Southwest Florida events on list of top wine auctions

This article was written by Tammy Ayer and originally published at News-Press.com on March 18, 2015 at 8:25 p.m. EDT.

With its two wine auctions again making Wine Spectator magazine’s list of top U.S. charity wine auctions in 2014, Southwest Florida philanthropists have reason to cheer.

And the Southwest Florida connections to the top 10 list from 2014 don’t end there. The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, which made the top five, is called by Southwest Florida auctioneer Scott Robertson. He’s called the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest for years but is also gaining greater prominence on the national charity auction circuit.

The April issue, which is just hitting subscribers’ mailboxes, has the Naples event in second place with a live auction total of $12.1 million and the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest in sixth place with a live auction total of $1.52 million.

The rankings take into consideration only the actual live auction, not ticket sales or sponsorships.

Wine Spectator began ranking charity wine auctions in 2001. The Naples Winter Wine Festival and Auction Napa Valley have consistently held the top two spots. The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest first made the list in 2012, coming in at number 3 that year.

Benefit Auctioneer Scott Robertson receives bids during the live auction at the Southwest Florida Wine and Food Fest on Saturday. (Photo: Jack Hardman/The News-Press)

Benefit Auctioneer Scott Robertson receives bids during the live auction at the Southwest Florida Wine and Food Fest on Saturday. (Photo: Jack Hardman/The News-Press)

Elaine Hawkins, who co-chaired the 2014 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest with Dorothy Fitzgerald, congratulated all who were involved.

“This ranking is evidence that the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest holds its own on a national level,” Hawkins said.

Fitzgerald was pleased with the national attention highlighting the area’s generosity.

“What a testament to the bigheartedness of the people of Southwest Florida,” she said.

Sharon Hallberg, who with husband Chuck co-chaired this year’s Naples Winter Wine Festival with Tom and Sandi Moran, relished the experience of being involved with one of the largest charity wine auctions in the world.

“We are in great company with nine other wine auctions that demonstrate the very best in philanthropy, raising millions of dollars to support important charitable causes,” she said.

TOP 10 U.S. CHARITY WINE AUCTIONS OF 2014

Here’s who made Wine Spectator magazine’s top 10 list.

  1. Auction Napa Valley, $12.75 million
  2. Naples Winter Wine Festival, $12.1 million
  3. Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, $2.287 million
  4. Destin Charity Wine Auction, $1.72 million
  5. Rodeo Uncorked Champion Wine Auction & Dinner, $1.7 million
  6. Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, $1.52 million
  7. V Foundation Wine Celebration, $1.426 million
  8. Rusty Staub Foundation 22nd Annual Wine Auction Dinner, $1.422 million
  9. Classic Wines Auction, $1.322 million
  10. High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction, $1.007 million

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