There was great excitement this weekend in Florida as the renowned Naples Wine Festival Auction confirmed again that it is the largest wine auction in the world. The Naples Wine Festival and Auction has made headlines in the past as it has eased past the Dollar revenues of the Napa Valley Wine Auction to become the most prestigious and luxurious charitable event of its kind – anywhere. ‘This is certainly the place to be’ said Zelma Long, winemaking partner and co-owner of Vilafonté who attended the auction as a ‘featured vintner’ and rubbed shoulders with Hollywood movie stars and the top winemakers in the world.
The highest price raised for a wine lot was achieved by the South African Vilafonte/Staglin wine trip lot which raised a mind-boggling $340,000, making it one the biggest lots in the history of the Naples event. This is also the first time that a South African winery has been incited to arrange and coordinate a lot of this size and magnitude. The Vilafonté lot was co-sponsored with generous donations by Southern Destinations Inbound tour operators, One&Only Hotel Cape Town, Singita Game Lodges and the Staglin Family in California. The 2010 auction raised in excess of $8,000,000 and was a platform for raising the profile of South Africa and it’s wines amongst the wealthy American elite.
Zelma Long is a former guest speaker at the Nederburg auction and a senior member of the Californian winemaking fraternity. Zelma was accompanied by importer Bartholomew Broadbent, son of renowned wine writer Michael Broadbent who acted as a ‘brand Ambassador’ for Vilafonte