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Auction of Washington Wines raises over $1.74 million during first-ever virtual event series

“Despite the challenges, change in format and experience, we are heartened that our supporters came to the ‘virtual’ table and donated so generously this year,” said AWW executive director Jamie Peha. “It is rewarding to see longtime auction patrons as well as newcomers enjoy the Auction in a new and digital way. The Washington wine industry quickly rose to the occasion and provided more than 130 auction lots including vintage wines and experiences in support. We are thankful to our sponsors, board of directors, auction team and all our partners for their flexibility and generous contributions. Everyone was invested in making this year the best it could possibly be. ”

Over 600 people registered for the online auction. Wineries and donors provided stunning, once-in-a-lifetime and, in some cases, priceless auction offerings, such as a 22-year vertical series of Leonetti Cellar Sangiovese wine vintages and a reserved spot on one of the most-coveted wine membership lists in Washington, Cayuse Vineyards.

The Auction also brought the big event to attendees’ homes by offering a “Gala-in-a-Box” package, featuring dinner made by esteemed local chefs John Howie or Lisa Dupar, and accompanying Washington wine offerings to enjoy during the virtual live gala.

Additional highlights of Washington’s premier charitable weekend of wine events are below.

Online “Almost Live” Auction (Aug. 11-17)

This exclusive, online “almost live” auction experience featured over two dozen top-tier auction lots, ranging in value from $750 to $5,000+. Auction items included the chance to win a private winemaker dinner hosted by DeLille Cellars’ director of winemaking Jason Gorski at the winery’s new tasting room; an Eroica 20-year anniversary tasting dinner for six with Riesling greats Bob Bertheau of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Ernst Loosen of Weingut Dr. Loosen from Germany; and a package of large-format library wines from Leonetti Cellar and FIGGINS.

Online “Silent” Auction (Aug. 11-15)

The online “silent” auction featured over 40 auction lots ranging in value from $250 to $1,500. Auction items included the chance to be “winemaker for a day” at Two Vintners, with the chance to pick grapes, sort fruit and join winemaker Morgan Lee in the “punchdown;” a relaxed vineyard lunch from the top of Red Mountain with Hightower Cellars owners Kelly and Tim Hightower; and a two-night stay at Treveri Cellars’ estate vineyard, including a private tasting of its diverse line-up of Washington state bubbly.

Virtual Live Gala Auction (Saturday, Aug. 15)

Held for one night only on Saturday, Aug. 15 from 6-8 p.m. and live streamed on YouTube, the virtual live gala was a memorable occasion in the spirit of AWW’s annual gala with over 200 people tuning in. The opening performance featured a custom tune from local composer Rich Gray entitled “I Love My Washington Wine.” Attendees had the option of bringing the gala home by purchasing a Wells Fargo-sponsored “Gala-in-a-Box” from noted Seattle chefs John Howie and Lisa Dupar. More than one dozen wineries, including J. Bookwalter Winery, Gorman Winery and Mark Ryan Winery, offered exclusive gala wine bundles for attendees to enjoy at home during the gala. David Silverman and Fred Northup, Jr. served as auctioneers and kept the energy going. Guest speakers throughout the evening included Ste. Michelle Wine Estates president and CEO Jim Mortensen and Auction of Washington Wines’ 2020-2021 honorary chair, noted wine personality Karen MacNeil. Former KING 5 anchor and longtime Seattle Children’s board member and supporter Jean Enersen led the charge in Raise the Paddle benefitting Seattle Children’s and AWW. Some of the auction lots available for bid included a five-day excursion to the Jackson Hole Food & Wine for four hosted by AWW 2020-2021 honorary grower Rob Mercer, a three-day Walla Walla wine tasting tour for three couples; and a package containing 55 magnum wines from 55 different Washington wineries.

Next year’s Auction of Washington Wines weekend is scheduled for August 12-14, 2021.

Those who could not attend the virtual or online events are able to make a donation directly at washingtonwine.ejoinme.org/Donate.

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About the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW)

Since its inception in 1988, AWW has raised more than $51 million, benefiting Seattle Children’s Hospital and Viticulture & Enology Program research. AWW was listed in the top five U.S. Charity Auctions in the nation by Wine Spectator. Events hosted by AWW give wine lovers the chance to support Washington state’s wine industry and families and communities across the state. Presented by Seattle Bank, all of the organization’s events were virtual for 2020. For more information, visit www.AuctionofWaWines.org.

About Seattle Bank

Seattle Bank is a boutique bank focused on the needs of families, businesses, and community organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Our mission is to be a unique financial resource by providing our clients a personalized experience and peace of mind. We also recognize the importance of partnering with others that serve our community. We are proud to join the Auction of Washington Wines in supporting Seattle Children’s and WSU Viticulture and Enology research.

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