The 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival enjoyed yet another glittering success, drawing an international roster of chefs, vintners and attendees that cement the festival among the world’s most recognizable. In the span of about five hours, the festival’s expansive auction lots—including an electric Rolls-Royce and a star-worthy tour of Music City—shattered records on an unprecedented scale. Here’s what to know.
The 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival’s live auction raised over $33 million.
Since its inception in 2001, the Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised nearly $302 million for the Naples Children and Education Foundation, bolstered by a record-breaking $33 million raised this year. The biggest auction item for 2024 was Lot 29 for $2.7 million—a seven-night Mediterranean trip for six aboard the 312-foot superyacht M/Y Whisper, sending a roar of approval through the room.
The festival brings together renowned chefs from across the world.
Chefs converged upon Naples from as far as Italy (like Michelin-caliber Matteo Lorenzini of Osteria di Passignano) to craft opulent vintner dinners the night before the live auction. The day of, chefs from stellar resorts in Florida tapped in for a food and wine tasting, like chef Gihen Zitouni of The Tampa Edition, or The Ritz-Carlton, Naples’ Lerome Campbell, who concocted a scrumptious combination of donut holes, powdered ice cream and bananas foster.
It’s a superstar meeting of sommeliers and vintners.
As part of the vintner dinners and the festival itself, a cohort of Master Sommeliers and esteemed vintners descend on Naples to lend their expertise. Local volunteers, like Osteria Tulia’s sommelier Marcello Palazzi and Warren Naples’ sommelier Jess Sabau, can be spotted recommending their favored pours throughout the festival. Honored Vintner Véronique Boss-Drouhin brought her talents from France’s Maison Drouhin, and Harlan Estate’s Will and Amanda Harlan continued their legacy of being one of NWWF’s longest-attending vintners.
The festival relies on serious volunteerism.
The Naples Winter Wine Festival taps into the generosity of Southwest Floridians to make the event happen. On the day of the live auction, dozens of NCEF volunteers kept the event going by guiding the approximately 650 attendees to their tables, alerting auctioneers to paddle raises and maintaining the atmosphere of unrelenting generosity.
Next Year’s Auction chairs.
During the Jan. 28 celebration brunch, held the day after the live auction, 2025’s event chairs were announced. In honor of the festival’s 25th anniversary, a stellar cohort of trustees will unite their creativity to make next year’s event a heavy-hitter. The chairs are:
- Nena & Bill Beynon
- Debbi & Bill Cary
- Denise & Brian Cobb
- Shirlene Elkins
- Valerie Boyd & Jeff Gargiulo
- Libby & Rick Germain
- Julia & Rob Heidt, Jr.
- Barbie & Paul Hills
- Simone & Scott Lutgert