rock!”— a $44,000 auction lot that was doubled in the final seconds of auctioning to give two winning bidders a choice of tickets to either Coachella Valley or Stagecoach Music & Arts Festivals; and “Spring Sailing in the South of France” — an eight-day Rhone River Cruise with Northwest Travel including Chef In the Hat’s Thierry Rautreau, Kerry Shiels of Côte Bonneville and Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen of W.T. Vintners, that went for $35,000.
“We are consistently touched by the outpouring of encouragement the auction receives from the Washington wine industry and its supporters,” said AWW executive director Jamie Peha. “Our Gala co-chairs, industry partners, sponsors, board of directors and auction team and partners rose to the occasion to bring an even higher caliber of auction lots this year. Although we wish we could have reconvened in full, we knew a hybrid event was the best decision for all parties, and we have come to look forward to folks tuning into the virtual events from around the world. Still, we revel in anticipation knowing we are one step closer to gathering together for our 35th anniversary milestone in 2022!”
AWW was pleased to host more than 700 participants in this year’s online and virtual auctions. Approximately 375 guests attended in person at the three mini-Galas hosted at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Maryhill Winery and The Winemakers Reserve in Woodinville.
The auction also brought Saturday evening’s festivities to attendees’ homes by offering a “Gala-in-a-Box” package featuring dinner made by esteemed local chefs Joshua Beckham of The FogRose Collective and Chia Ling (Amy) Tung of FogRose Atelier, accompanied by a bottle of sparkling Domaine Ste. Michelle wine.
Additional highlights of Washington’s premier charitable weekend of wine events include:
Online Auction (Aug. 10-14)
In its second year, the Online Auction catered to all patrons by offering more than 100 auction lots ranging from under $100 up to $25,000. Auction items included a private dinner for eight at the home of Avennia founders Marty and Colleen Taucher, featuring wines from their cellar and dinner prepared by chef Aaron Tekulve of Surrell on Madison; a 12-bottle vertical of Cabernet Sauvignon 2006–2017 from Leonetti Cellar and a spot on its closed wine club list; and private tours and tastings in “The Rocks” AVA in Eastern Washington with winery partners from Force Majeure, Pasxa Wines, Rotie Cellars and The Walls.
In-Person and Virtual Live Gala Auction (Saturday, Aug. 14)
Held for one night only on Saturday, Aug. 14 from 6-8 p.m. and live streamed on YouTube, the Gala was hosted at Chateau Ste. Michelle with 240 seated guests in attendance. The Virtual Gala was broadcast to 135 guests attending mini-Galas at Maryhill Winery and The Winemakers Reserve as well as those tuning in from home. David Silverman and Fred Northup, Jr. served as auctioneers and hosts.
Some of the auction lots available for bid included a collection of 50 large-format bottles from notable Washington state wineries; suite tickets to a 2021-2022 NHL Seattle Kraken game during its inaugural season paired with one of only two commemorative 9-liter etched bottles of 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Kraken winery partner Chateau Ste. Michelle; and a 36-hour sailing “vino” adventure with AWW co-chairs John and Gretchen Bookwalter and Greg and Stacy Lill through the San Juan Islands aboard an 85-foot Nordlund Motor Yacht.
Throughout the evening, guests celebrated the craft of Washington winemaking and heard from AWW 2021 Honorary Vintner Marie-Eve Gilla of Valdemar Estates, 2020–2021 Honorary Grower Rob Mercer of Mercer Wine and 2020–2021 Honorary Chair Karen MacNeil. The Auction also acknowledged the 2021 Industry Grant recipient, Vital Wines, whose mission is to support the health, dignity and inclusion of vineyard and winery workers in our local communities.
In a salute to two icons of the Washington state wine industry, an engraved commemorative magnum was presented to Ted Baseler, Emeritus President & CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Master of Wine Bob Betz, founder of Betz Family Winery, to acknowledge their tremendous contributions over the past 40 years. The evening concluded with live music and late-night eats at The Winemakers Reserve.
The “Raise the Paddle” portion of the night supported the mission of the Auction of Washington Wines and Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and Uncompensated Care. Through generous contributions, this portion of the night brought in over one million dollars.
Those who could not attend the virtual or online events are still able to donate directly by visiting washingtonwine.ejoinme.org/Donate.
The Auction of Washington Wines looks forward to celebrating its 35th anniversary next year with its main events scheduled for Aug. 11-13, 2022.
About the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW)
Since its inception in 1988, AWW has raised more than $54 million, benefiting Seattle Children’s Hospital, Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Research Program and the AWW Industry Grant program. AWW is among the top five wine charity auctions in the U.S. by Wine Spectator. AWW’s mission is to support the growth and awareness of the Washington state wine industry through a series of celebrated events benefiting the community.