NAPLES — Having raised more than $74 million for underprivileged and at-risk children at the Naples Winter Wine Festival charity auction since 2001, festival organizers and donors are dedicated to making the 10th anniversary celebration truly special. Together, they have amassed 61 auction lots brimming with fine wine, other treasures and experiences that money cannot buy – unless you are the highest bidder at the Jan. 29-31 festival.
Positioned alongside wine lots that contain some of the finest vintages in the world are one-of-a-kind lifestyle lots, many of which also feature exciting wines. The lifestyle lots elevate the concept of exclusive experiences, with such unique offerings as dining with Mr. and Mrs. Robert Redford; vacationing on a privately owned Bahamian island where the winners and their pamperers (chef, housekeeper, masseuse) are the only inhabitants; a walk-on role on the new TV series Modern Family; rubbing shoulders with Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!’s celebrity guests in the green room; and fulfilling a racers’ fantasy: inside access at a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
“The festival has always featured items and experiences that you cannot buy on your own. Given that this is our 10th anniversary, we wanted to make the lots extra special,” said Denise Cobb, who with her husband Brian chairs the lifestyle auction lot committee. The Cobbs are also trustees of the Naples Children & Education Foundation, the festival’s founding organization. “When we talked to donors, we emphasized that this is our 10th anniversary of giving to children in need. Every single donor embraced the idea of contributing something extraordinary to make this a spectacular auction.”
Following are highlights from lifestyle auction lots featuring trips, treasures and life-enhancing experiences. Full lot descriptions will be posted at www.napleswinefestival.com in early November.
Lot No. 7 - Make It Work, People
A fashionista’s wish come true, the lot includes arriving via private jet for a Project Runway experience in which two people join Heidi Klum, model and host of the Lifetime TV show Project Runway, and the Season 7 finalists as they show their collections during Fashion Week. While in New York, the lot winners will stay in a luxury apartment at Trump International; have dinner catered by Jean-Georges’ award-winning restaurant and dine another evening at Tom Colicchio’s Craft; drive around town in a chauffeured Lexus and attend two additional Lincoln Center fashion shows. Back in Naples, the lot includes a head-to-toe Michael Kors makeover at Marissa Collections and a St. John fashion experience.
Lot No. 24 - Live the Wine Country Dream with Robert Redford
Lot includes an honorary membership for one couple to The Napa Valley Reserve, called the nation’s first wine “country club” by The New York Times. During their stay at Meadowood Napa Valley, the winners will tour top wineries and dine with Academy Award-winning actor Robert Redford and his wife, Bylle, while enjoying a nine-course chef’s tasting menu prepared by Michelin Two-Star Chef Christopher Kostow.
Lot No. 28 - To Live and Dine in LA
This lot is a six-day, star-studded, wine-centric and gastronomic Hollywood adventure for two couples. The trip includes luxury hotel stays, wining and dining at hot spots such as Spago, and driving around LA in a Rolls-Royce Ghost. A visit to George Rosenthal and Ron Semler’s private Malibu estates, with tours, lunch and dinner is a prelude to star-gazing Hollywood style. The winners will have lunch with Judge Judy after a backstage tour and front-row seats for a taping of her show; watch Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! from VIP seats, with green room access; meet the cast and crew of Desperate Housewives and dine with one of its stars, Kyle MacLachlan at his home. And, to truly experience what it’s like to be a star, one winner has a walk-on role on ABC TV’s new hit Modern Family.
Lot No. 54 - Catch Me If You Cannes
The South of France for the 2010 Cannes Film Festival is the destination for two couples. The lot includes walking the red carpet, attending a movie premiere, mingling with movie stars at a private cocktail party and sunbathing at the private Chopard Beach Club. Also included is a private preview of the 2010 Chopard Red Carpet Haute Joaillerie collection and two elegant Chopard pieces to take home: an 18-karat white gold ladies timepiece with diamond bezel and swirling diamond Palme d’Or from the Happy Palme collection and an 18-karat white gold diamond pendant with a floating Palme d’Or on a delicate chain.
Lot No. 56 - A Bite of the Big Apple
Never has there been a trip to the New York area quite like this one: two couples stay at Trump International with a chauffeur at their disposal. They experience the finest cuisine at a dinner at Judge Judy and Jerry Sheindlin’s home prepared by celebrity chef Bill Telepan; a multi-course tasting dinner at Banfi Manor, with Castello Banfi wines, prepared by another celeb chef, Christopher Lee; and a six-course tasting menu in “The Skybox” at Chef Daniel Boulud’s DANIEL restaurant. The winners are also VIP guests at Live! with Regis & Kelly and have lunch with Regis and Michael Gelman, the show’s executive producer.
New York City is where numerous TV shows are produced, and the winners also have VIP seats, some with studio tours and meet-and-greets, for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The View, Rachael Ray, The Dr. Oz Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Also, a trip to New York would not be complete without seats to a Yankees game – only these are the best seats in the house with club access.
Lot No. 17 - Passage to Paradise
A once-in-a-lifetime experience for three couples begins with private air to the Bahamas for a three-night stay on the gorgeous private island of Foots Cay. In addition to access to boating, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, tennis and more, the island guests enjoy meals prepared by the in-house chef and the services of a masseuse and nail technician. The trip is capped off by another three nights aboard a 100-plus foot motor yacht and shore excursions on nearby islands.
Lot No. 31 - Dream Come True
This lot is a seafaring fantasy: six couples cruise for one week aboard the Dream, a private 170-foot Feadship Yacht, complete with a crew of 13.
Lot No. 35 - Bobbies, Beefeaters and Big Ben for Breakfast
Eight days in London for two couples are filled with exclusive experiences that include a private visit to Highclere Castle, accommodations at Sir Peter Michael’s five-star estate, a special dinner with Sir Peter and Lady Michael and lunch with fine-wine merchant Simon Berry. Winners also stay three nights at The Goring, where guest rooms, bar and library were designed by a world-renowned English designer, Tim Gosling, who will host a special dinner at his home and studio. Also included is a lunch hosted by William Yeoward of William Yeoward Crystal at his country home down the street from Highgrove, the home of HRH the Prince of Wales, and the winners take a tour of the famous gardens there escorted by Mr. Yeoward.
Lot No. 42 - I Dreamed of Africa …
A 10-day trip through South Africa for two couples promises a remarkable visit, with hotel stays at the peerless One & Only Hotel in Cape Town, the Owner’s Cottage at Grande Provence in the Franschhoek Valley and the Singita Sweni Private Game Reserve. Private, guided tours of awe-inspiring sights such as Table Mountain, Cape Town, the penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach and a safari are intermingled with exclusive wine tastings at Hamilton Russel Vineyards, Grande Provence, Mike Ratcliffe and Zelma Long’s Vilafonte Vineyards and Warwick Wine Estate. Topping off the lot are rare, 5-liter bottles (one each) of Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Vilafonte Series C Proprietary Red Wine and Warwick Estate Trilogy Proprietary Red Wine.
Lot No. 47 - Care for Kiwi with Your Cabernet?
A grand tour of New Zealand for 14 nights for two couples takes the winners to top resorts including Otahuna Lodge in Christchurch, Eagles Nest luxury villas in Russell, Huka Lodge in Taupo and the five-star bed-and-breakfast Peace and Plenty Inn in Devonport. The trip also includes activities galore each day for exploring this intriguing island nation.
Lot No. 60 - A Feast for the Senses
Two couples stay in a luxuriously appointed two-bedroom 6,000-square-foot villa at Soneva Kiri in Koh Kood, Thailand for seven nights. Their unique experiences include dining in the middle of an ancient tropical rain forest, private chocolate and wine tasting in the hotel’s chocolatier, a special dinner in the world’s first treetop “dining pod” and a private Thai home-cooking class, along with spa treatments, movies under the stars and every kind of water sport imaginable.
Create-Your-Own Luxury Vacation
Lot No. 39 - A Fabulous Fortnight for a Sensational Six
As guests of Abercrombie & Kent Residence Club, three couples select two one-week stays at any of the clubs’ locations, which feature beach, golf and leisure, mountain or urban environments. Each residence boasts four bedrooms, a pool and full-service concierge.
Lot No. 52 - Around the World in 14 Nights
Two couples select their personal itinerary for 14 nights aboard The World, an ultra-luxury vessel that continuously circumnavigates the globe. Winners have the opportunity to spread out their 14 nights, as they may disembark and re-board at any of the ship’s ports-of-call.
Race Car Lovers Lot
Lot No. 45 - A Vintage with Vrooooom
This lot features a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series immersion weekend for two. After spending the day blending their own wine at Adobe Road, the winners become members of the TRG Motorsports NASCAR racing team at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma in June at what is considered one of the world’s most grueling road races. The full-access experience includes pit lane race credentials for the entire race weekend. On Saturday night, the winners attend a private VIP Adobe Road vintner dinner where premier bottled wines and barrel samples are paired with each course. A specially designed, race day-themed piece of jewelry from internationally renowned jeweler, Fratelli Piccini, is the winners’ take-home memento.