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Trips of a lifetime beckon bidders to 2011 Naples Winter Wine Festival

By Staff | Nov 19, 2010

A star-studded trip to Los Angles, including a stay at The Montage Beverly Hills and tickets to the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, is one of 70 one-of-a-kind lots to be auctioned at the 2011 Naples Winter Wine Festival.

The 2011 Naples Winter Wine Festival charity auction will feature travel experiences that fulfill a range of fantasies whether bidders are adventurers, celebrity followers, jewelry lovers or sports aficionados.

From a private magic lesson with famed magician David Blaine to a 22-day around-the-world-trip in a specially outfitted private jet, there is something unique to ignite most passions.

The trips and experiences are among 70 one-of-a-kind lots up for auction at the Jan. 28-30 festival in Naples, which benefits underprivileged and at-risk children through the Naples Children & Education Foundation.

Placed among rare and special wine lots are offerings including prime seats at the Monaco Grand Prix; walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival; a walk-on role on Showtime’s hit TV show Californication; white truffle hunting in Italy; a multi-faceted trip with Audemars Piguet’s watchmaking elite in Geneva, Switzerland and in Florida a golf pairing with Vijay Singh and Anthony Kim; an 18-night luxury trip to Thailand and Vietnam; and a unique and personal African safari.

“To pull together exceptional auction lots, we partnered with incredibly generous donors and let our imaginations run wild,” said Bruce Sherman co-chair of the festival and a trustee of the NCEF, the festival’s founding organization. “Before we knew it, we had trips filled with one incredible experience after another. When the cause is children in need, people tend to get very inventive and excited about what they can contribute.”

Highlights of the auction are a six-night trip to Italy, a six-night Kenyan Safari with private guides,18-night grand tour of Thailand and Vietnam for two couples, 22-day around-the-world trip for two on a luxury jet specially designed for 52 passengers and crew, a six-night stay in New York with amenities including lunch with Regis Philbin plus a special workout session with Kelly Ripa at her gym, an L.A. adventure for two couples, with five nights at The Montage Beverly Hills and four tickets to the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, a seven-night vacation at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and tickets to four of the most exciting sports events in the United States: the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, U.S. Open Tennis Championships and the MLB All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.

In addition to the live auction, the Naples Winter Wine Festival features exceptional food and wine experiences for 550 guests. It begins with Meet the Kids Day for a firsthand look at the impact of festival proceeds. Following are Friday vintner dinners at trustees’ homes prepared by famous chefs, with special wines poured by renowned vintners. A culinary feast and exquisite wine tasting on Saturday at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, a founding sponsor of the festival, is followed by the festival’s main event: the live auction. A Saturday evening “wine-down” party and Sunday celebration brunch bring the festival to a close.

The Naples Winter Wine Festival was founded and is hosted annually by trustees of the Naples Children & Education Foundation. Festival proceeds have helped nearly 100,000 children through grants to children’s charities and collaborative funding of major projects including a pediatric dental center and early learning center.

The festival is ranked by Wine Spectator as the most successful charity wine auction in the nation since 2004 and a top 10 event for wealthy Americans by the Luxury Institute.

Festival ticket packages are $7,500 per couple; $20,000 for reserved seating at the same vintner dinner for two couples. For a festival schedule and other information, visit www.napleswinefestival.com or call the wine festival office at 888-837-4919.