A Christie's-hosted auction of Decanter World Wine Awards wines has raised nearly £60,000 for the WaterAid charity, a figure that is set to nearly double under a new UK government charity scheme.

Almost £59,000 was raised from 79 lots at the DWWA wine auction hosted by Christie’s on Thursday (12 November) – a record for the auction, which also marks 10 years of partnership between Decanter and WaterAid. The total excludes Christie’s’ 17.5% buyer’s premium.

WaterAid DWWA 2015 wines tasting

DWWA 2015 wines are prepared for a pre-auction tasting. Credit: Chris Mercer / Decanter

All proceeds will go to WaterAid UK’s newly launched Deliver Life appeal and the UK government has pledged to match money raised from UK-based buyers.

Funds raised are likely to increase, with a separate, online-only auction to run until 4 December.

At the physical auction, which took place at Christie’s’ King Street headquarters in London, bidders were taken on a whirlwind tour of the some of the wine world’s most renowned regions.

NYC v Wallingford

Italian wines and Champagne proved particularly popular with buyers. Online and phone bidders also joined the auction and, at one point, it was New York City versus Paulstown in Ireland and Wallingford in Oxfordshire, England.

Mark Calkin told Decanter.com that he attended the auction on behalf of a syndicate of friends and was keen to secure at least a case of Spanish and Italian reds. He went home with one of each, after some neat paddle work.

‘Without clean water, you have nothing’

Sarah Kemp, WaterAid, DWWA 2015 auction

Sarah Kemp encourages bidders to be generous for WaterAid

Speaking ahead of the auction, Decanter publish director Sarah Kemp said, ‘I am determined to raise as much money as we possibly can for this brilliant cause. If you don’t have clean water, then you really have nothing.

‘If you’re just wobbling over your neighbour’s ten pounds then please bid high. Not only will you get a great glass of wine, but you’ll do a huge amount of good for the world.’

Top lots

Many of the lots offered for sale beat their pre-sale high estimates set by Christie’s. Among the highlights were:

DWWA 2015 auction, WaterAid, Christie's paddle

One bidder has his paddle at the ready as the auction begins. Credit: Chris Mercer / Decanter

  • Three 120-bottle mixed cases of Italian reds, including Brunello di Montalcino, Amarone, Barolo and Chianti, which sold for £1,200 each to a single buyer (high estimate: £1,000)
  • 36 bottles of white Burgundy, including Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault and Chablis, sold for £600 (high e: £450)
  • 36 bottles of Loire white wines, including Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, sold for £550 (high e: £400)
  • Five 48-bottles lots of vintage and non-vintage Champagne, from growers to grandes marques, sold for £1,050 each (high e: £950)

WaterAid Deliver Life

WaterAid’s Deliver Life campaign aims to provide 130,000 mums and their families around the world with clean, safe drinking water.

It also intends to advocate for better sanitation and water policies in government strategies, and also provide better facilities for healthcare services. Most of WaterAid’s work takes place in communities in African countries.

Every minute, a newborn baby dies from infection caused by a lack of safe water and an unclean environment, the charity said.