Going once….going twice…sold!

How exciting are those words?

Exciting enough that the Auction of Washington Wines has raised over $28 million for charity to date. This year’s auction, one of the top enological fundraisers in the country, will split its proceeds between financing uncompensated care for patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital and supporting Washington State University’s expanding Viticulture and Enology Program.

Supporters of the auction’s efforts won’t be buying just any wines, though: Wine Spectator has given Washington wines more 90+ scores than any other wine region in the world. It’s no surprise that the auction itself draws attendees from across the United States and overseas. They come for the full weekend of glitzy events: winemakers’ dinners at private homes and estates, featuring all-star chefs around the greater Seattle area; the Picnic and Barrel Auction, with entertainment and wine tasting overrunning the grounds of Château Ste. Michelle; Columbia’s Winery Charity Run and Walk around dewy Saturday-morning Woodinville; and the cap-off event: The Wine Gala (also at the Château), where bottles and gowns alike will glitter under a night sky winking with the last of the Perseids meteors.

Items up for auction include trips around the world, rare, unique and collectable wine lots, and experience opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else. But it’s the excitement in the air that brings the wine crowd together under the sun and stars alike as the weekend progresses. Events like the picnic, coupled with the anticipation of the auction, hearken back to more lavish times, and event-goers get the fun of living the high life with the feel-good experience of having it all go to worthwhile causes.

As the event approaches, an online auction series is in progress; as is a Winemaker Blues contest and song, written collaboratively, to be performed at the Picnic & Barrel Auction. Overall, the masterminds behind the event hope to infuse doing good with a light-heartedness often missing from charity events. As they put it, “it’s easy to get caught up in the “business”…we risk forgetting the Auction is also simply great fun; a gathering of our wine community to celebrate what we do and why we do it.”

Thursday, August 15—Saturday, August 17 || Locations, times and costs vary || See website for more information