2021 Sonoma County Wine Auction Raises Over $1.7 Million to Help Support Sonoma County Nonprofits
"We had a successful virtual auction last year but with the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, we saw an opportunity to raise even more funds for Sonoma County nonprofit organizations with a live auction. We felt we could execute these events safely by following federal, state and local guidelines and protocols, while making a continued positive impact on our community," said Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Executive Director Michael Haney. While the event was held outdoors, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test was required for entry, along with masking on shuttles and in restrooms.
The SCWA Alumni Honorary Chairs, including the Jackson Family of Jackson Family Wines; George F. Hamel, Jr., and The Hamel Family of Hamel Family Wines; Dan Kosta of AldenAlli Winery; and this year's SCWA Vintner Honoree, Gary B. Heck, President, Chairman and Owner of historic Korbel Champagne Cellars; came together to support one of the nation's top charitable live wine auctions. The auction, held at La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard, welcomed over 200 guests who bid generously on donated auction lots ranging from rare wine collections to once-in-a-lifetime trips.
A critical fundraising lot, the Fund-A-Need Paddle Raise, is a powerful collective giving opportunity raising money for children's education and literacy programs while also addressing new educational challenges the county faces. The bidding began after a video message from the 2021 Fund-A-Need Program Sponsor, TricorBraun WinePak, and culminated in raising over $550,000 at the live auction, with additional donations continuing post-event. Gina Gallo of E. & J. Gallo Winery, Mary Dewane and Joe Anderson of Benovia Winery, and Katie Jackson of Jackson Family Wines kicked off the Fund-A-Need Paddle Raise with $100,000 opening bids. "This lot speaks to us because it's about supporting the children of Sonoma County," Dewane said. "There's a lot of need out there, and we feel strongly that our children are our future."
"I am incredibly grateful to our SCWA Honorary Alumni Chairs, Vintner Honoree, our auction participants, wine community and sponsors, who have shown unbelievable generosity and support for our foundation,"