(August 8, Nashville, TN) America’s oldest charity wine auction, the Nashville Wine Auction, raised $727,403 with its signature event, the 33rd annual l’Eté du Vin held at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel on July 21. This independent 501(c)(3) is dedicated to raising funds to support cancer-related nonprofit charities and the fight against cancer. Featuring the theme “Gone Country,” the festive evening tipped its hat to Music City not only in its ambitious décor but also with a number of highly sought after auction items, including private, catered dinners at the homes of Martina and John McBride and Troy and Angie Gentry (Montgomery Gentry).
Holly Whaley, Executive Director of the Nashville Wine Auction, said, “What an amazing evening! Our guests enjoyed an astounding night of wine and food while generously embracing our vision to unite the wine community in the fight against cancer. We are thrilled this year’s event was such a success because we know the money raised will have a direct and positive impact on cancer patients and their families.”
The $727,403 raised represents a 23 percent increase from last year, and attendance for the live auction was up 21 percent over 2011. Bidding by the spirited wine community yielded 119 percent of the value of the lots up for auction. In addition to unique dinner opportunities, tastings and special events, other items sold in the auction included the first Toyota Prius Plug-in in Middle Tennessee ($46,000) and, of course, difficult-to-acquire wines, such as Château Lynch-Bages Double Magnums ($6,000) and a historic 1982 Bordeaux Tasting ($2,000 a pour). The complete 2012 l’Eté du Vin Live Auction catalog can be viewed here.
Dennis Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars (Napa Valley, CA), Jean-Charles Cazes of Chateau Lynch Bages (Bordeaux, France) and Kip Summers from Arrington Vineyards (Arrington, TN) led a special Vintner’s Tasting moderated by Jamie Pollack of Zachys Wine Auction prior to the evening’s main event, which was emceed by Michelle Hilton of Omni Beverage Co., Damian Serong of Best Brands, Inc. and Tristan Kinsley of The Wine Shoppe at Green Hills.
Sponsors for this year’s event included American Airlines, Higham Management, Beaman Toyota, Tennessee Oncology, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Stites & Harbison, McGraphics, Inc. and Gary Musick Productions. In addition, more than 150 volunteers contributed their time and efforts during the event week, many of who wore ribbons acknowledging their loved ones who are fighting cancer or have lost the battle with cancer. Pictures from the event can be viewed here.