The Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) pivoted online for its 33rd series of charitable wine events from Aug. 11–15, 2020. Through online auctions and a live streamed virtual gala presented by Seattle Bank, the organization raised over $1.74 million. Proceeds from the August events benefit Seattle Children’s, Washington State University Viticulture & Enology Program research, as well as AWW. Top auction lots of the virtual live gala were the “PPP – Post-pandemic Pool Party hosted by Macklemore,” a trip to London to see the premiere of the next Bond movie and the chance to explore Napa, “The Other Wine Country” with AWW 2020-2021 Honorary Chair, Karen MacNeil. The total raised for these items was $117,500.

“We are so grateful for the incredible show of support for the Washington wine industry, which is such a key part of the overall Washington state economy,” said AWW board president Beth McCaw.

“Despite the challenges, change in format and experience, we are heartened that our supporters came to the ‘virtual’ table and donated so generously this year,” said AWW executive director Jamie Peha. “It is rewarding to see longtime auction patrons as well as newcomers enjoy the Auction in a new and digital way. The Washington wine industry quickly rose to the occasion and provided more than 130 auction lots including vintage wines and experiences in support. We are thankful to our sponsors, board of directors, auction team and all our partners for their flexibility and generous contributions. Everyone was invested in making this year the best it could possibly be. ”

Over 600 people registered for the online auction. Wineries and donors provided stunning, once-in-a-lifetime and, in some cases, priceless auction offerings, such as a 22-year vertical series of Leonetti Cellar Sangiovese wine vintages and a reserved spot on one of the most-coveted wine membership lists in Washington, Cayuse Vineyards.

The Auction also brought the big event to attendees’ homes by offering a “Gala-in-a-Box” package, featuring dinner made by esteemed local chefs John Howie or Lisa Dupar, and accompanying Washington wine offerings to enjoy during the virtual live gala.