Auction of Washington Wine Hits New Charity Milestone

The Auction of Washington Wines hit a new milestone during its annual weekend extravaganza of charitable wine events Aug. 15-17. This year, auction events raised more than $4.5 million, exceeding last year’s record $4.1 million. Proceeds benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Program.

“The Washington wine industry and its community are the perfect pair for this annual event, which had a new, palpable energy this year that attracted a vibrant audience, including veteran attendees and newcomers alike,” said AWW Executive Director, Jamie Peha.

On Aug. 15, we attended the Winemaker Picnic & Barrel Auction at Chateau Ste. Michelle. All the Washington wines we tasted at the picnic were terrific, but there was a handful of standouts that really pleased our palates.

Winemaker Picnic & Barrel Auction

More than 1,400 people attended the annual picnic at Chateau Ste. Michelle. Together, we sampled wines from more than 60 of Washington state’s top winemakers. And we enjoyed bites created by local chefs and restaurateurs, including Tom Douglas and Lisa Dupar.

This was the third time we’ve chatted with Brock Lindsay of Succession Wines in recent weeks – at the auction picnic, the Bellingham Wine Festival and during a visit to his tasting room in Lake Chelan. An opportunity to chat with winemakers is one of the many benefits of attending this event. Brock was pouring Succession 2017 Syrah, which was one of our favorites at the picnic. Flavors of raspberry, green peppercorn, and wet stone make this wine beautifully complex.

Another standout was the Barrage Cellars yet-to-be-released left-bank Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Merlot (10%). This is a beautiful, smooth. silky wine that makes us want us more.  It’s the second consecutive year that winemaker Kevin Correll has impressed us with a blend at the picnic. We can’t wait for this lush wine to be available.

Other Picnic Highlights





  • It’s always a treat to catch up with Chris Peterson, talented winemaker at Avennia and Passing Time. We’ve been fans since 2012, his first Avennia vintage. Chris quickly became a rising star and now he is a shining star in the Washington State wine industry.
  • Woodward Canyon 2017 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon has the potential for the wow factor, once it ages. Look for its release in November.
  • Mercer Estates 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is already drinking beautifully but it won’t be released until October.
  • DeLille Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, stellar wine that will be used in the next release of Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon.

Congratulations to all the wonderful people who work at Auction of Washington Wines, the many volunteers, the supporters and of course, the winemakers and chefs.

Margot and Dave