Saturday, June 18, 2011
WALLA WALLA - In spite of having to postpone the signature wine auction event, Vintage Walla Walla weekend coordinators said they expect to raise several thousand dollars for local and statewide children's charities.
The wine, dine and auction weekend kicked off on Thursday with seven meet-the-winemaker dinners held around town.
On Friday, a private barbecue at Waters Winery near Stateline Road had roughly 250 participants at the $50 dine and wine event, along with 49 wineries that donated their libations.
The main auction for the event, which usually occurs on a Saturday at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, was postponed because of a lack of local hotel accommodations, Walla Walla Wine Alliance Director of Marketing Shontina Gianotti said.
But smaller auctions were held on Friday and Saturday, and it was common to see wine sold well above market value, Gianotti said.
In one auction, she said two cases of wine worth $250 went for $1,750.
"He (the winning bidder) was a retired pediatrician, someone who is passionate about their cause," Gianotti said.
Coordinators expect to raise somewhere between $5,000 to $10,000 for the Children Home Society from Thursday activities.
Proceeds from Friday's barbecue will benefit the Seattle Children's Hospital Uncompensated Care fund.