Santa Rosa, CA (September 22, 2021)—The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation announces its 2021 Sonoma County Wine Auction (SCWA) has raised over $1.7 million for the Sonoma County community. The successful return to an in-person auction and weekend events held Thursday, September 16, through Saturday, September 18, helped drive the fundraising efforts resulting in an increase over last year’s virtual auction. Since the auction’s inception $39 million has been raised, making a positive direct local impact on literacy, education, health and human services, the environment, and arts and culture.
“We had a successful virtual auction last year but with the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, we saw an opportunity to raise even more funds for Sonoma County nonprofit organizations with a live auction. We felt we could execute these events safely by following federal, state and local guidelines and protocols, while making a continued positive impact on our community,” said Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Executive Director Michael Haney. While the event was held outdoors, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test was required for entry, along with masking on shuttles and in restrooms.
The SCWA Alumni Honorary Chairs, including the Jackson Family of Jackson Family Wines; George F. Hamel, Jr., and The Hamel Family of Hamel Family Wines; Dan Kosta of AldenAlli Winery; and this year’s SCWA Vintner Honoree, Gary B. Heck, President, Chairman and Owner of historic Korbel Champagne Cellars; came together to support one of the nation’s top charitable live wine auctions. The auction, held at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, welcomed over 200 guests who bid generously on donated auction lots ranging from rare wine collections to once-in-a-lifetime trips.
The highest selling lot of the day was Lot #18, Palio Pageantry: Sonoma to Siena, featuring a stay at the Jackson Family’s Tenuta di Arceno estate, an exclusive dinner in a private apartment overlooking the Piazza del Campo to watch Il Palio di Siena, and five Vérité magnums. The lot sold for $140,000 and was generously doubled to a second enthusiastic bidder. Lot #14B, Bubbles Galore, Direct from the Source, including a stay in Reims, France, and tours of the finest Champagne houses; and Lot #8, Montana Western Adventure with a private jet option to The Ranch at Rock Creek, rounded out the top three lots of the live auction.
A critical fundraising lot, the Fund-A-Need Paddle Raise, is a powerful collective giving opportunity raising money for children’s education and literacy programs while also addressing new educational challenges the county faces. The bidding began after a video message from the 2021 Fund-A-Need Program Sponsor, TricorBraun WinePak, and culminated in raising over $550,000 at the live auction, with additional donations continuing post-event. Gina Gallo of E. & J. Gallo Winery, Mary Dewane and Joe Anderson of Benovia Winery, and Katie Jackson of Jackson Family Wines kicked off the Fund-A-Need Paddle Raise with $100,000 opening bids. “This lot speaks to us because it’s about supporting the children of Sonoma County,” Dewane said. “There’s a lot of need out there, and we feel strongly that our children are our future.”
“I am incredibly grateful to our SCWA Honorary Alumni Chairs, Vintner Honoree, our auction participants, wine community and sponsors, who have shown unbelievable generosity and support for our foundation,” said Haney. “Each year our goal is to assist the many deserving Sonoma County nonprofit organizations and I am thrilled to continue this mission with the funds raised during this 2021 auction.”
Saturday’s auction was the finale of three days of events. The weekend kicked off with the BEST. PARTY. EVER. held at Montage Healdsburg on Thursday, September 16 followed by exclusive vintner-hosted dinners on Friday, September 17.
This year, in addition to the live auction, both a silent and online auction were available. The silent auction was offered for in-person guests and included an extraordinary selection of trips and experiences, jewelry and fashion collections as well as sports, music and Hollywood memorabilia.
The online auction continues to be available for bidding through September 23 at 3:00 p.m. PDT and is open to the public. This online auction features a separate collection of incredible lots that include curated wine tasting experiences, exclusive vintner lunches and dinners, spectacular vineyard tours, amazing wine collections and more. To view and bid on these lots, visit: https://sonomacountywineauction.com/online-lots/.
At the conclusion of the auction, the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation was thrilled to announce that Foley Family Wines has been named as the 2022 Sonoma County Wine Auction Honorary Chair for next year’s auction, planned for September 15-17, 2022. Foley Family Wines Sonoma County properties include: Banshee, Chalk Hill Estate, Ferrari-Carano, Foley Sonoma, Lancaster Estate, Roth Estate Winery, and Sebastiani.
For those interested in donating to the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, contributions may be made payable by check and mailed to: Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, 400 Aviation Blvd Suite 500, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Please reference “Auction” on the memo line. Contributions may also be made by credit card via the online platform.
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About Sonoma County Wine Auction
The Sonoma County Wine Auction brings the region’s most renowned winemakers and growers together with distinguished collectors and generous bidders for an opportunity to acquire some of Sonoma County’s top wines and bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. Named one of the nation’s top charitable auctions by Wine Spectator, the proceeds raised benefit local Sonoma County charitable organizations. Since its inception, the Sonoma County Wine Auction has raised $39 million to help fund charitable organizations focusing on literacy, education, health and human services, the environment, and arts and culture, and has supported more nonprofits than any other fundraising event in Sonoma County. Learn more at sonomacountywineauction.com.
About Sonoma County Vintners Foundation
The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation provides support to our local community through philanthropy and charitable giving. Fundraising efforts have a direct impact in the areas of literacy, education, health and human services, the environment, and arts and culture. The signature fundraising event, Sonoma County Wine Auction has been recognized as one of Wine Spectator’s Top Charity Wine Auctions in the United States. Learn more at sonomawine.com/foundation.