Wine Spectator magazine ranked the Naples Winter Wine Festival as the highest-grossing charity wine auction in the country last year, beating high-profile charity auctions in California's wine country. The 2015 festival raised more than $11 million for children's charities in Collier County during the live auction.
The Naples festival attracts entrepreneurs and business executives nationwide for three days of wine tasting, elaborate dinners and an auction with lots that range from around-the-world trips to unique sports cars.
The 2017 festival will take place January 27 to 29 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples. The event is limited to 580 people who pay $10,000 per couple to attend. A party of four people can reserve seating at a vintner dinner and access to the event for $25,000.
Also, for the first time since it started in 2001, four couples will chair the 2017 wine festival. They include Valerie Boyd and Jeff Gargiulo, owners of Gargiulo Vineyards; broadcast industry veterans Denise and Brian Cobb; Naples developer Scott Lutgert and Simone Lutgert; and retired GE Capital President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Cary and Debra Cary.
The wine festival has raised more than $146 million for children's charities in Collier County since its inception. Through the festival's nonprofit, the Naples Children & Education Foundation, the organization has granted money to 40 charities benefitting more than 200,000 children.