The 2019 Naples Winter Wine Festival came to a close following its electric Live Auction, which raised just under $16 million for the underprivileged and at-risk children of Collier County.

This brings the total amount raised by the Festival to more than $191 million since its inception in 2001.

On-the-spot donations supporting this year’s Fund a Need, Children’s Mental Health, brought in contributions of almost $3 million which will ensure that more at-risk children have access to mental health assessments, services and treatment, which are increasingly important needs for a child’s overall development and success.

Festival attendees came together under the tent at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples to bid on over 60 once-in-a-lifetime lots, many of which included exceptional wine lots from some of the most revered vineyards across the globe.

This year’s top lot, Escape to the Islands, was tripled by three bidders, each agreeing to give $330,000, raising a total of $990,000 for the auction.

Additionally, the two first edition automobiles, the 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible and 2019 McLaren 720S Spider convertible, went for $550,000 and $460,000 respectively.

Other auction highlights included:

  • $400,000 for Set Sail with Darioush – Four couples will join Shahpar & Darioush Khaledi a board the Crystal Esprit for an all-inclusive, 31 cabin luxury yacht that will follow along the coasts of Southern Italy and Croatia, exploring Sorrento, the Sicilian Coast and Dubrovnik. Couples will enjoy bespoke excursions and unique experiences at Italy’s most stunning port of calls. Couples will also each take home a Double Magnum of 2015 Darioush Darius II Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • $340,000 for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo – Two couples won tickets to the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo with six-night accommodations at the Hilton Tokyo. They received four tickets to the Opening Ceremonies, four tickets to watch Gymnastics, Swimming and Diving as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of the NBC Olympics Studios and several cultural, artistic and historic tours in Tokyo.
  • $260,000 for Legendary Links and Majestic Manors – Two couples will enjoy nine days of golf in the Scottish Highlands and Southwest Ireland, where they will also receive a private whisky tour of Glenmorangie Distillery, private tour of the Culzean Castle in Ayr and private jet and helicopter transfers throughout the trip.
  • $260,000 for A Nod to Nashville – with Paul and Jeff – Two couples won a one-of-a-kind Nashville experience, complete with four nights at The Hermitage Hotel and a special finale dinner. The couples will get behind-the-scenes access to Nashville’s legendary music scene, in addition to taking home two custom-made Taylor guitars and six Double Magnums of etched 2016 Gargiulo Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
  • $240,000 for The First Growth is the Sweetest – Two lucky couples will visit all five First Growth Bordeaux Vineyards and take home a 5 Liter bottle of 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild as well as four bottles from the 1982 vintages of Chateau Haut-Brion, Château Latour, Château Margaux and Château Mouton Rothschild.
  • $220,000 for Villa Like a Rock Star – Three couples will wakeup in the “View of Dreams,” Cuvée’s new, private ocean-hugging villa in St. Barts for five nights, including panoramic water views, a wine cave and infinity pool terrace. The couples will also enjoy a private dinner and spend a day sailing on a private yacht for snorkeling, swimming and exploring.

The Festival began with an intimate Vintage Cellar Winetasting and Luncheon featuring both Maison Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Drouhin Oregon, where guests participated in a vertical tasting of 1986, 2000, 2010, 2014 and 2016 vintages of Maison Joseph Drouhin’s Chardonnay and Beaune Clos des Mouches as well as 1990, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2015 Clos de Vougeot vintages.

The seminar and tasting were led by winemaker and guiding palate Véronique Drouhin-Boss and wine critic Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW.

This year the Festival honored Chef de Cuisine Richard Reddington and Honored Vintners Daphne and Bart Araujo of Accendo Cellars. The night before the Live Auction, more than 18 celebrity chefs, over 30 world-class vintners and 18 of the world’s elite Master Sommeliers paired off to prepare exquisite dinners at the stunning homes of Festival Trustees and some of Naples’ iconic destinations.

Using the funds raised from this year’s auction, NCEF will award grants to local organizations serving Collier County children in need on March 18, 2019.

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