Naples Winter Wine Festival Raises Over $20 Million Overnight

The Naples Winter Wine Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary by raising a little over $20 million, the highest amount ever raised at a charity wine auction, for underprivileged children living in Collier County.

Outside NWWF 2020
Outside NWWF 2020

Photo Credit: Lana Wilkinson

Wine connoisseurs come from all over to attend the Naples Winter Wine Festival to bid on lots featuring exceptional trips around the world along with some of the most sought out bottles of fine wine produced by distinguished vineyards around the globe, making it one of the most famous charity wine auctions in the world. This year’s festival started with a luncheon and wine tasting hosted by revered wine critic, Antonio Galloni, of Vinous, one of the world’s most influential wine publications. Then, the night before the festival’s live auction, the weekend’s main event, guests ate and drank gourmet food and wine prepared by over 20 celebrity chefs, over 30 renowned vintners and 20 internationally elite Master Sommeliers during private dinners in the beautiful homes of Festival Trustees and some of Naples’ iconic destinations.

Beautiful Dish Served At NWWF At AuctionPhoto Credit: Eric Strachan

American band Kool & The Gang opened the energetic live auction this year. PGA golfer, Greg Norman, donated a large amount of money by bidding on an item featuring an opportunity to golf with his fellow PGA golfer, Jack Nicklaus. Comedian, Sebastian Maniscalco, and TV personality, Judge Judy, were also in attendance. World-renowned winemaker Saskia de Rothschild whose family vineyard Domaines Barons de Rothschild produces some of the higher grossing wine lots for the charitable auction was honored at this year’s festival along with head chef and owner of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio in Chicago, Sarah Grueneberg.

Performance at NWWFPhoto Credit: Louis Venne

Proceeds are donated to the Naples Children and Education Foundation, or NCEF, every year. Collier County does not have independent, tax-based, public, financial support for children’s social services and must rely on philanthropic support like the Naples Winter Wine Festival. By giving the money this festival raises to the foundation, many nonprofits are able to provide educational, emotional, and health services to the children of Collier County who do not receive it otherwise. This unique approach that bridges public and private resources has impacted over 45 of the most influential nonprofits in the community and has provided 275,000 children with services so far.

Live Auction at NWWFPhoto Credit: Eric Strachan

After 20 years of guests paying top dollar for exceptional trips around the world along with some of the most sought out bottles of wine, NWWF has raised more than $210 million, two million of which was raised just this year alone. The highest-grossing auction item entitled “When the Majestic Meets the Mediterranean”, a one-week cruise aboard a superyacht for ten people, made $1,050,000. This year’s Fund-A-Need correlated with the NWWF, “Fund The Future,” accumulated four million dollars in donations. Along with many lots including packages for lavish trips all over the world that bid for hundreds of thousands of dollars each, two first-edition cars, the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur and the 2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Convertible, were auctioned off for $550,000 and $500,000 respectively. Although the 2020 Naples Winter Wine Festival ended on January 26, NWWF and NCEF offer donations and sponsorship opportunities through their websites or social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @NCEF_NWWF.

Fine Wine at NWWFPhoto Credit: Eric Strachan