Naples Winter Wine Festival returns, set to raise millions

Published: January 28, 2022 8:53 AM EST
Updated: January 28, 2022 9:01 AM EST

The Naples Winter Wine Festival returns to an in-person format this weekend with a live auction Saturday, including fine food and wine, at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples.

In its 22nd year, this year’s theme is “Rise Up – Twenty Twenty Twogether” for the event that benefits the Naples Children & Education Foundation, which founded the festival in 2001. More than 50 nonprofit organizations have benefited from the event, which has raised almost $220 million since its inception.

About $20 million was raised in 2020 alone, the most recent live event; $7.3 million was raised last year during a virtual auction.

Make no mistake: This is an elite event. Ticket packages start at $15,000 per couple, which includes admission to the auction, a private dinner made by a celebrity chef and an assortment of wines from Napa Valley, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, etc.

“The generosity of our patrons has just been incredible,” said Lisa Juliano, the festival’s director of communications for the past 12 years. “It’s overall incredible. We have so many incredible lots.”

The auction of 43 lots will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. The average lot sells for about $275,000, Juliano said. There will be wine lots, automobiles and travel packages, and approximately 600 people are expected to attend. Gulfshore Business will be onsite, providing live coverage of the event on its website, gulfshorebusiness.com.

Click HERE to visit Gulfshore Business for a sampling of the travel packages to be auctioned.