The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance’s annual wine futures auction had another record-breaking year.
The two-day Reveal Walla Walla Valley event this week raised $127,200 through the auction of 23 one-of-a-kind, small-lot wines from the Walla Walla Valley American Viticulture Area and its sub-AVA, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. The lots sold will not be available to the public unless the winning bidders want to resell them.
For the first time, attendees were also able to bid on an opening lot that contained two bottles of premium red wine from each of the wineries that participated in the event, the alliance said in an announcement.
The invitation-only auction is set up for licensed wine-buyers and private collectors as a fundraiser for the nonprofit, membership-based alliance. A portion of proceeds this year will also be designated to help provide scholarships to future students of Walla Walla Community College’s Institute for Enology & Viticulture for the next generation of winemakers, the announcement said.
Reveal was designed as a fundraiser that would offer attendees a chance to purchase unique wine lots while also immersing them in the creative, collegial culture for which the Walla Walla Valley wine industry is known. That includes meeting the winemakers and tasting their wines.
With their arrival Sunday, guests were hosted at Dunham Cellars and progressed from a library tasting at the World War II-era Hangar Lounge to a family-style dinner in the barrel room, the alliance said.
Before bidding Monday, attendees sampled through all 23 auction lot wines in the Corliss Estate tasting room.
The auction proceeded in the production facility. Auctioneer Ursula Hermacinski presided over the event, revealing each lots’ “signature song” in addition to the traits of the wine, as a demonstration of the wines’ personalities.
This year’s auction saw a 67 percent lot price increase over last year’s event.
The top lots sold were Woodward Canyon ($15,000), Doubleback ($12,000) and Leonetti Cellar ($10,000).