Vintners Score: Auction Sets $1 Million Record

By Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor, Travelzoo
Photos by Amy Graves, Getty Images

The numbers just came in and the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation has done it: they’ve met their ambitious $1 million fundraising goal -- and set a brand new event record -- at the 2014 Santa Barbara Wine Auction.

The Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association, hosted the extravaganza on February 22nd at Bacara Resort & Spa, which offered a spectacular backdrop for a night attended by the industry’s who’s who and marked by once-in-a-lifetime lifestyle packages that generated thrilling bidder battles.

Emcee (and The Bachelor host) Chris Harrison and Santa Barbara vintner (and former Bachelor) Andrew Firestone

Emcee Chris Harrison and my lovely wife, Renee (credit: Me)
Winemaker Sonja Magdevski and actor Emilio Estevez
Actress Jane Lynch

Lisa Babcock and winemaker Brian Babcock
Presqu'ile vintners Amanda and Matt Murphy

Firestone, Me, Harrison (credit: my lovely wife)
Rick and Diana Longoria of Longoria Wines were honored as Pioneer Vintners and Barbara Banke of Jackson Family Wines (including local vineyards Byron and Cambria) was recognized as a Distinguished Vintner.   

Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s The Bachelor, emceed and celeb attendees included actors Jane Lynch, Emilio Estevez, Shiri Appleby, Joanna Kerns and Susan Sullivan, as well as former Bachelor and Santa Barbara vintner Andrew Firestone.  

The biennial auction started in 2000 and has now raised well more than $3 million for Goleta-based Direct Relief, which famously leverages its partner network to turn every donated dollar into $30 of medicines and medical supplies.  Outreach is global, earmarked for needy families from Santa Barbara County and each of the 50 states to disaster-ravaged communities around the world.  Learn more at at 

The next Santa Barbara Wine Auction will take place in 2016.

The red carpet at the 2014 Santa Barbara Wine Auction

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