Sonoma County Wine Auction Raises a Record-Breaking $5.2 Million for Charities | Wine Enthusiast
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Sonoma County Wine Auction Raises a Record-Breaking $5.2 Million for Charities

The 2017 Sonoma County Wine Auction raised a record-breaking $5.2 million in support more than 70 local Sonoma County charities, focused on literacy, education, health, human services, and the environment, as well as arts and culture. Last year’s auction raised $4.7 million.

This year’s event was held at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard by Visa Signature® and sponsored by Jackson Family Wines and TricorBraun WinePak, led by auctioneer John Curley.

Two lots tied for the top position: Lot 11 “Winner’s Circle Escape to the Kentucky Derby,” donated by Barbara Banke, Stonestreet Farms, and Jackson Family Wines for $210,000 that also doubled; and Lot 23 “Everything is Better with Bette: A Hello Dolly Adventure to New York,” donated by Williams Selyem, Dr. Jeffrey P. Hays, and Mrs. Carole Shorenstein Hays, which also sold for $210,000 and doubled.

“We are grateful to the generous bidders who attended the Sonoma County Wine Auction and enthusiastically supported our beneficiary partners,” said Banke, the 2017 Sonoma County Wine Auction chair, and chairman and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines. “Improving literacy rates among children is the key to building a successful, sustainable community.”

Top contributors at $250,000 included: Jackson Family Wines, the Gallo Family and Lytton Rancheria. Others included: Rodney Strong Vineyards, Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Constellation Brands.

“A lot of the lots went for record prices this year. The Sonoma County wines are world class, and we have a lot of good bidders from across the country,” Banke told The Press Democrat newspaper.

The Sonoma County Wine Auction, as part of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, is the region’s largest charitable giving event, bringing together the county’s top winemakers and growers. Since its inception, more than $29 million has been raised for organizations that benefit students, children, farm workers, and people in need within Sonoma County.