Washington wine auction raises $4 million for medical care for children

The Washington Wine Auction (AWW) celebrated its 35th year by raising $4 million for Seattle Children’s Hospital, Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Program and industry grant partner Vital Wines, which is “dedicated to ensuring that workers in vineyards and cellars are recognized, valued, and have access to health care and other important resources.” After going virtual for two years, most events, including the Gala Auction, Winemaker’s Picnic and Barrel Auction, and Toast!, a celebration of longtime and up-and-coming industry leaders Washington Wine, were held in person on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle.

“For our 35th annual gala, we had the added benefit of being able to meet again in a large tent, and the energy in the room was palpable,” said Laura Kleinhofs, Associate Director of AWW. wine spectator. This year’s festivities, which took place the second week of August, brought AWW’s cumulative fundraising total to more than $59 million.

The live auction gala raised over $1.03 million. The top lot, which sold for $250,000, was “Best of Bordeaux,” a five-night trip to some of the region’s top wineries with DeLille Cellars founding winemaker Chris Upchurch. The second best-selling batch, “Antinori Classico”, also combined luxury travel and wine, featuring two trips to the Antinori family vineyards in Tuscany to “discover the roots of Col Solare”, the Red Mountain wine partnership between Antinori and Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Another experiential bundle included VIP wine tours at Melka Estates and Quintessa. As in other recent auctions, the tall bottles proved popular in wine-only lots, one of which included 10 double magnums of Cayuse wines and sold for $12,000.

A whimsical wine-related lot generated some of the night’s most frantic bidding: Washington Wine’s new license plate numbers 00002 through 00006, which were recently approved after three years of lobbying and will not be available to the public before November, made $35,000.

Guests enjoyed several days of festivities, including a winemaker’s picnic and a barrel auction. (Curvature photo)

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Shirley M. Pinder