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Naples Winter Wine Festival Has Done It Again

This year’s chef-vintner-master sommelier pairings don’t disappoint, with another round of culinary celebrities arriving January.

A small sample of the wines that were poured last auction day at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Photo by Mila Bridger Photography


For a town of our size, the pull here for gastronomic celebrities of every stripe and color is large—and that’s mostly thanks to the Naples Winter Wine Festival. In its nearly two decades of existence, the weekend-long extravaganza has become the biggest philanthropic event in all of Southwest Florida (raising money for local children’s charities), and its auction is now one of the most important wine auctions in the entire world.

The organizer’s of the 2018 festival, to be held Jan. 26-28, have just unleashed the full roster of chefs, vintners and master sommeliers who will make the trek to the Gulfshore for the weekend of Premier Crus and white truffles. For people who care deeply about food and wine, its unveiling carries a similar sense of anticipation as the NFL draft. This year’s is lighter on household names (such as last year’s honored chef, Wolfgang Puck) and heavier on people who are quietly pushing the boundaries of modern fine dining and have the Michelin stars and James Beard awards to prove it (like 2018’s honored chef, Gary Danko).

Read on below for how they’ve been combined to create the final vintner dinner lineup. The soirees, held on Friday night, are where festival ticket holders are divided into small groups of roughly 30 people, and they’re assigned to attend one of the various blockbuster affairs. (In addition to the chefs, vintners and master sommeliers donating their time and effort on Friday, the spirit of giving continues throughout the weekend, with many donating wines, items for auction packages and their services under the tent.) 




Master Sommelier

Kary & David Duncan of Silver Oak in Oakville, California

Joseph Lenn of JC Holdway in Knoxville, Tennessee

Gillian Ballance of Treasury Wine Estate in Sonoma, California

Pam & George Hamel, Jr. of Hamel Family Wines in Sonoma, California; Olivier Krug of Krug Champagne in Reims, France

Gary Danko of Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco, California

Emily Wines of Cooper's Hawk Winery in Oakland, California

Shahpar & Darioush Khaledi of Darioush in Napa, California

Beau MacMillan of elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona

Jared Slipp of RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, Virginia

Michelle & Robin Baggett of Alpha Omega Winery in St. Helena, California; Tom Bonomi of Kistler Vineyards in Sonoma, California

Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York, New York

Kyungmoon Kim of The Modern NYC in New York, New York

Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton in Lompoc, California; Beth Novak Milliken of Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery in St. Helena, California

Mark Kiffin of The Compound Restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Michael McNeill of Quality Wine & Spirits in Atlanta, Georgia

Barbara Banke and Chris Carpenter of Cardinale in Oakville, California

Nancy Oakes of Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco, California

Emily Pickral Papach of Jackson Family Wines in Tampa, Florida

Laura Catena of Bodega Catena Zapata in Mendoza, Argentina; Doug & Annette Shafer of Shafer Vineyards in Napa, California

Eric Ziebold of Kinship in Washington, DC

Chris Miller of Seabold Cellars in Marina, California

Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy of Château Clerc Milon in Bordeaux, France

Nancy Silverton of Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, California

Elyse Lambert, Consultant in Montreal, Canada

Amanda Harlan, Deborah Harlen and Cory Empting of BOND in Napa, California

John Tesar of Knife at The Highland Dallas in Dallas, Texas

Bob Bath of Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California

Véronique Sanders of Château Haut-Bailly in Bordeaux, France; Valerie Boyd & Jeff Gargiulo of Gargiulo Vineyards in Oakville, California

Mario Corti and Christoph Rainer of Luce d’Oro in Elmau, Bavaria, Germany

Jim Rollston of Manresa Restaurant in San Francisco, California

Alexander Van Beek of Château Giscours and du Tertre in Bordeaux, France; Cliff Lede of Cliff Lede Vineyards in Yountville, California

Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, California

Will Costello of Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Estate in Las Vegas, Nevada

Shari & Garen Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard in Rutherford, California

Neal Fraser of Redbird in Los Angeles, California

Fernando Bettina of Tenzing Wine & Spirits in Chicago, Illinois

Grace & Ken Evenstad of Domaine Serene in Dayton, Oregon, and Château de la Crée in Burgundy, France; Dave Powell and Callum Powell of Powell & Son in Lyndoch, South Australia

Markus Glocker of Bâtard in New York, New York

Desi Echavarrie of Scale Wine Group in Napa, California

Alejandro Bulgheroni of Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate in St. Helena, California; Elisabetta Gnudi of Borgo Scopeto & Caparzo in Montalcino, Italy

Evan Funke of Felix in Venice, California

Fred Dexheimer of The Winebow Group in New York, New York

Marchese Piero Antinori of Marchesi Antinori in Tuscany, Italy

Peter Brunel of Borgo San Jacopo in Florence, Italy

Larry Stone of Lingua Franca in Salem, Oregon

Mary & Terry Peabody of Craggy Range in Havelock North, New Zealand; Elizabeth Neuman and Will Phelps of Joseph Phelps Vineyards in St. Helena, California

Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, Georgia

Jason Heller of Scale Wine Group in Napa, California

Marilisa Allegrini of Allegrini Estates in Valpolicella, Italy; Mary Dewane & Joe Anderson of Benovia Winery in Santa Rosa, California

Paul Bartolotta of The Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Jennifer Huether of Jackson Family Wines in Toronto, California


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