Naples Winter Wine Festival Raises More Than $8.5 Million for Children's Charities

Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:00pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  NAPLES, FL, Jan 26 (Marketwire) -- 
An afternoon of bidding during the live auction at the 13th annual Naples
Winter Wine Festival raised more than $8.5 million to benefit Collier
County's underprivileged and at-risk children. The grand total raised
since the first festival in 2001 has reached $116 million. The money
raised is distributed through the festival's founding organization,
Naples Children & Education Foundation. Wine Spectator has ranked the
festival the most successful charity wine auction in the nation since
2004.

    The three-day festival, themed 'When Stars Align,' reached the peak of
excitement with the live auction at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples,
in the Grand Lawn Pavilion, where winning bidders were among 500 guests.
Lot totals ranged from $20,000 to $750,000.

    The top money-raiser among 65 auction lots captured a bid of $750,000 for
the fastest, most powerful Ferrari ever made -- the 2013 F12berlinetta.
The lot gives the winner bragging rights as one of the first in the U.S.
to own this car, as well as entry to a Ferrari driving-experience
program. The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte V8, the fastest, four-door
Maserati and one of the first to be delivered in the U.S., brought a
winning bid of $340,000 and includes VIP access to the Pebble Beach
Concours d'Elegance and other Maserati events.

    A lot that captured multiple bids in a modified Dutch auction for a
private Naples concert by the band Chicago, including an exquisite dinner
and fine wines, raised $385,000.

    Two experience lots raised $280,000 each: one for a trip to the 2013
Cannes Film Festival to walk the red carpet and spend a week at La
Grange, a 17th century farmhouse on a private estate in Provence, and a
second was a South Africa experience for two couples for 13 nights, with
a $100,000 Graff jewelry credit.

    On-the-spot donations raised $237,000 for the Lunch Boxes of Love
fund-a-need lot that will provide meals for thousands of hungry children
and their families.

    The top wine lot fetched $180,000 for a rare 65-bottle complete vertical
of Chateau Mouton Rothschild Artist Label series housed in a custom-made
display table.

    "The stars aligned today in a constellation of generosity," said NCEF
trustee Bob Edwards, festival chair with his wife, Terry. "We are
enormously grateful to everyone under the auction tent for sharing their
treasure so our most vulnerable children can reach their potential."

    "Every bid helps change children's lives," said Terry Edwards. "NCEF
trustees and our supporters are passionate about making a difference,
whether it is providing eye exams for 8,000 underprivileged children and
glasses for hundreds who need them, or distributing nearly 2 million
meals for children whose families are at poverty level. When others
can't, NCEF can, because of so many generous people."

    Among other top wine-centric lots were:


--  a trip to Paris and Bordeaux with private dinners and tastings with
    world-renowned vintners led by Darioush vineyards proprietors was
    auctioned for $220,000;
--  ownership of 2.5 acres of O. Fournier vineyard property in Argentina
    and a six-night Argentine escape for two garnered a high bid of
    $180,000;
--  a 5-Liter bottle of each of Verite's three, 100-point wines
    from 2007, along with VIP access to the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness
    and the Belmont Stakes, which brought $130,000; and
--  the keys to vintner Cliff Lede's estate and Porsche for a one-month
    Napa Valley immersion inclusive of a horizontal of 2009 Poetry Cab
    scored a lofty bid of $130,000.

    

Experience lots that charmed bidders included:


--  a 22-day, around-the-world trip for one couple on a luxury jet
    traveling to exotic locales such as Panama, Easter Island, Fiji and
    Bali gained a commanding bid of $240,000;
--  a glamorous, four-night Parisian trip for eight ladies, with private
    visits to several legendary fashion houses, commanded a bid of
    $220,000;
--  a nine-night, exclusive escape for four couples to three of Aman
    Resorts' premier North American properties came in at $200,000; and
--  a four-night trip to Scotland for eight gentlemen, with accommodations
    at Kinross House -- a 17th century Scottish Neoclassical mansion --
    complete with hunting and fishing on property, golf and more, went for
    $150,000.

    

Festival events spanned three days, including a tour of children's
charities; intimate vintner dinners at the homes of NCEF trustees and
supporters where celebrity chefs, including the festival's Chef de
Cuisine Michael Anthony prepared the cuisine, with wines personally
poured by the festival's Honored Vintner Barbara Banke of Verite Winery
and other nationally and internationally acclaimed vintners; a wine-down
party post-auction; and a celebratory Sunday brunch.

    NCEF's mission is to create and expand charitable programs serving
underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. The foundation
currently supports more than 22 grantees and provides grants for
long-term strategic initiatives focused on children's early learning,
medical/oral health, out-of-school programs, behavioral health and
childhood hunger. As a direct result of NCEF investments, more than
150,000 children have had their lives improved. NCEF has 56 trustees that
govern the foundation and host the festival.

    The 2014 festival will be held Jan. 24 - 26. For more information, visit
www.napleswinefestival.com.

    
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Contacts:
Andrea Steffy
Public Relations Counsel, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR
239-275-5758
andrea@gsma.pro 

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