Naples Winter Wine Fest tops for 13th time, sets 2020 charity auction event
Naples Winter Wine Festival attendees celebrate the close of the annual auction Saturday, January 26, 2019, at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. The live auction unofficially raised $15.5 million. Alex Driehaus, Naples Daily News
The Naples Winter Wine Festival is No. 1 in the country — again.
The annual festival has been named top charity wine auction by Wine Spectator magazine for the 13th time since its inception in 2001.
The award shines a light on last year's event, which raised a total of $15.15 million, including $12.8 million during its live auction, $2.3 million for its Fund a Need campaign to support children’s hunger and oral health, and an additional $170,275 in donations via the event's online auction.
This year's festival in January outpaced last year's number, raising a total of $15.8 million with more than $3 million of that benefiting Fund a Need and an additional $302,100 raised online.
According to a news release from Naples Winter Wine Festival, the annual event has raised nearly $191 million since 2001 for its founding organization, the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), which has awarded grants to more than 45 nonprofits in Collier County benefiting at-risk children in the county.
“We’re incredibly proud that NWWF has been selected as Wine Spectator’s top charity wine auction in the country again this year,” Susie McCurry, 2018 festival co-chair, said in the news release.
“We’d like to thank our Collier County community, international supporters and Festival attendees for their tireless support and the integral role they play in helping underprivileged children succeed.”
The 2018 highest bidding lot went for $520,000 and included a 10-day trip to South Africa as well as 12 bottles of Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ranging from 2009 to 2014.
The Naples Winter Wine Festival is typically a three-day affair featuring themed vintner dinners by Michelin-starred chefs, exclusive wines representing the world's top sommeliers, a showcase of local children's charities, and a live and online auction.
Not even halfway through 2019, festival organizers are already looking to the future, recently announcing its 2020 theme "Celebrate: Twenty Years of Cheers," which takes place Jan. 24-26.