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Millions Uncorked At Wine Charity Events

A 1945 Romanee-Conti is the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction, fetching $558,000 back in 2018 but a charity auction in 1992 was not far behind, with a 1992 bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon that went for $500,000. Wine has always been a great auction item and charities are really cashing in.

According to Wine Spectator magazine, it is quite a fundraising tool with 13 auctions topping $1 million in live bids, and a combined $44.1 million during 2019. According to the magazine, the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW), Naples Winter Wine Festival, Sonoma County Wine Auction, Carnivale du Vin, Auction Napa Valley, Classic Wines Auction and WineaPawlooza all beat their 2018 totals.

The Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF) was the No. 1 auction for a fifth year in a row, raising roughly $13.1 million in live-auction bids and nearly $16 million total. An auction lot of double magnums of Screaming Eagle’s first eight vintages sold for $350,000, and a Adriatic cruise that come with four double magnums of Darioush Darius II Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 sold for $400,000, according to the magazine.

The NWWF auction benefited more than 45 nonprofits dedicated to improving the lives of children in Collier County, Fla., and bidders were able to meet some of those kids. “Meet the Kids Day continues to be a highlight of the Naples Winter Wine Festival,” NWWF director Barrett Farmer told Wine Spectator. “This year’s Fund a Need focused on Naples Children & Education Foundation’s Children’s Mental Health Initiative, and it was moving to witness how this topic was so deeply rooted in the community.”

A winning bid of $510,000 at the Sonoma County Wine Auction was for a 378-bottle collection of Sonoma Cabernets and Bordeaux blends. The WineaPawlooza event was for animal rescue and Toast to Your Health raised cash against cardiovascular disease. Read more about it here


As we celebrate our 36th year, NPT remains dedicated to supplying breaking news, in-depth reporting, and special issue coverage to help nonprofit executives run their organizations more effectively.