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Auction of Washington Wines Raises $1.9 Million for Child Care

The 25th annual Auction of Washington Wines, culminating August 16-18 in Woodinville, Wash. at Chateau Ste. Michelle, raised more than $1.9M for uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Washington Wine Education Foundation. Known as the region’s most prestigious charity wine event, the weekend featured the Picnic & Barrel Auction, Winemaker Dinners, The Covey Run and The Wine Gala.

“I am simply stunned at the incredible generosity that took place this past week. We are honored to have such support from our industry and patrons in celebrating the Washington wine industry while raising vital funds for uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Viticulture and Enology Program at Washington State University,” said Sherri Swingle, Auction of Washington Wines Executive Director.

Thursday’s Picnic & Barrel Auction featured picnic games, a silent auction, and the exciting Barrel Auction. Wine lovers attended 10 winemaker dinners on Friday evening around the greater Seattle area at various locations including Bellevue Towers, EFESTĒ Winery, El Gaucho, private residences, and more. The weekend concluded with the Covey Run 5K and 10K Run/Walk on Saturday morning and The Wine Gala on Saturday evening.

“Tonight’s auction was the crowning event and a fabulous way to mark the 25th anniversary of the Auction of Washington Wines,” said Bob Betz, 2012 auction co-chair and owner of Betz Family Winery. “It was a year of superlatives: never-before-seen lots offered by Washington growers and wineries, a record number of guests from around the country, and a record-breaking total raised for our two charitable beneficiaries.”

“This incredible evening was the pinnacle of three days of celebrating the success of the Washington wine industry while raising money for the very profound work done by Seattle Children’s Hospital,” said Stein Kruse, 2012 auction co-chair and President & CEO, Holland America Line & Chairman, Seabourn. “It’s an honor to be part of these events supporting such important contributors to our region.”

Since 1999, the Auction of Washington Wines has honored industry leaders for contributions to the Washington wine industry. This year’s honorary vintner and grower is Chateau Ste. Michelle, whose support of the Auction of Washington Wines event began in 1988 as a visionary, paving the way for the event to become Washington’s premier wine fundraiser. To date, the wine company estimates it has contributed more than $1.5 million in overall contributions including in-kind donations, auction lots, venue, national and international partnerships and leadership.

Highlights of the top auction items include:

  • Seven-night trip for two couples to the vineyards of Tuscany – $120K
  • Mediterranean cruise aboard Seabourn – $24K
  • 25-year vertical of Leonetti Cellars – $12K
  • Safari to South Africa + wine country trip with Betz Family Winery for nine nights – $36K