Tickets Now on Sale for TOAST! Industry Recognition Event on August 10, Including New After-Party

Seattle, Wash. (April 27, 2023) — Returning for its 36th year of fundraising events and community engagement, the Auction of Washington Wines has announced the 2023 honorary vintner and honorary grower, and released tickets to the second annual TOAST! Industry Awards. The event on August 10 at Chateau Ste. Michelle celebrates these and other individuals who have worked for the betterment and continued success of Washington wine. Tickets are available now for the TOAST! Industry awards ceremony, dinner, and new after-party.

The Auction of Washington Wines’ congratulates 2023 honorary grower Miguel Rodriguez from Weinbau Vineyard. Rodriguez manages 460 acres in the Wahluke Slope AVA in eastern Washington and has been instrumental in connecting wineries with the world-class grapes grown in Washington. This year’s honorary vintners are Gaye McNutt and Ben Smith of Cadence Winery, a boutique Seattle winery celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Cadence Winery attracts Washington recognition thanks to its expressive, Bordeaux-style wines.

These industry stalwarts and more than a dozen others will be celebrated at this year’s TOAST! Awards on August 10 at Chateau Ste Michelle in Woodinville, Wash. The event is open to wine trade and the public alike, and tickets include the dinner, awards ceremony, and an after-party (new for 2023). Tickets are available here.

“TOAST! is an opportunity to look back, and to look forward,” said Bob Betz, MW, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 TOAST! event, who is on the cusp of his 49th vintage in Washington. “This special evening takes a closer look at the evolution of Washington wine and our accomplishments as a group. We’re celebrating quality vineyards and quality winemaking. Last year’s event drew 200 people for a great dinner, great wines—there was applause by the buckets and tears by some, including me.”

Helping to present the awards will be the Auction of Washington Wines’ 2023 honorary chair, Annette Alvarez-Peters, previously the corporate wine buyer for Costco Wholesale; co-chairs Linda and Cam Myhrvold, who have both served on the Foundation Board for Seattle Children’s; and Laura and Ian MacNeil, community business leaders and avid supporters of the Washington wine industry.

Award categories include:

  • The Lifetime Achievement award, recognizing an individual whose extraordinary dedication, inspiration, and advocacy for the Washington wine community spans 25+ years in the industry
  • Vine to Wine award, an individual who is hands-on in the vineyard, including leading or collaborating with peers
  • Healthy Land, Healthy Communities award, for commitment to addressing today’s environmental challenges and developing equitable, viable, and responsible solutions
  • Emerging Leaders, for wine industry changemakers
  • Washington Wine Hero Award, for individuals in government and policy
  • Wine Industry Champion, for a non-industry supporter of the Washington wine community (eg. media, retailer, distributor, restaurateur, educator, etc.)
  • Award of Distinction, for a winery, grower representative, or industry professional whose achievements have advanced the caliber of the Washington wine industry. Examples: AVA development, research, investment, education, etc.
  • Auction of Washington Wines Star Award, for a donor, organization, or individual whose commitment significantly advanced Auction of Washington Wines mission of uplifting the Washington wine industry and supporting the community.    

Submissions for the categories listed above are welcome through May 12, 2023 and nominations can be made here

The Auction of Washington Wines promotes awareness and growth of the Washington wine industry while benefiting the community, with ongoing contributions to three beneficiaries: Seattle Children’s, Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Department, and the AWW Industry Grant Partner, Vital Wines. Since its inception in 1988, the organization has raised more than $59 million.

TOAST! after-party sponsors include Trysk Print Solutions and Tonnellerie Quintessence, and corporate table sponsor Woodinville Wine Country. 


The Auction of Washington Wines supports the growth and raises awareness of the Washington wine industry while benefiting the greater community through fundraising events. The auction has raised more than $59 million since its inception in 1988. Washington’s premier wine auction uplifts the state’s wine industry and raises funds for Seattle Children’s, Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Department, and Vital Wines, a nonprofit winery that provides much needed medical care to vineyard workers. Key supporters for 2023 include Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the Seattle Times, PNC Bank, and John L. Scott Foundation. For more information visit  



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The Northwest Wine Benefit Foundation, DBA Auction of Washington Wines, is committed to supporting the growth and awareness of the Washington state wine industry through a series of celebrated events benefiting our community. We have raised over $63 million since our inception in 1988. 

The Auction of Washington Wines is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or familial status.

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