Photo Credit: Courtesy Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
How much would you pay for six haute James Beard award-winning chefs to cook a private dinner for you and that special someone? At the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction on Sunday at Chateau St. Jean, 25 couples bid $10,000 each for the experience, accounting for $250,000 of the record-shattering $4 million raised during the flagship event of Sonoma County Wine Weekend. And to think, we were impressed when last year’s $1.5 million total set a record.
The 25 lucky couples will enjoy a six-course feast prepared by Gary Danko, Craig Stoll of Delfina, Nancy Oakes of Boulevard, Tory Miller of L’Etoile, Barbara Lynch of No. 9 Park, and Belinda Leong of Manresa and b. patisserie and paired with Hamel Family Wines, to take place at the Hamel Family Wines’ newly-constructed winery. That marked the largest grossing auction lot of the day.
Two bidders shelled out $110,000 each for the Gallo Family’s “Amazing Africa” lot, featuring a luxurious safari to top destinations while Honorary Chairs Rodney Strong Vineyards’ “Rock Out with Rodney Strong” concert and dinner with celebrity chef Hugh Acheson generated $212,000. Some lucky winners will get to experience “Holiday in Hong Kong and Macau with Jean-Charles Boisset and Buena Vista” while others will travel to Barcelona to hang out with Gloria Ferrer. The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction raises money for Sonoma County charities,
Kudos to those in the wine industry who rallied with a smattering of six figure donations:
- Matt Gallo and Katie Jackson each stepped up with leadership commitments of $100,000
- Joe Anderson of Benovia Winery pledged a surprise $200,000 group donation
- Honorary Chair Tom Klein of Rodney Strong Vineyards matched individual contributions for $100,000
- Francis Ford Coppola Winery brought forward a $100,000 contribution
- The Hamel Family and an anonymous grower each added $100,000
Additionally, auction guests Gary Nelson of Sonoma Valley and Deb and Robert Chase, guests of Kamen Estate and Enterprise Vineyards, joined the momentum and raised their paddles for $100,000 each. The bidding continued for 10 minutes as paddles were raised across the tent in all directions. The crowd stood and cheered for every new bidder while children from beneficiary reading programs stood on the stage and experienced the spectacle firsthand.
If you’re kicking yourself for not being on hand for the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, don’t fret. You can still do your part and participate in the charitable effort, an online auction of additional lots, including many of Sonoma County’s finest large format wine bottles and exclusive experiences. Bidding is open through September 12 at https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?vhost=sonomawinecountryweekend.