37th Annual l’Eté du Vin Raises Record Breaking $930,000 To Support Local Cancer Charities!

jim_8402The Nashville Wine Auction is pleased to announce the 37th Annual l’Eté du Vin, “Generations of Greatness” which took place from July 28-July 30, 2016 with Special Guest of Honor, Gaia Gaja, raised a record breaking $930,000 to fund the fight against cancer. The co-chairs – the self proclaimed “Three Cheers” – for l’Eté du Vin this year were Kimberly Cooper, Marjorie Feltus-Hawkins and Pam Taylor.

“This year’s l’Eté du Vin was our best ever,” exclaimed Holly Whaley, President/CEO of Nashville Wine Auction. “Gaia Gaja captivated our wine community with the stories of her family’s winery and the delicious wines of GAJA. Having such a venerable guest of honor in combination with a deep auction geared towards wine collectors, our bidders raised their paddles high and often, which resulted in our most successful l’Eté du Vin to date!”

The total attendance for the four l’Eté du Vin events was 695 people. There were more than 100 volunteers that helped with the planning and production of l’Eté du Vin throughout the course of the weekend.

The Grand Cru Evening kicked off l’Eté du Vin with a cocktail party at the home of Sharon and Bill Piper. Robert Lipman presented the Norman M. Lipman Award to Country Music Superstar Kix Brooks for his “Leadership and Community Involvement.” Guests filled the lovely home to preview the upcoming auction and to meet representatives from the organization’s six cancer fighting beneficiaries, alongside hors d’oeuvres prepared by G Catering and select wines from Lipman Brothers.

On July 28, 2016, Gaia Gaja arrived in Nashville for the Vintners’ Tasting chaired by Elise and Harvey Crouch at Richland Country Club. Gaia, along with moderators Tom Black and Steve Taylor, guests through a tasting of GAJA’s portfolio of wines, including Rossj-Bass 2014, Vistamare 2014, Brunello di Montalcino 2011, Barbaresco 2012, DaGromis 2011, Darmagi 2010 and Magari 2014. Gaia took the guests on a journey from their family home in Barbaresco to their newer estates and winemaking techniques in Tuscany. Guests at the Vintners’ Tasting had a special opportunity to make a donation to Nashville Wine Auction and purchase a special 4-pack of GAJA wines to take home.

On the following night, guests gathered at The Hermitage Hotel for the Patrons’ Dinner. After indulging in the elegant hors d’oeuvres and a champagne reception with Alfred Gratien in the lobby, patrons sat down for dinner in the ballroom. A five course dinner was prepared by Chefs Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Chefs Cory Untch and Ryan McCord of The Capitol Grille. Gaia presented wines throughout the night including Gaia & Rey 2006 and 2010, both in magnum and a collection of aged GAJA wines from the cellar of Tom Black – Sperss 1990, Sori Tildin 1995, Pieve Santa Restituta Rennina 1990, Pieve Santa Restituta Sugarille 1990 and Pieve Santa Restituta Sugarille 2006. Gaia spoke to her enthusiasm for drinking the 1990 Rennina, a wine she tried for the first time since it was from an estate her family bought in 1993.

At l’Eté du Vin, chaired by Kimberly Cooper, Marjorie Feltus-Hawkins and Pam Taylor, on Saturday, July 30, guests entered Loews Vanderbilt Hotel to see more than 160 Silent Auction Lots and sample wines from GAJA including Vistamare 2014, Rossj-Bass 2014, Promise 2013 and Sito Moresco 2013. The new ballroom was transformed to showcase the colors of GAJA, with black and white harlequin draping around the room. As guests sat down for a spectacular three-course meal in the ballroom, members of Nashville’s wine community came up to the stage to each toast the GAJA family’s five Generations of Greatness.

Auctioneer Fritz Hatton returned to Nashville and captivated the audience with his enthusiasm to begin the Live Auction . The lively room raised their paddles through 56 Live Auction lots to raise money to fight cancer. Top lots from the night included:

  • Vintage 2000: A Monumental Tasting of Bordeaux is the single highest grossing lot ever at l’Eté du Vin, reaching over $100,000. This special tasting for 36 pours was sold for $3,000 a pour, with shared pours priced at an additional $250. The spectacular lineup of wines for this tasting were generously donated by Pam and Steve Taylor and feature 32 wines from the 2000 vintage in Bordeaux including legendary estates Château Margaux, Château Lafite-Rotschild, Château Latour, Château Cheval Blanc, Château Mouton Rotschild, Château Haut-Brion and many more! The dinner will take place on October 22, 2016 at The Hermitage Hotel.
  • Dinner with Little Big Town and Tom Black sold for $40,000 at the Patrons’ Dinner. Lucky winners will be able to have dinner at the home of Tom Black alongside Grammy award winning country band Little Big Town for what will surely be a memorable evening.
  • Touring Italy’s Best Wine Regions sold for $58,000. What’s better than living La Dolce Vita for an eight day luxury trip in Italy’s best wine regions? Lucky bidders will tour Piedmont, Barbaresco, Barolo, Portofino, and Tuscany and visit the best wineries in the region – including GAJA, Ornellaia, Sassicaia and more with luxury accommodations and transportation.
  • Super Tuscan Showdown Ornellaia vs. Sassicaia sold for $24,000. Any lover of Super Tuscan wines knows that these two powerhouses always make a memorable dining experience. 14 lucky bidders secured their space to have a comparative vertical tasting of these wines from 2001 through 2012 alongside the cuisine of Chef Hal Holden-Bache of Lockeland Table.
  • Wine Spectator #1 Wines of The Year Dinner sold for $20,000. When dinner consists of a collection of Wine Spectator’s #1 Wines of the Year with one of Nashville’s finest chefs, Deb Paquette, winning bidders are in for a treat!
  • Game of Rhônes: Wine is Coming sold for $39,000. This luxury 8-day trip for four will allow lovers of the Rhône Valley to explore Côte-Rotie, Hermitage, Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape while enjoying Michelin-starred cuisine, truffle hunts and luxury accomodations for a one of a kind trip!
  • Raise Your Paddle resulted in $41,250 of straight donations to Nashville Wine Auction. Country Music Star Big Kenny and Big Machine Records Executive Scott Borchetta paid Auctioneer Fritz Hatton $10,000 to come up on stage and made an emphatic and emotional appeal to attendees to raise as much money as possible to fight cancer. Big Kenny and Scott were soon joined by next year’s l’Eté du Vin chairs, Loren Chumley and Michael Sontag, who told a very personal story about cancer. The passionate appeal resulted in the largest paddle raise ever!

Nashville Wine Auction will now look forward to two events in the fall – Champagne and Chardonnay: A Sparkling Evening Just for Ladies and The Men’s Event.

ABOUT NASHVILLE WINE AUCTION: Nashville Wine Auction’s mission is to unite the wine community to fund the fight against cancer. Throughout the year, Nashville Wine Auction hosts four major events – Pairings: The Ultimate Wine and Food Weekend, l’Eté du Vin: The Country’s Longest Running Charity Wine Auction, Champagne and Chardonnay: A Sparkling Evening Just for Ladies and The Men’s Event. Established in 1980, the Nashville Wine Auction has raised more than $20 million for organizations whose purpose is directly related to treatment, patient care, and eradication of cancer here in Middle Tennessee. The 2016 list of beneficiaries includes American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, PearlPoint Cancer Support, Gilda’s Club/Nashville, Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Saint Thomas Cancer Network.


Contact:  Vivek Surti, Director of Public Relations
Vivek@NashvilleWineAuction.com or 615-329-1760