The wine industry has made great strides in recent years with innovation, productivity and quality enhancements, but research takes funding. In Washington state, that’s important for a wine industry that continues to grow.
Recently, the Washington Wine Industry Foundation held a major fundraising event to raise money for industry work. Called Party + Auction, the event drew nearly 500 wine industry leaders to enjoy a custom chef-designed dinner at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Wash.
Those in attendance did some serious bidding, raising more than $220,000 to support work on challenges in the state’s wine industry. Funds came from a 50-50 raffle as well as silent and live auctions, with items ranging from international trips to exclusive dinners to magnums of Washington wines.
The fundraising fills an important financial role in the state. The foundation has awarded nearly $3 million in grants and distributed more than $300,000 in scholarships to more than 200 students. The group has also helped fund the Washington State University Teaching Vineyard and a seat on the Washington AgForestry Leadership Program.
A collaborative project
A tradition that began three years ago brings together vineyards and wineries in new ways. The third annual “Collaboration Series” for the Washington Wine Industry Foundation is a special opportunity to showcase a grower and vintner partnership that produces 25 cases of a unique wine offered exclusively by the foundation.
This year’s collaboration, called Series 3, brings together Jim and Richard Holmes of Ciel Du Cheval Vineyard, and Ben Smith of Cadence Winery in Seattle. A single barrel will hold Cadence Winery 2018 100% Cabernet Franc Clone 214 designated from Ciel Du Cheval.
Bottles of the collaboration and the design were donated by Shara Green of Universal Packaging and Jim Carey of Doubleknot Creative.
Sponsors for the event included Sphere Foods, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Wilbur-Ellis, CliftonLarsonAllen, Four Feathers Wine Estates, Stoel Rives, Rabo AgriFinance, PolarClad, Andrew Will Winery, Succession Wines and L’Ecole Winery.