- Homepage for the Wine Industry

30th Annual Auction of Washington Wines Presents Trade-Exclusive Private Barrel Auction

Twenty of Washington State's elite wineries present rare opportunity to acquire exceptional 5-case wine futures
by Press Release
August 09, 2017

On Friday, Aug. 18, Auction of Washington Wines hosts its Private Barrel Auction, a trade-only auction providing intimate access to winemakers and the opportunity to taste barrel samples of unique wine futures presented by top wineries from across the state prior to live bidding. The private barrel auction offers a rare opportunity to acquire distinctive, exceptional lots not available elsewhere. Washington State is one of the world’s most dynamic wine regions, rooted in a semi-desert climate with extended sunlight, a shorter growing season and superior terroir. Retailers and restaurateurs covet exclusive rights to one-of-a-kind wines from highly respected and often allocated wineries and the opportunity to offer those wines to their top clients is the motivation to bid. Proceeds from the Private Barrel Auction go directly to Washington State Viticulture and Enology program benefiting the sustainability of the entire Washington State wine industry. Attendance to the private barrel auction is limited to licensed members of the trade and media guests. Those interested in attending may register online at

For consumers, specialty wines from the 2015 Private Barrel Auction are just hitting the market place at various retailers and restaurateurs. As an example, Schwartz Brothers, which owns five restaurants in the Seattle area, irecently released two wines from the 2015 Private Barrel Auction including the 2014 Leonetti Bordeaux Blend - The Oldest Blocks, Walla Walla Valley and the 2014 Long Shadows Vintners Exclusive Release Bordeaux Blend, Horse Heaven Hills/Red Mountain. With these wines, exclusivity is key. These wineries typically allocate their wines and can be hard to get. For restaurant owners, purchasing these allows them to provide one-of-a-kind wines to their guests.

The trend of hosting trade auctions is growing and the challenge is ensuring that you have the right buyers in the room and that takes time. Building trade relationships that are excited to bring in new and unique options for their top clientele and who also know how to properly market the wines is an on-going job. The model serves the on-going relationship because there is constant communication until the wine is released to them and by then, a solid relationship has been built between the buyer and the winery and the organization running the auction. These are the types of business relationships that last and continue returning.

Sample wine lots include:
· An-all female winemaker lot of 100% Grenache Noir by Deux Dames Du Vin by Forgeron and The Walls

· Mark Ryan is crafting a Petit Verdot for the first time.

· Quilceda Creek, typically focused on those 100-point Cabernet Sauvignons is offering a Syrah from Champoux Vineyards

· The Betz Family Winery lot is a special one-off blend of the best barrels in their cellar from 2016 and features 50% Cabernet Sauvignon clone 8 and 50% Petit Verdot, from Heart of the Hill Vineyard, Red Mountain.

· Owen Roe is also showcasing a unique wine called "First Among Equals" highlighting two amazing vineyard sources: 100% Cab Sav (50% DuBrul, 50% Outlook) Yakima Valley.

To learn more about nine of these exclusive lots, attendees can watch these videos where winemakers describe their unique blends and click here for the auction program.

This year’s event will be attended by high-level guests both locally and from around the country, including:
- Guests from more than a dozen states attending including: New York, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Virginia, Illinois, Florida, California, Nevada, Minneapolis, Texas and Washington

- CEO's, Presidents, Owners, National Wine Buyers from hotels, cruise lines and high-level restaurant companies

- Sherry-Lehman NY, Wally's Wine LA, Haskells MN, Gary's Wine Marketplace NJ, Michael Mina Restaurants CA, Costco plus top brass from cruise lines: Windstar, Holland America, Seabourn.

- Locals include El Gaucho, Canlis, Columbia Hospitality, Aqua, Salty's, Anthony's Restaurants, Schwartz Brother's Restaurants, The Space Needle, Friday Harbor House, The Salish Lodge & Spa, Heavy Restaurant Group, The Manor House and more.

Participating wineries include: Betz Family Winery, Brian Carter Cellars, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Col Solare, DeLille Cellars, Dusted Valley, Fidelitas Wines, Force Majeure, Forgeron Cellars l The Walls, Januik Winery, L’Ecole No. 41 Winery, Leonetti Cellars, Long Shadows Vintners, Mark Ryan, Owen Roe, Pepper Bridge Winery, Quilceda Creek, Sleight of Hand, Va Piano Vineyards and Woodward Canyon. All of these wineries have been adorned with multiple awards and receive scores well above 90 from major publications and critics. With just the elite 20 wineries participating this year and invitations to National buyers to attend, the auction is positioned to drive the bidding up for each of the coveted lots.

Auction of Washington Wines has raised more than 2 million specifically for this program over the past 15 years. Washington State is diligent about funding research and education to help further the growth of the industry and to fill its future needs. Last year the Auction weekend raised $3 million overall.

Event Schedule:

Friday, August 18, 2017; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
· 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Novelty Hill-Januik Winery
Barrel tasting from twenty of Washington State’s elite wineries.

· 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, Novelty Hill-Januik Winery
Luncheon prepared by Novelty Hill-Januik Winery Chef Seth Fernald.

· 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm, Chateau Ste. Michelle
Rooted in the Past, Focused on the Future presentation with Bob Betz, M.W. with Ted Baseler of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; Woodward Canyon's Rick Small and Owen Roe's David O'Reilly

Barrel auction live bidding with world renown Auctioneer Ursula Hermacinski

· 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Chateau Ste. Michelle
Sparkling Wine Post-Reception

The weekend line-up of events kicks off with The Winemaker Picnic on August 17, followed by the Private Barrel Auction (Trade) and the Winemaker Dinner Series on August 18, the Charity Run and the Gala Auction on August 19. Funds raised at the event series benefit uncompensated care, cancer clinical trials and autism services at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Viticulture and Enology Research at Washington State University.

2017 Private Barrel Auction sponsors include: Wine Business Monthly, Northwest Farm Credit, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Novelty Hill-Januik, Trysk Print Solutions, Tonnellerie Quintessence Bordeaux, Butler Valet and Esquin Wine and Spirits

About the Auction of Washington Wines

Since its inception in 1988, the Auction of Washington Wines has raised more than $37 million. The distinguished fundraising events give wine lovers the chance to support the Washington wine industry and families in the communities around the region. The 2017 events will take place August 17-19, 2017. Co-chairs for 2017 are Norm McKibben and Jean-Francois Pellet of Pepper Bridge Winery, Yahn Bernier of Valve Software and Beth McCaw of Washington Women’s Foundation. Major sponsors include Chateau Ste. Michelle, Ferrari of Seattle, Bank of America, John L. Scott Foundation, The Seattle Times, King 5 TV, Tulalip Resort Casino, and Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card.

About Seattle Children’s Hospital

Consistently ranked as one of the best children's hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children's serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children's hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children's has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children's serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children's Research Institute and Seattle Children's Hospital Foundation. Together they are Seattle Children's, known for setting new standards in superior patient care for more than 100

About Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Program

The Washington State University Viticulture and Enology Program aims to strengthen the quality and reputation of the Washington wine industry. Proceeds from the Auction of Washington Wines fund research within the program.

Subscribe to Daily news Email

FREE Wine Business Daily News delivers the industry's top stories emailed to you from our editorial team.

Copyright© 1994-2017 by Wine Communications Group. All Rights Reserved. Copyright protection extends to all written material, graphics, backgrounds and layouts. None of this material may be reproduced for any reason without written permission of the Publisher. Wine Business Insider, Wine Business Monthly, Grower & Cellar News and Wine Market News are all trademarks of Wine Communications Group and will be protected to the fullest extent of the law.