WOODINVILLE, Wash. – It’s a hot ticket to Saturday’s Wine Gala, and there are a variety of other delicious ways to become a part of this weekend’s 29th annual Auction of Washington Wines.
Festivities begin Thursday with the Picnic and Barrel Auction, a fun and casual walk-around featuring more than 100 Washington wineries, roaming winemakers, case lots by some of the state’s top vintners, cuisine by the creative culinary team at Tulalip Resort Casino and picnic games.
And there’s no threat of rain, as meteorologists are forecasting record-setting highs for each day of the Auction of Washington Wines.
Mike Januik of Januik Winery will be the event’s honorary vintner, Todd Newhouse of Upland Vineyards will be the honorary grower, and Jeb Dunnuck of Wine Advocate is the honorary chair as they gather to benefit Children’s Hospital in Seattle and Washington State University’s viticulture and enology program.
Auction of Washington Wines raises $34M
The Auction of Washington Wines has raised more than $34.5 million since Allen Shoup helped create it in 1988 when he was CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
This year’s goal is to top the record $2.5 million raised during the 2015 Auction of Washington Wines. Co-chairs for this vintage are Norm McKibben and Jean-François Pellet of Pepper Bridge Winery along with Seattle Times owners Frank and Charlene Blethen.
The Auction of Washington Wines did not crack Wine Spectator’s list of Top 10 U.S. charity wine auctions for 2015. The index centers on live bids, and The Naples (Fla.) Winter Wine Festival saw paddles raise $11.1 million, edging out Auction Napa Valley at $11.06 million. The lone Northwest event to crack the top 10 was Portland’s Classic Wines Auction at No. 8 with $1.6 million.
Saturday’s auction highlights
There is hope this year’s lot at the Auction of Washington Wines will generate a record level of live bidding.
Live auction items include:
- Weekend in Walla Walla with Seattle Seahawks placekicker Steven Hauschka, including two dinners with retired NFL star Drew Bledsoe of Doubleback and L’Ecole owner Marty Clubb
- Eight-day tour of Italy for three couples led by Bob & Cathy Betz of Betz Family Winery, which includes a dinner at Antinori with Col Solare winemaker Darel Allwine and Ste. Michelle CEO Ted Baseler
- Five-day tour for four of Australia’s Barossa Valley with Chris & Thea Upchurch of DeLille Cellars and Pete & Terri Kight of Barossa’s Torbreck Winery.
- Five-day/four-night fishing trip at British Columbia’s Lodge at Englefield Bay with the owners of Ambassador Wines of Washington
- Weekend for four at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby
- Chef’s tour in New York City of Eleven Madison Park, Le Cirque and Jacques Torres’ Brooklyn Chocolate Factory as well as a taping of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
- A winemaker dinner for 10 at Tulalip Resort Casino with Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and FIGGINS
- Judgment of Paris-themed dinner for 10 at Chateau Ste. Michelle with CEO Ted Baseler, an evening that includes pours from a bottle of the historic Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon
- VIP passes for four to 12 shows for the 2017 Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concert Series
- Dinner for eight with retired Mariners great Jay Buhner, Waters Winery and W.T. Vintners at RN74 in Seattle.
- A weekend trip for four to New Orleans for the Seahawks vs. Saints game Oct. 30
Summer-long blend of Auction events
The concept theme for the Auction of Washington Wines is “Blend – Great Wine. Great People. Great Cause,” and the summer-long series opened June 24 with the Vineyard Dinner Series on Red Mountain. More than 130 industry leaders and WSU supporters celebrated the legacy of Chas Nagel, who was WSU’s first professor of enology and a state wine industry pioneer.
The following evening brought the second annual Wine & Jazz Festival to the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland, an event headlined by contemporary jazz star saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa. The next morning, it was Brunch and Bubbles at Bookwalter Winery with live music and WSU Blended Learning student-made sparkling wines.
Those three days raised more than $170,000 for wine research and education at WSU.
Thursday’s Picnic and Barrel Auction
Thursday’s Picnic & Barrel Auction will feature country music trio The Cains, a country music group from Hartselle, Ala., with sisters Madison and Taylor performing with their brother, Logan.
At the Barrel Auction, bidders will have the chance to win one of five cases being auctioned off by some of the state’s top winemakers. Potential participants can decide by tasting the wines straight from the barrel.
- Adams Bench 2015 Red Willow Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
- Ambassador Wines of Washington 2014 Aquilini Cabernet Sauvignon
- Baer Winery 2014 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Callisto Red Wine
- Boudreaux Cellars 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
- Dunham Cellars 2014 Lewis Vineyard Syrah
- EFESTĒ 2014 Estate Syrah
- Guardian Cellars 2014 Gun Metal Red Wine
- JM Cellars 2015 Ciel du Cheval Syrah
- Kerloo Cellars 2014 StoneTree Vineyard Reserve Tempranillo
- Kevin White Winery 2014 DuBrul Vineyard Heritage Red Wine
- Mullan Road Cellars 2015 Frenchman Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
- Northstar Winery 2014 Walla Walla Valley Syrah
- Obelisco Estate 2014 III Nefer Cabernet Sauvignon
- Passing Time 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pearl and Stone Wine Co., 2015 Reserve Cabernet Franc
- Reininger NV Third Edition CPR Red Wine
- Result of a Crush 2014 Syrah Red Blend
- Savage Grace 2015 Red Willow Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
- Two Vintners 2014 Some Days Are Stones Syrah
- Walla Walla Vintners 2014 Vineyard Select Cabernet Sauvignon
- Woodward Canyon 2014 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon
- WSU Blended Learning
- W.T. Vintners 2014 Boushey Vineyard Mourvedre
Suggested attire is “wine country casual,” defined as a sun dress or summer pants for women, while collared shirts and cargo shorts are OK for men.
Tulalip chefs return for seventh year
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This marks the seventh year for the Barrel Auction to spotlight chefs at Tulalip Resort Casino.
An assortment of refreshing palate cleansers will be provided by Tulalip pastry chef Nikol Nakamura, who will offer expressions of lemonade across five stands, pairing each lemonade with a dessert a part of her collaboration with a blueberry farmer and an apiculturist.
There also will be David Buchanan’s alder-stoked fire pit for his clambake, a fondue/deli station featuring Willapa Bay cheeses, a slow-roasted brined pork belly with compressed watermelon by Jeremy Taiser, and John Jadamec will focus his buffet on Mount Townsend Creamery’s Smoked Jack cheese wrapped in dough that’s deep fried and served with lamb.
Winemaker Dinner Series
Friday, Aug. 19 – 6:30pm
Private homes around the Puget Sound
Tickets – $500 per person
Chef – Jason Wilson of Miller’s Guild and Lakehouse (opening 2017 in Bellevue) with Force Majeure Vineyards, Reynvaan Family Vineyards, Woodward Canyon Winery at the home of Cameron and Linda Myhrvold in Bellevue.
Chef – Roy Breiman of Copperleaf with Leonetti Cellar, Figgins, Gramercy Cellars at the home of Matthew Phillips and Devin Howard in North Capitol Hill (Sold out)
Chef – David Barley of RN74 with Ambassador Wines of Washington and DeLille Cellars at the home of Walt Pisco on Mercer Island
Chef – Garrett Melkonian of Circadia with Andrew Will Winery and Avennia at the home of Kirby and Alison Winfield in Windermere
Chef – Jason Stoneburner of Stoneburner and Bastille with Pepper Bridge Winery and Va Piano Vineyards at the home of Jared and Jessica Wray on Capitol Hill (Sold out)
(Tickets – $1,000 per person)
Chef – Janet Hedstrom of Chateau Ste. Michelle with Chateau Ste. Michelle and Torres Family Estates at the Manor House of Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Cheers to a Cure Dinner
(Tickets – $110)
Chef – John Howie of Seastar & John Howie Steak will be at Columbia Winery in Woodinville. This evening of Cheers to a Cure is presented by Accelerate the Pace, a Guild of Seattle Children’s Hospital benefiting Ben Towne Center for Childhood Research. For more information, or to purchase tickets please visit AccelerateThePace.org.
Saturday’s activities begin in the morning with the Columbia Winery Charity Run and Walk. Cost to enter is $40.
The Wine Gala
4:30 p.m. Saturday at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville
Tickets to the Gala no longer are available online, so contact Sherri Swingle at (206) 949-3372.
Weekend Getaway Packages
Thursday through Saturday
Weekend Package Ultimate – $3,500 per couple
Two tickets to the Picnic & Barrel Auction, your choice of Winemaker Dinner, and the Wine Gala. Two tickets to the Magnum Kick-Off party on Wednesday, August 17, and a commemorative magnum. Three nights’ accommodations at The Willows Lodge in Woodinville, and a $200 Uber gift card.
Weekend Package Plus – $1,250 per person
One ticket to the Picnic & Barrel Auction, your choice of Winemaker Dinner and the Wine Gala. One ticket to the Magnum Kick-Off party on Wednesday, August 17, and a commemorative magnum.
Weekend Package – $1,000 per person
One ticket to the Picnic & Barrel Auction, your choice of Winemaker Dinner and the Wine Gala.