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Sonoma wine auction hits record sales

This year’s Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction raised a record total of US$4.5m - including $2m towards child literacy projects.

Held at Chateau St Jean on Sunday, the event attracted more than 650 guests with a range of enticing lots, from sought-after wines to ‘priceless’ experiences.

The auction’s Fund the Future lot, which supports child literacy, raised more than $1.9m this year, up on last year’s total of $1.6m.

Preliminary gross proceeds from the entire Sonoma Wine Country Weekend are expected to be in excess of $5.5m – another new record, and beating last year’s figure of over $5m.

‘The generosity, energy, commitment, spontaneity and willingness of bidders, vintners and growers to give back to the community was unparalleled,’ said Jean-Charles Boisset of Buena Vista and DeLoach Vineyards, auction co-chair.

‘People of many generations, heritages and backgrounds came together to allow future generations to become who they want and are meant to be.’

The auction’s largest-grossing lot was Hamel Family Wines’ ‘Virginia is for Lovers’, a multi-bid lot for a private dinner at the Hamel Family winery, featuring a menu by chef Patrick O’Connell and a performance from musician Bruce Hornsby – which raised a total of $420,000.

Next came ‘The Ultimate Super Bowl 50 VIP Experience – Sonoma-style’, a combined lot from Benovia Winery, Kosta Browne Winery and the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, which raised $320,000, selling twice over for $160,000 each.

The highest-grossing wine-only lot was ‘An Exhibition of Elegance with the Ladies of Magnum Force’, which had doubled in size since it was first offered, up from 70 to 158 bottles and selling for $85,000.

An online auction featuring large-format wine bottles and wine and travel experiences remains open for bidding until 25 September.

Updated on 9 September 2015 after details of the 2014 auction were wrongly included in this report.

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