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Naples charity auction brings in $12.2m

The Naples Winter Wine Festival charity auction brought in US$12.2m on the weekend of 29 January, bringing the event’s total earnings to US$106.7m during its 12-year life.

Naples Winter Wine Festival: out of doldrums

Takings this year were nearly US$100,000 more than last year, signalling that the ultra-exclusive event is out of the doldrums of 2009 when takings fell to US$5.3m.

It is still short of the all-time high of 2007, when US$16.4m was taken,

At the annual event, held at The Ritz-Carlton resort in Naples, Florida, 580 guests who had paid US$8,500 per double ticket, bid for wine and wine-related lots.

All proceeds are donated to local children’s charities through the Naples Children & Education Foundation.

Bidding on the top wine lot – eight bottles of Château Haut-Brion from 1935, 1945, 1959, 1961, 1975, 1989, 1990 and 2009, and six bottles each from the 2010 vintage of Haut-Brion Blanc and Rouge – was so competitive that Prince Robert of Luxembourg, the event’s guest of honour and proprietor of the chateau, offered a second identical lot. The two lots brought in US$1.1m.

According to reports, the two bottles of the 1935 were the last in the chateau’s possesion.

Popular lots included a 35-bottle vertical spanning 84 years of Haut-Brion, sold for US$320,000; a vertical that included a bottle from each vintage of the Napa Valley’s Dana Estates and an estate visit for US$240,000; and a rare collection of Shafer Hillside Select and a stay in Napa Valley that fetched US$220,000.

An instant cellar of 556 bottles of US West Coast wines – the most bottles in a single festival lot – went for US$150,000.

Written by Janice Fuhrman

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