Still Celebrating

As we vacuum up the last pieces of confetti that have been hiding under boxes in our offices, we continue to reflect over the magnitude of another record-breaking auction and what that means for our 14 charities. The 10th Annual auction marks another successful year where friendships have formed, and together, we have encouraged and endured. We have partnered for a greater cause. We are amazed that even through the brief torrential storms this year, patrons raised their paddles in support of those in need in their community. Everyone involved plays such a paramount role. Every host, each vintner, each chef, every volunteer, every donor, every single seat filled, every dollar counts. 

Our 10th Anniversary was filled with so many memorable moments this year, from the 13 lovely Patron Dinners paired with delectable cuisine by our celebrity chefs, a fabulous lineup of wine from our incredibly generous vintners, and perfect sunsets, to each and every item donated by so many local businesses. We took a trip down memory lane and acknowledged our founding board members and a few moments from the last 10 years. We had the opportunity to recollect of the years gone by and to reflect upon the years ahead.  

With more lots this year, and many international trips, as well as fantastic collections of wine, many have asked what our top-selling lots were. Our 10th annual auction this year happened to fall on the birthday of Marc Perrin of Chateau de Beaucastel.  Our International Honorary Vintner, and a supporter of our mission for many years, we were honored to have him in attendance. Wild Olives made a delicious birthday cake for his table, and it was quite a treat to hear the entire room singing Happy Birthday. If only we all knew French. We are all incredibly thankful for the lot they donated which was our highest grossing, garnering $55,000. This wine experience includes a stay at the Beaucastel guest house in the historic French village of Vinsobres with exclusive wine tours, meals by famous Chef Laurent Deconinck. Also including a stay at the Hotel La Villa Gallici in Aix de Provence with a VIP Miraval Tasting Room experience, featuring the Miraval Rose, a joint venture between Perrin, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Winners take home magnums of 2014 Miraval Rose, Magnums of 2012 Chateau de Beaucastel Rouge, bottles of 2012 Famille Perrin Gigondas “La Gille” as well as bottles of 2012 Nicolas Perrin Hermitage Rouge. Other high grossing lots were the Switzerland lot, which doubled, resulting in a $90,000 donation, and the Costa Rica lot, which tripled, bringing in $108,000. 

We were humbled by the attendance of our Honorary Vintner Bill Phelps, even after the recent passing of his father, legendary Joseph Phelps, and in addition to his auction lot, he auctioned off 3 liter bottle of 1996 Insignia in honor of his dad, which went for $15,000.

We had many new patrons join the family. We also had a few lots for those wanting to explore brewing and distilling. Our first ever spirit auction lot was donated by Angel’s Envy Bourbon including a private blending seminar, 20 cases of your personally blended Angel’s Envy Bourbon, a stay at the Seelbach in Louisville, and the lot garnered $45,000. Our friends from Sweetwater Brewery joined us this year and donated a trip to Atlanta with a Braves game and a one on one cask brewing experience, and in addition a fishing trip with the Brewing team on the Destin charter featured on the show “Destin to Fish”.

We could not have raised the bar once again without the support of so many. We even had charity volunteers giving back to other charities during the paddle raise, which brought in over $230,000 this year.  Like a good wine, we hope to become better and better with every passing year and to look back in another 10 years and remember these moments and cherish them just the same. A tremendous amount of gratitude goes to all of you for being a part of our mission. 

Published on Thursday, May 7, 2015