21 Ultimate Gifts: Wine Lover's Affair

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    Since its 2001 debut, the annual Naples Winter Wine Festival has drawn an impressive crowd of vintners to the Florida resort town. Next year’s edition, which takes place from February 6 through 8, promises to be no different. Attendees will include Prince Robert de Luxembourg, the vice president and general manager of Château Haut-Brion; Marchese Piero Antinori of the eponymous vineyard in Tuscany; and Marchese Ferdinando Frescobaldi, who runs the family vineyard from the same region of Italy.

    But the guest list is hardly restricted to noted European winemakers. Napa Valley stars—including Ann Colgin of Colgin Cellars, Bill and Deborah Harlan of Harlan Estate, Shari and Garen Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard, Jean Phillips of Screaming Eagle, and Don and Barbara Bryant of the Bryant Family Vineyard—will also appear at the festival. And the festival’s 2004 Honored Vintner will be Robert Mondavi. (Click image to enlarge)

    Because such stellar wines demand to be served with equally fabulous cuisine, acclaimed chefs Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, Joachim Splichal, and Rick Tramonto will participate as well.

    As enjoyable as the festival is, its intent is hardly hedonistic. Primarily through receipts from its wine auctions, the festival has raised more than $10 million for southwest Florida children’s charities. A Robb Report reader will have the opportunity to make a considerable addition to that sum this year. (Click image to enlarge)

    One reader will be able to purchase all of the 50-plus wine-related lots for sale at this year’s auction. Among the items headed to the auction block are a 3-liter bottle of 1999 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon packaged in a special-edition wooden box, an imperial (6-liter) bottle of 2000 Mouton-Rothschild Bordeaux with its label enameled upon its surface in gold, and a five-day trip for four to the Frescobaldi vineyards (plus an 18-liter bottle of Luce and an 18-liter bottle of Mormoreto). The Mondavi lot will include four bottles of 1997 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve—a 750-ml, a 1.5-liter, a 3-liter, and a 6-liter—autographed by Robert, Michael, Tim, and Rob Jr., along with a commemorative photo of you with Robert and the bottles, and a tour of To-Kalon vineyard. (Click image to enlarge)

    In addition, you will enjoy the festival’s VIP status, flying to Naples from Napa aboard a jet chartered for the vintners and attending a private beach party that is normally restricted to the vintners, the chefs, and the festival’s trustees. Lodgings at the Ritz-Carlton Naples and an on-call chauffeur will also be arranged.

     

    Lots of Wine
    The following vintners will be among those attending the festival and donating lots for auction:

    Marchese Piero Antinori, Marchesi Antinori Vineyards • Daphne and Bart Araujo, Araujo Estate Wines • Barbara and Don Bryant Jr., Bryant Family Vineyard • Ann Colgin, Colgin Cellars • Tim Duncan, Silver Oak Cellars • John Duval, Penfolds Wines • Grace and Ken Evenstad, Domaine Serene • Marchese Ferdinando Frescobaldi, Marchesi de Frescobaldi • Valerie and Jeff Gargiulo, Gargiulo Vineyards • Deborah and Bill Harlan, Harlan Estate • John Kongsgaard, Kongsgaard & Arietta Wines • HRH Prince Robert de Luxembourg, Château Haut-Brion • Robert Mondavi, Robert Mondavi Winery • Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt, Laurent-Perrier Champagne • Jean Phillips, Screaming Eagle • Mary Novak, Spottswoode Vineyard & Winery • John Shafer, Shafer Vineyards • Shari and Garen Staglin, Staglin Family Vineyard • Elizabeth and Clarke Swanson, Swanson Vineyards

    Price: $4.8 million.

    Contact: Naples Winter Wine Festival, 239.514.2239, info@napleswinefestival.com

    The price does not include transportation to and from the embarkation point in Napa Valley. The gift includes the cost of shipping the wine. If you need further motivation, consider that 92 percent of the event’s proceeds typically goes directly to the charities.

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