2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival set to showcase Generosity in Bloom
Live Auction | Photo by Mila Bridger
One of the world's most prestigious charity wine auctions, the Naples Winter Wine Festival, returns for its 24th annual celebration on January 26-28, 2024, at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón.
With the theme “Generosity in Full Bloom,” the festival will once again feature exclusive fine wines, impeccable cuisine and unique, one-of-a-kind auction lots benefitting its founding organization, the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) in support of its mission of making a profound and sustaining difference in the lives of underserved children in Collier County.
This year’s theme reflects the incredible support consistently provided to the festival from patrons around the globe who bid on amazing auction lots and the dozens of award-winning chefs and world-renowned vintners who generously donate their time and talents at intimate private dinners throughout Naples, featuring the very best wines and food and unforgettable experiences.
Among them is renowned Burgundy and Oregon winemaker Véronique Boss-Drouhin of Maison Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Drouhin Oregon, who will be celebrated for her significant contributions to the wine industry as the festival’s Honored Vintner. Drouhin grew up in Beaune, France, in the heart of Burgundy, and was one of the first women to choose the path of oenology.
“It is extremely flattering for me to be named as the Honored Vintner for the 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival, which attracts wine enthusiasts and loyal supporters from all over the world,” Drouhin said. “Having participated in eight previous festivals, I have witnessed firsthand the generosity and good work that it produces to support underprivileged and at-risk children.”
Also participating in the 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival is four-time nominated and two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Bartolotta, who will be saluted as Chef de Cuisine. Bartolotta co-founded The Bartolotta Restaurants with his brother in 1993. Today, the nationally recognized restaurant group operates 17 award-winning restaurants and catering facilities.
“Having participated in the Naples Winter Wine Festival in recent years, I have witnessed the profound and sustaining difference that the event has on children in the community,” Bartolotta said. “I am sincerely honored to be named as the 2024 NWWF Chef de Cuisine and I look forward to joining some of the very best chefs and vintners in the world for such an important cause.”
The 24th annual NWWF comes following the record-breaking event in 2023 and the anticipation for another hugely successful festival is already building under the leadership of the 2024 NWWF Chairs Shelly and Ralph Stayer. The Stayers are co-owners of Johnsonville, LLC, the nation’s number-one sausage brand, and have been supporters of NCEF and the NWWF for several years.
“It is an honor to be entrusted with leading such an important event as the Naples Winter Wine Festival,” said 2024 NWWF Chair Ralph Stayer. “The 2023 Festival was truly amazing, raising nearly $26 million for essential children’s services in our community. We hope to build upon that momentum and anticipate welcoming everyone back together for another impactful weekend.”
The chairs of the 2024 NWWF bring the perfect combination of professional business and philanthropic experience both in Naples and abroad. Under their stewardship at Johnsonville, LLC, the family-owned business has grown from a small butcher shop in Wisconsin into a thriving, billion-dollar global operation. Ralph was honored as CEO of the Year by Tim Peters in 1988 and was named as a finalist in the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2000.
2023 NWWF - Ritz-Carlton team at Food & Wine Reception | Photo by Tony Zollo
Beyond business, the Stayer’s true passion is philanthropy. In 2018, Shelly Stayer funded the Shelly Stayer Shelter for Human Trafficking Victims in Immokalee providing a safe haven for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. She also has chaired some of the highest-profile non-profit and philanthropic fundraising endeavors in the states of Florida and Wisconsin.
“It is so exciting to see plans already coming together for the 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival where we will witness “Generosity in Full Bloom,” said 2024 NWWF Chair Shelly Stayer. “Our amazing live auction will once again feature exclusive wine, food and travel packages with every dollar raised under the big tent going to benefit underprivileged and at-risk kids in Collier County.”
Since its inaugural event in 2001, the Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised approximately $269 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in Collier County. For additional information, please visit napleswinefestival.com/about-the-festival.