The Livermore Valley Winegrowers are dedicated to the Livermore community and this dedication was evident at the 17th Annual Livermore Valley Wine Auction held on Saturday May 7 at the Wente Vineyards. Wente Vineyards were very gracious this year to donate the use of their massive Barrel Room for this event. This is an event that the Livermore area looks forward to every year raising funds benefitting:
- Children’s Skin Disease Foundation– where children from 7 to 15 years of age with skin diseases are able to go to summer camp at Camp Arroyo in Livermore, a medically staffed summer camp providing them with the chance to experience summer camp like most other youngsters.
- Open Heart Kitchen– a program to feed hungry children
- ValleyCare Foundation Mobile Health Unit – providing primary health care for children
Over the years, the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Foundationhas raised over $3.5 million dollars for these programs and more serving the children of the area. The foundation members, staff, sponsors, volunteers and wineries spend countless hours planning and staging this exciting event.
During a break in the Live Auction, guests were invited to help a special fund for the Open Heart Kitchen. The bidding cards were flying high as guests raised over $61,000 within minutes for this worthy charity. This was significantly higher than last year.
The event opened with guests bidding on various items available in the Silent Auction, ranging from wine selections to sports memorabilia. Local winemakers were there serving a great selection of fine Livermore Valley wines. Wineries represented included Picazo Vineyards, Page Mill Winery, Cuda Ridge, Murrieta’s Well, Tamas Estates, Fenestra Winery, Garre Vineyards, Les Chenes Estate Vineyards, Little Valley Winery, Steven Kent, La Rochelle, El Sol Winery, Concannon Vineyards, Darcie Kent Vineyard, Rodrique Molyneaux and Retzlaff Vineyards.
Following the Silent Auction everyone gathered in the Barrel Room for a sit-down dinner catered by Wente Vineyards while auctioneer Damon Casatico started the exciting Live Auction. The bids were flowing on great selection of auction lots ranging from a collection of Livermore Valley library vintages to winemaker dinners for your friends at several local wineries. One couple was very excited with their successful bid for a seven-night “Best of Croatia” cruise, while another captured a four-night stay at Four Seasons Resort at Wailea on Maui. The very talented Darcie Kent offered one of her paintings “A View from Picazo Vineyards”, that drew an excited crowd of bidders. One of the final bids for the evening was for a San Francisco Giant’s commemorative home plate autographed by the world champion team.
The top Live Lots were:
- Four nights at the Four Seasons Maui Resort at Wailea with round trip first-class Alaska Airlines raised $7600
- Murrieta’s Well dinner and ballroom dancing for 10 was high on the list of several bidders. In the end the Wente Family generously donated this lot to three separate bidders at $6,000 apiece
- Five separate lots raised $5,000 apiece:
- Azamara Club Cruise along Croatia Coast on the Azamara Quest
- Livermore Valley Progressive Dinner for 10 with Les Chenes Estate, Occasio Winery, Nottingham Cellars and Bodegas Aguirre Vineyards
- Darcie Kent’s Painting “A View from Picazo Vineyards”
- Napa Wine Country Adventure for 5 couples with two nights at the Vineyard Country Inn and tours/tasting at Miner Family Vineyards and Gargiulo Vineyards
- Concannon Vineyards special 50 years of Petite Sirah event for 12 couples, including a blending session, dinner in the library where a member of the Concannon family will dig into the vault and share Petite Sirah from across the decades, plus a case of wine
Teri Serowoky, Foundation President said, “On behalf of the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Foundation, our wineries and beneficiaries, thanks for your support and community spirit! Together, our efforts will have a prevailing effect on the lives of these children.”