SCWA article in Forbes screenshot

Read the full story in Forbes: Sonoma County Wine Auction Raises $1.8 Million For Charity – Totaling $40 Million Since Inception

The concept of a wine auction to raise money for charity is an ancient one – dating back to 1859 at the Hospices de Beaune in Burgundy, France. Built as a hospital in 1443, the famous medieval building with its multi-colored tiled roof started the tradition by accepting donations of wine from local domains that they sold to raise hospital funds. Eventually it turned into an annual 3-day auction, which is still held each November.

This wine charity model has been an inspiration to many other famous wine regions around the world, such as Sonoma County, which started their first charity wine auction in 1988. Since inception the auction has raised just over $40 million for local charities. This year’s 3-day event (Sept. 15-17, 2022), filled with winemaker dinner’s at various wineries, a gala celebration at Buena Vista Winery, and an action-filled auction at Chalk Hill Estate Winery, managed to raise $1.8 million in donations, breaking last year’s record of $1.7 million.

Michael Haney, Director of the Sonoma County Vintners, which organizes the annual auction, reported: “The proceeds provided through the generosity of the Sonoma County Wine Auction’s donors, wine community, sponsors and partners are important for the annual Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Community Grants received by our local nonprofits and our Emergency Relief Fund.”