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Florida wine festival raises millions for charity

Florida's Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised over $5m for local children's charities, confirming its position as the world's second largest charity wine auction.

In all, 70 lots raised $5.14m (€4.75m) at the auction which concluded the three-day event, held at The Ritz-Carlton at Naples Golf Resort in Tiburon on Sunday.

A case of 1961 Latour fetched $180,000 (€166,554), while an Imperial of 2000 Colgin Herb Lamb Vineyard fetched $95,000 (€87,903). A vertical of Harlan Estate Magnums from 1990-2000 went for $210,000 (€194,310)

The money will be distributed to local causes including the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County, Youth Haven and the Biasco Foundation for Children with Autism. Ann Colgin and Humphrey Butler were the auctioneers.

The event attracted a sellout crowd of 450, made up of collectors and aficionados as well as celebrities such as actor Kyle Maclachlan and TV’s Judge Judy. It was also supported by some of California’s best-known wine names including Bill Harlan, Bart and Daphne Araujo, Shari and Garen Staglin, and Michael and Isabel Mondavi.

The amount raised puts the Florida fundraiser second only to the Napa Valley Wine Auction in terms of generating charity dollars from wine.

‘We really hoped to match last year’s total [$3.4m]. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever expect to surpass $4m let alone $5m,’ said wine festival chairman Tom Wajnert.

The Naples Winter Wine Festival has now raised over $11m (€10.12) since it started in 2001.

Written by John Stimpfig4 February 2003

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