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  • Clay W. Cone

2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival

LIVE AUCTION ACHIEVES NEW MILESTONE RAISING MORE THAN $33 MILLION

FOR AT-RISK AND UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN


Live Auction by Mila Bridger

 

The 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF) “Generosity in Full Bloom” culminated with an amazing live auction, raising a new record of more than $33 million to support at-risk and underprivileged children in Collier County. This brings the total amount raised by the NWWF to almost $302 million since its inception in 2001.


Festival attendees once again came together under the big tent just outside The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón to bid on 50 unique, one-of-a-kind wine, travel, and culinary live auction lots, many of which included wines from some of the world’s most revered vineyards. All proceeds will support close to 90 of the most effective nonprofit organizations in the community that have provided more than 300,000 local children with the services and resources they need to excel.


Among this year’s top auction lots were:

“Sailing the Turquoise Waters of the Mediterranean” for $2.7 million: Six couples will cruise the Mediterranean for seven nights on the 312-foot superyacht M/Y Whisper (formerly Kismet), enjoying every comfort and convenience while visiting exotic ports and out-of-the-way destinations. The seven spacious staterooms are equipped with king beds and ensuites, and there is a crew of 27 to attend to their every need. The yacht includes multiple lounging and dining areas, a formal dining room, a fold-down sea terrace, a double-height main saloon, a cozy cinema room, a world-class gym, a full spa and salon, a range of tenders and toys and a top deck 12m pool, perfect for gazing the stunning coastlines.



“Driving on the Wings of a Cloud” for $1.4 million: The winning bidder will be among the first in the United States to own a 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre, the automaker’s inaugural all-electric vehicle. The automobile offers a bespoke design specifically for the 2024 NWWF, with an Arctic White and Tempest Grey two-tone exterior including a Tailored Purple coachline, 23” wing spoke part polished wheels, and Grace White leather interior accented with Tailored Purple and Black. The interior offers the starlight headliner as well as starlight doors and fascia and is the most connected Rolls-Royce ever.


“25 Years of Wine, Music and Generosity” for $1 million: 40 couples each contributed $25,000 to take part in this exclusive one-of-a-kind event at D’Amico’s The Continental. The evening begins with a cocktail reception followed by a multi-course sit-down meal. The wines being poured will hail from former NWWF Honored Vintners, representing a selection spanning the past 24 years. The evening concludes with a musical performance by The Silverado Pickups, a kickoff to the 25th anniversary season of the NWWF.


“Million Dollar Meal… ALL for the Kids!” for $1 million: 40 couples also each contributed $25,000 for a once-in-a-lifetime, exclusive dinner at The Surf Club Restaurant at the Four Seasons in Surfside, Florida on November 21, 2024. Few restaurants in the Sunshine State have been as hotly anticipated as The Surf Club by Chef Thomas Keller. The experience will include a cocktail and wine reception with passed canapés and an elegant, multi-course wine-paired tasting menu.


A heartfelt call to action, on-the-spot donations supporting this year’s Fund a Need, “Putting Down Roots: Early Learning GROWS a Healthy Mind,” brought in contributions of more than $7.8 million to support NCEF’s early learning and mental health initiatives. Every dollar will support NCEF’s holistic approach of providing behavioral and mental health support at an early age, ensuring children receive the necessary resources and services to allow them to grow and thrive.


The 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival kicked off Thursday evening with an exclusive Grand Crew Party at Campiello restaurant in historic Old Naples. This year, the Festival honored renowned Burgundy and Oregon winemaker Véronique Boss-Drouhin of Maison Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Drouhin Oregon as its 2024 Honored Vintner and four-time nominated and two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Bartolotta as its 2024 Chef de Cuisine.


On Friday, Festival attendees got the opportunity to witness first-hand the life-changing impact of the NWWF during the annual Meet the Kids Day. The morning culminated in heartfelt presentations showcasing remarkable success stories that NCEF’s grants have made possible, followed by a delicious luncheon highlighting fabulous wines presented by acclaimed vintners.


The night before Saturday’s Live Auction, 18 all-star celebrity chefs, over 20 renowned vintners, and 18 of the world’s elite featured sommeliers paired off to prepare exquisite, intimate dinners at the stunning private homes of Festival Trustees and other exclusive locations across Naples.


Using the funds raised from this year’s auction, NCEF will award grants to local organizations and fund strategic initiatives supporting Collier County children in need on Monday, March 18.

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