Nashville Wine Auction Raises More Than $538k In First Virtual Fundraiser

Supporters Showed Up To Buy, Donate and Have Fun at the Virtual Nashville Wine Auction

NASHVILLE, TENN. –  OCT. 16, 2020 –Nashville Wine Auction, the country’s longest-running charity wine auction, did something brand new last weekend – it went “totally virtual” with the first-ever Virtual Nashville Wine Auction, replacing the previously planned, in-person fall fundraising event, the Music City Harvest Party.

The live-streaming event raised more than $538,000, which was almost twice as much as the event’s planning team had hoped. There was both a silent and live auction featuring premium wine and luxury experience lots. While the main event was the live auction, the online event included entertainment and educational components with a mix of celebrity guest greetings, messages from the nonprofit’s cancer-fighting beneficiaries, live music, live interaction with watch parties via Zoom, and the best combination of excitement, laughs and even a few tears. There were 496 people registered to participate in the auction. Of those, 100 of them were first-time participants/registrants. These registrants came from people viewing the event from 26 different states.

“The experience of creating this event was new to us, but thankfully, the wine community has proven to be as generous virtually as they are in person,” said Nashville Wine Auction CEO Holly Whaley. “Candidly, we weren’t sure what would happen when we went live, but we were thrilled to see that everyone showed up to buy and donate with such enthusiasm!”

Interestingly, this year, the silent auction lots went for about 20 percent more on average than usual, AND zero silent auction lots went unsold. However, while there were only three travel-oriented lots this year, they didn’t bring in as much money as usual, which was probably due to uncertainty regarding COVID-related travel concerns.

While scoring great wines for a wine collector’s cellar is an anticipated outcome of these auctions, that isn’t all that bidders purchase during these events. In fact, this year, gas card sales in the silent auction more than tripled. Each gas card is sold for $50 and is donated to our beneficiaries to help their patients in need who require gas to help them get to and from the hospital for their cancer treatments. This large increase reflects this community’s continued generosity and awareness of the cause.

While the “Raise Your Paddle” lot brought in more than $100,000, these auction lots brought in the significantly high bids as well: Once-In-A-Lifetime Evening with Château Figeac lot ($25,000), Super Huge Magnum Collection of Serious California Cabs ($18,000), Ann Eaden Collection of Favorites ($12,250), and the Vintage 2005, Another Monumental Tasting of Bordeaux Tasting lot ($5,000 a pour and 15 pours were sold).

“It was a great night for the Nashville Wine Auction and our beneficiaries supporting those dealing with a cancer diagnosis,” said Tom Baldwin, Chairman of the Nashville Wine Auction’s Board of Directors. “I’m so proud of all those who made the move to a virtual auction an incredible success. We had many Tennessee viewers plus over 25 other states represented! I am so grateful to be a part of this generous community.”

Nashville Wine Auction 2020 Beneficiaries:

American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee, HopeKids, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Middle Tennessee, PearlPoint Nutrition Services, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Saint Thomas Cancer Network, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Sponsors of the Music City Harvest Party:

Parker’s Paws, Tennessee Oncology, One Oncology, Mercedes Benz of Music City, A-1 Appliance, Clinical Solutions Pharmacy, Lilly Oncology, Loden Vision Centers, Merck Oncology, Tara Mullaney, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Scripps Howard Foundation, and Starling Davis Group.

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 three major events – Pairings: The Ultimate Wine and Food Weekend; l’Eté du Vin: The Country’s Longest-Running Charity Wine Auction; and the brand-new (next year) Music City Harvest Party. Established in 1980, the Nashville Wine Auction has raised more than $27 million for organizations whose purpose is directly related to treatment, patient care, and the eradication of cancer here in Middle Tennessee.