The Auction of Washington Wines gala events were held August 14th -16th, centered at the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, raising $1.8 million to benefit Seattle Children's Hospital and the viticulture and enology programs at Washington State University. Each year, a rich and varied series of events precedes the Saturday night dinner finale: the live (and silent) Auction of Washington Wines.
Kicking off the festivities is the ever popular Auction of Washington Wines Picnic and Barrel Tasting. Spread out on the Chateau Ste. Michelle campus, it featured special, not yet bottled, samples of stellar Washington wines, along with multiple restaurant purveyors and a panoply of strolling vintners offering more tasting samples.
The following evening, intimate winemaker dinners were held at a number of private homes throughout the Puget Sound. Diners experienced the company of Washington winemakers whose wines were paired exquisitely with a gourmet meal created by teams of the the regions’ most well-renowned chefs.
The culmination of the weekend is the actual Auction of Washington Wines and Wine Gala, held under a giant tent on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. Over 600 guests enjoyed a six course meal prepared by some of the area’s top chefs. Each table was hosted by a Washington state winemaker who paired and poured wines from the winery's current and past releases.
The auction bidding was fast and furious, propelled by auctioneers Ursula Hermacinski and Fritz Hatton, featuring generously donated lots from the likes of Cayuse Vineyards, Figgins Family Wine Estates, Leonetti Cellars, Northstar, Avennia, DeLille Cellars, Long Shadows, and Quilceda Creek plus many other dining, travel and lifestyle lots.
The event, now in its 27th year, was an outstanding showcase for Washington State's ability to produce wines equal to some of the greatest wines in the world, as well as raising money (over $30 million total since inception) for the deserving recipients.
For more information, visit http://www.auctionofwashingtonwines.org/.