The Naples Winter Wine Festival returns to an in-person format this weekend with a live auction Saturday, including fine food and wine, at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples.
In its 22nd year, this year’s theme is “Rise Up – Twenty Twenty Twogether” for the event that benefits the Naples Children & Education Foundation, which founded the festival in 2001. More than 50 nonprofit organizations have benefited from the event, which has raised almost $220 million since its inception.
About $20 million was raised in 2020 alone, the most recent live event; $7.3 million was raised last year during a virtual auction.
Make no mistake: This is an elite event. Ticket packages start at $15,000 per couple, which includes admission to the auction, a private dinner made by a celebrity chef and an assortment of wines from Napa Valley, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, etc.
“The generosity of our patrons has just been incredible,” said Lisa Juliano, the festival’s director of communications for the past 12 years. “It’s overall incredible. We have so many incredible lots.”
The auction of 43 lots will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. The average lot sells for about $275,000, Juliano said. There will be wine lots, automobiles and travel packages, and approximately 600 people are expected to attend. Gulfshore Business will be onsite, providing live coverage of the event on its website, gulfshorebusiness.com.
A sampling of the travel packages to be auctioned:
The Lagoon, the Capital and the Vineyard
One couple will experience seven nights of European luxury begining in Venice with a stay at the Hotel Aman on the Grand Canal for three nights, tour the city in a private gondola and enjoy an excursion to the islands of Murano and Burano. Then they’ll board the fabled Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and travel in a Grand Suite to Paris, where they’ll stay at La Réserve for two nights and have lunch at the Michelin two-starred Le Gabriel. Their travels will take them to Bordeaux where they’ll tour the Médoc and experience life at Château Cos d’Estournel for two nights. For their next party, they’ll take home a 12 Liter bottle of 2014 Château Cos d’Estournel.
Perfection in a Bottle
The winning bidder will own a 10-year vertical collection of Harlan Estate Magnums from the 2000-2009 vintages, presented in a one-of-a-kind, hand-built cherrywood presentation case lined and French-fitted with fine billiard cloth and bound in four-ounce chestnut cowhide. The 2001, 2002 and 2007 vintages were rated a perfect 100 points by famed wine critic Robert Parker, Jr., and the scores of the other vintages in this collection follow close behind. The winning bidder will also have access to a private tour and tasting at Harlan Estate in Oakville, California, followed by an intimate lunch at the winery with the Harlan family and principals.
Domaine Joseph Drouhin and the Glories of Burgundy
Two couples will see Burgundy as insiders. They’ll begin by spending three nights in the family guest house at Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune. They’ll have a private dinner with proprietor Véronique Drouhin-Boss, a VIP tour of the cellars of the Dukes of Burgundy and Kings of France and visit some of the region’s most exclusive vineyards. That is followed by a seven-day cruise on the luxury Belmond barge Fleur de Lys from Dijon to Vandenesse. Visits include Clos de Vougeot, La Bussière-sur-Ouche, Châteauneuf en Auxiox and Beaune. Roundtrip, business class airfare is also included. Each couple will receive a collection of rare Magnums from the Joseph Drouhin collection, including a 2003 Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru, 2005 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, 2011 Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Blanc and 2013 Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru.
Cruising the Ocean on The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Two couples will get the chance to embark on a 12-night transatlantic voyage setting sail Nov. 5 on the Evrima, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first yacht. The winning bidders will travel from Lisbon to Barbados with ports of call atFunchal, Madeira and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. They’ll stay in a Signature Suite and have the services of a personal concierge, and The Ritz-Carlton’s legendary pampering service. At the end of the voyage, they’ll be transported by Private Jet to Canouan Island for a three-day stay at the Mandarin Oriental. Also included are two $5,000 credits to Marissa Collections and two $5,000 credits to élevée for cruising wares. Roundtrip, business class airfare from Miami to Lisbon, Portugal and returning from Barbados for two couples is included.
From the Farm to the Vineyard
Three couples will split their time between Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains and Napa Valley. They will fly private from Naples to Tennessee and spend three nights at Blackberry Farm. Dinner with Staglin Family Vineyard President Shannon Staglin and her husband, Artie Johnson, in the wine cellar of The Barn prepared by executive chef Cassidee Dabney will highlight their trip. They’ll will move onto Blackberry Mountain for two nights in Stone Cottages, filling their days with yoga, hiking, biking and more, before flying back to Naples. At a separate time, they’ll enjoy three days of insider experiences at Staglin Family Vineyard in Napa, including a private cooking class, a component blending trial and dinner at the Staglin family home hosted by Staglin and Johnson. Each couple will take home an etched three-liter bottle of 2015 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, along with a case of their personal Cabernet blend.
Colorado Calling, It’s Cuvée
Four couples will have five nights of exclusive use at Cuvée’s ultra-luxury 250-acre Triple C Ranch, which can accommodate up to 16 guests and is situated in Silverthorne, Colorado. Meals will be prepared by a personal Cuvée chef, who will provide an introduction to ranch-style gastronomy. A wealth of equestrian activities will be supplemented in summer by fly fishing, rafting and ATV riding and augmented in winter by snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. The winning biddgers will have exclusive access to an experience curator, who will coordinate your activities and deliver “The Art of Discovery” to their personalized stay at Triple C Ranch.
Visions of Viñedos and Perfect Patagonia
A seven-night South American wine and outdoor nature excursion is calling two couples. They’ll spend two nights at the Sheraton Miromar Hotel in Valparaiso, Chile, tour the city, enjoy decadent meals, plus immerse themselves in wine with a private tour, tasting and meal at both Seña and Don Maximiano Estate and Winery. They’ll stay a night at The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago and enjoy an intimate look into the Viñedo Chadwick estate with a private tour, tasting and lunch. The journey continues with a flight to the bottom of the continent, in Torres Del Paine, Patagonia. They’ll enjoy the beauty of this untouched landscape at Relais & Châteaux Awasi, Patagonia where a private guide will customize outdoor excursions each day. They will remember your trip with a selection of Large Format bottles from each of the estates they visited. Roundtrip, business class airfare from Miami is included.