A place on the wine world's most exclusive mailing list is up for grabs in an internet charity auction – but it might set you back US$25,000.

The Grace Family Vineyards Foundation, a charity set up by Dick Grace of the cult Napa winery, is taking part in the first of a series of charity auctions on eBay, the internet auction site.

The first auction has just opened, and runs till 18 December. Top lot is a magnum of Grace Family Vineyards 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon (one of only 12 produced), along with a permanent spot on Dick Grace’s closed 435-person mailing list – which is so exclusive it has its own waiting list of 4000. A similar auction in the past fetched nearly $25,000.

Proceeds from this auction will go to the Grace Family Vineyards Foundation, a non-profit organisation that funds local and global projects that work with children.

The auctions, which will take place monthly, are being run by New York auction house Morrells and US wine distribution company New Vine Logistics.

Future auctions will include a stay at the Meadowood Resort, dinner at Napa restaurant French Laundry, dinner with Dick and Ann Grace at another Napa restaurant, Terra, a private tour and tasting at Grace Family Vineyard and two other wineries, and a hike around Lake Hennessey with Dick Grace.

‘We are delighted to feature these charity wine auctions,’ said Doug Galen, vice-president, eBay. ‘They are exactly the one-of-a-kind opportunities that discriminating wine buyers find on eBay.’

Morrell Wine Experience

Written by Adam Lechmere10 December 2002