Country’s premier charity wine auction offers unique lots, but bidding is subdued
The Naples Winter Wine Festival experienced a slightly smaller turnout this year than in 2012, with just under 500 auction-goers beneath the tent at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. The 55 live-auction lots, which garnered bids ranging from $20,000 to $750,000, brought in $8.5 million, notably shy of the $12 million raised in 2012.
“I like to think of this as a teenage year,” said festival chair Bob Edwards of the event, now in its 13th year. “I had the pleasure of going to [Auction Napa Valley], and they’re in their 33rd year. We’ve got a ways to go to mature, but it’s a wonderful auction and we couldn’t be more pleased with what we put forward for everybody.”
The top lot of the evening, a Ferrari F12berlinetta, dubbed the most powerful Ferrari ever made, fetched $750,000, while the top wine lot, a 65-bottle complete vertical of Château Mouton-Rothschild’s artist label series sold for $180,000. Other popular wine-centric lots included ownership of 2.5 acres of O. Fournier vineyard property and a six-night stay in Argentina, which sold for $180,000, and a trip to Paris and Bordeaux with private dinners and tastings, which sold for $220,000.
The three-day event hosted 16 chefs and 27 vintners, among them this year’s chef de cuisine, Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern and honored vintner, Barbara Banke of Vérité Winery and Jackson Family Wines.
Since its inception in 2001, the Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised over $116 million for underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County, Florida, and this year, funds raised during the auction will help support 24 charitable programs. The 2014 festival will be held Jan. 24–26.