The Naples Winter Wine Festival, an annual event in Naples, Florida, always delivers the ultimate in over-the-top auction lots. The auction will take place on January 26 when 550 guests converge at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples for what is always a lively event. It’s luxury for a good cause: funds raised by the festival benefit the Naples Children & Education Foundation which supports charitable programs to aid underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. The foundation has raised more than $107 million at the Naples Winter Wine Festival since 2001.
One of this year’s top wine-centered lots might just be the most unusual coffee table you’ve seen. A complete vertical of 65 bottles of the highly valued Château Mouton Rothschild are displayed in a custom-made table fromThomas Riley Artisans’ Guild custom-made table. The lot features one bottle each: 1945-2009 as well as the entire collection of Mouton’s Artist Label series, including labels designed by Dali, Miro, Chagall, Picasso, Warhol and Charles Prince of Wales.
For those interested in traveling to visit the places their favorite wines are made, there is the “heart of Burgundy” lot with one 3L 2009 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Cuvée Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru along with two nights of luxury accommodations in Burgundy for two couples. The lot includes a private tour of Domaine Ponsot, visit to the Château du Clos de Vougeot with Laurent Ponsot and the owners of the Château along with a 10-course finale dinner prepared by Michelin-starred Chef David Zuddas and paired with Ponsot’s 12 Grand Crus.
A Hollywood-and-vine lot includes four tickets to the finale of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in Los Angeles and dinner with Ann Colgin and Joe Wender of Colgin Cellars at their Bel Air home, where professional dancers from the show will offer private dance lessons. The lot also includes rare reds: 3L 2003 Colgin Cellars IX Estate Napa Valley Red Wine and 3L 2003 Colgin Cellars Cariad Napa Valley Red Wine.
For those that have time to really indulge there is a month-long, Napa Valley immersion. Two people stay at the private, three-bedroom farmhouse at renowned Poetry Vineyard and have use of vintner Cliff Lede’s Porsche 911 convertible for one month. The month of food and wine bliss will include dinner hosted by Cliff Lede at his art-filled residence, with wines from his personal wine cellar; 30 bottles of famed Napa Valley wine selected by Cliff Lede Vineyard’s Master Sommelier Jennifer Huether; access to the Cliff Lede Vineyards’ concierge team; dinner at The French Laundry with wine pairings by the sommelier; private cooking class with Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen; and four private tours and tastings at some of Napa’s top properties.
Port lovers will want to bid on a lot that includes a visit to Symington’s aging cellars in Oporto along with lunch with family members, and two nights private accommodations at one of Symington’s vineyard properties in the Douro Valley in Portugal for two couples, with a private tour and tasting.The lot also includes massive imperial bottles: 9L 2007 Graham’s Vintage Port, 9L 2007 Dow’s Vintage Port, 9L 2007 Warre’s Vintage Port. Other vintages include eight 750ml Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port from years between 1989 and 1997 and a case of 750ml 100 Years of Vintage Port – a bottle from each decade from the 1920s to 2007.
Ever wanted to dine with William Shatner? One lot features dinner with the legend at the home of Domaine Serene winery proprietors Ken and Grace Evenstad in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. Private experiences include a VIP winery tour and special tasting in the dining cave, and a VIP tour of the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum to see the legendary Spruce Goose and step inside the cockpit – something not offered to museum visitors.
If you’ve have ever dreamed of owning a winery, an Argentine lot awards one couple instant ownership of 2.5 acres of O. Fournier vineyard property within the winery’s Santa Sofia Estate in Mendoza, Argentina. Included are six nights of luxury accommodations in Argentina: two nights in Buenos Aires, a night in Mendoza and three nights at the O. Fournier guesthouse.
A meeting with one of the legends of wine, Tim Mondavi, is the highlight of a two-night trip to Napa for three couples. Accommodations are at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley. Day one features a tasting at Continuum’s new winery overlooking Napa Valley and its vineyard on a 60-acre mountaintop estate and a special-tasting dinner. Day two begins with cooking experiences with Continuum chef, cookbook author and culinary educator, Sarah Scott; a spa treatment; and dinner at Tim Mondavi’s home.
Festival events span three days, beginning with Meet the Kids Day, during which guests interact with children who have benefited from festival proceeds. Other events include dinners prepared by famous chefs at private homes of trustees and supporters, with wines selected and poured by renowned vintners and top sommeliers. A wine-down party that evening and brunch the next day finish out the festival.
Festival ticket packages are $8,500 per couple; $20,000 for reserved seating at the same vintner dinner for two couples. For more information about the Naples Winter Wine Festival, visit www.napleswinefestival.com or call 888-837-4919.