It’s time once again for the annual Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) extravaganza of events, including winemaker dinners at private homes throughout the Seattle area, Winemaker Picnic, Private Barrel Auction, and the grand finale Gala from Aug. 15-17. Now in its 32nd year, AWW proceeds benefit Seattle Children’s and Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology research. Winemaker Picnic ($150 per person) is a popular activity for wine and food lovers. Set on the expansive grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, picnic guests need only to hold up a glass as a winemaker passes by for instant service. Or head to one of the many wine stations for a selection of whites, rosés, and reds. Live music serenades from the grand stage while guests taste and bid on barrels of wine under a tent.
If the day is hot, mosey under a misting station while perusing your next tasty bite, courtesy of some of Seattle’s top restaurants and chefs. Look for food from chef Tom Douglas’ Etta’s, chef Lisa Nakamura’s Gnocchi Bar, chef Lisa Dupar, chef Jonathan Zimmer of Gourmando, Kurt Beecher Dammeier’s Beecher’s Cheese, chef Ryan Donaldson’s Gather Kitchen & Bar, pastry chef Kate Sigel of Conversation, Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, and Trophy Cupcakes among others.
For those looking to give big, consider attending the Gala ($500 per person). This seated dinner features entertainment throughout the evening, with winemakers positioned at each table. Sommeliers from Seattle-area restaurants pour wines brought specifically by each winemaker — sometimes their own, sometimes from their personal cellars. It’s a grand event that culminates in smiles all around.