Classic Wines Auction
27Th Annual Classic Wines Auction Raises $2.2 Million For Local Charities

PORTLAND, Oregon – (March 9, 2011) – The 27th Annual Classic Wines Auction, the Northwest’s premiere fundraising event, raised an astounding $2.2 million to benefit five local charities which serve children and families on Saturday, March 5, 2011, according to Classic Wines Auction (CWA) CEO Virginia Hensen. The five benefiting charities are Metropolitan Family Service, New Avenues for Youth, Friends of the Children, Trillium Family Services and ywca clark county.

Over 750 people attended the black-tie fundraiser at the Oregon Convention Center, sponsored by Bank of America and U.S. Trust Wealth Management, where rare and cult wines were auctioned alongside exotic travel and celebrity-studded entertainment packages, many with a wine theme. The top auction package – a dinner at Domaine Serene winery in Oregon’s Dundee Hills for 20 couples and featuring two James Beard Award-winning chefs – sold for $60,000. The top wine lot – 38 bottles of precious Bordeaux wines – had a winning bid of $10,000. Sponsor Kuni Automotive’s offering of a choice of a fully-loaded 2011 BMW or Lexus sedan fetched $45,000.

“We’re positively giddy with excitement over the results,” said Hensen, who joined the organization last September. “The energy in the ballroom was electric, and our guests were definitely in the mood to support these charities and the services they provide to more than 42,000 children and families in our community.”

Dinners with celebrity winemakers were hot items. Former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe appeared onstage to help sell his Doubleback Winery dinner at El Gaucho for $21,000. San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovitch paired up with REX HILL Winery on a package that generated $10,000; and actor Kyle MacLachlan packaged himself and his “Pursued by Bear” wines from Walla Walla in a lot that sold for over $4,000.

“On the Rocks,” the University of Oregon’s male a capella group recently featured on the national TV show “Sing Off,” revved up the crowd by winding their way through the ballroom with mics in hand. “That really got the party started,” said Hensen.

The gala Auction is part of a week of “Wine Working Wonders,” which includes three days of Winemakers Dinners pairing 28 of Portland’s top restaurants with Northwest wineries; the Ambassadors Dinner on the eve of the Auction which honors the 2011 Wine Ambassadors; and the Auction itself.

This year’s Honorary Wine Ambassadors, whose wines are featured at the Classic Wines Auction, included: Bill Hatcher, REX HILL (Newberg, Oregon); Christophe Hedges, Hedges Family Estate, Benton City, Washington; Dennis Cakebread, Cakebread Cellars, Napa, California; Marc Perrin, Château de Beaucastel and Perrin & Fils Wines, France. Two local award-winning chefs – Cory Schreiber, founder of Wildwood Restaurant, author, and faculty member of the International Culinary School at the Art Institute in Portland, and chef Adam Sappington of Country Cat Dinner House and Bar – prepared a five-course meal to compliment the wines. -more-

Also honored were Bill Stoller of Stoller Vineyards and CEO of The Stoller Group, for service and philanthropy in the wine industry; and local civic leader and CWA Board member Sheryl Manning, for her role in increasing the participation of winemakers, chefs and wine lovers from around the country in the Classic Wines Auction. Manning co-chaired the Auction for three years and is a past Board Chair of CWA.

Several auction items are still available for purchase online at, including:

Classic Cars and Planes Dinner at Global Aviation’s Hangar at the Hillsboro Airport – wine and dine among private jets and classic cars on Saturday, August 6, 2011. Evening includes cocktails, food, wine and entertainment.

Texas Hold ‘Em Casino Party – Let the good times roll Sunday, April 17, 2011 at Brasserie Montmartre with cocktails and Cajun-style appetizers while you try your hand at Texas Hold ‘Em, Blackjack, or Let it Ride.

CWA Third Annual Golf Tournament – Monday, August 8, 2011 at Columbia Edgewater. Shotgun start at 1:00pm. Includes lunch, on-course winetasting, dinner and fine wines.

About Classic Wines Auction:
First Growth Children and Family Charities dba Classic Wines Auction, Inc., is a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, and dedicated to producing the Classic Wines Auction and related wine and culinary events to raise funds for local charities serving children and families. Wine Spectator Magazine has ranked the Classic Wines Auction among the country’s top ten charity wine auctions for the past eight years. The 2011 event raised $2.2 Million, and since its inception in 1982, the Classic Wines Auction has raised over $26 Million for charity. For more information about Classic Wine Auction events or to find out how to get involved, call 503-972-0194.

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