Host a party at the majestic Chateau St. Jean under gorgeous sunny skies, serve sumptuous Sonoma-grown plates of food, pour exceptional Sonoma County wines and throw in some dancing Samba girls, and before you know it, more than $1.4 million is raised. This was the recipe for success at the 2013 Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, which raised double the amount earned last year.
With a team of Sonoma Samba Sommeliers tending to each table, the wine flowed as auctioneer David Reynolds excited the 600-person crowd. Lot number 1, a private sommelier for the day, went to Katie Jackson, daughter of Barbara Banke and the late Jess Jackson, for $10,000. And bids only increased from there, with local vintners such as Lasseter Family Winery and Pixar founder John Lasseter bidding $17,000 on a private dinner at the Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen.
Other vintners that donated to the auction included Jackson Family Wines, Benovia Winery’s Joe Anderson, and the Gallo Family, who each donated $75,000 to the “Fund the Future” lot. Tom Klein of Rodney Strong Wine Estates, meanwhile, agreed to donate $50,000 every year for the next three years, totaling $150,000.
Among the top lots of the day was a Thermador kitchen makeover and a lavish dinner with Jean-Charles Boisset of Buena Vista Winery, DeLoach Vineyards and Boisset Family Wines, which included a collection of 98 wines. This went to Luca and Elizabeth Zanin for $55,000.
Another big ticket lot—to join Kosta Browne at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil—was sold for $48,000 to two different bidders.